Fri, Mar 13, 2009
Aero-Terms are designed to be a daily reminder of the terms,
names, acronyms and explanations of the unique language that
populates the aviation world. Aerospace, sport aviation, fixed
wing, helo, you name it... it's all fair game.
Aero-Terms should serve as a quick but intriguing reminder of
the terms you may use every day, or an introduction to an aspects
of the Aero-World you may not yet be familiar with. ANN also
encourages readers to go beyond the FMI link, and further research
any intriguing terms.
Suggestions for future Aero-Terms are ALWAYS
welcome, as are additions or discussion of the
explanations given for each Aero-Term.
Contrails (short for "condensation trails") or vapor trails are
visible trails of condensed water vapor made by the exhaust of
aircraft engines. As the hot exhaust gases cool in the surrounding
air they may precipitate a cloud of microscopic water droplets. If
the air is cold enough, this trail will comprise tiny ice crystals.
The wingtip vortices which trail from the wingtips and wing flaps
of aircraft are sometimes partly visible due to condensation in the
cores of the vortices. Each vortex is a mass of spinning air and
the air pressure at the centre of the vortex is very low. These
wingtip vortices are unrelated to the exhaust from the engines.
They are sometimes known as vapor trails.
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