Airbus Advises Airlines to Replace Pitot Tubes

Also Says It Will Help Fund Search for Air France Flight 447 Flight Data Recorders and Wreckage

1 min read
Airbus Advises Airlines to Replace Pitot Tubes

According to a story in the New York Times, Airbus is recommending to all operators of its Airbus A330 and A340 wide-body planes replace the pitot tubes made by Thales with those from Goodrich. The move comes in anticipation of a safety directive from the European Air Safety Agency in the wake of the Air France flight 447 crash. Pitot tubes on Airbus 320 models were recommended to be replaced two years ago, the Times says.

Airbus and  EASA say that this is a precautionary measure since the exact cause of the crash of Air France Flight 447, while suspected to involve pitot tubes, is not yet proven.

Moisture problems with pitot tubes led to a crash of a US Air Force B-2 bomber on take-off at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam in 2008, and a near crash there the year before.

In other Air France 447-related news, Airbus indicated that it is willing to fund an extended search for the crash's flight data recorder and wreckage, the New York Times says.

According to the Times,

"Investigators this month abandoned the audio search for the flight recorders’ 'pingers,' which are designed to emit a signal for 30 to 40 days, but they have continued to hunt using diving equipment and sonar scanners towed by a French frigate. Those efforts are due to go on until Aug. 22."

The Airbus offer will help extend the search if nothing is found by the 22nd of August.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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