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Wingtip Vortices

Always a concern when following large aircraft, we often hear mention of wingtip vortices and wake turbulence. There are a lot of diagrams but what does it really look like? Following a question today and through the wonder of Google, I came across a couple of sites with some good movies and pictures of real life wingtip vortices.

This first site has some great footage taken from the movie Die Hard (!!), a heavy jet is coming in to land through some smoke and you get some really nice footage of the vortex forming and drifting away. There is also a great photo at the bottom of the page of the vortices created by a fighter (F16?) skimming the top of a cloud layer.
http://www.math.sfu.ca/~cbm/fluid-movies/
The second site is all still photos but some are very good. Make sure you look at the C130 vortices vizualized by flares.

http://www.galleryoffluidmechanics.com/vortex/v_lift.htm

NASA did some tests with a 747 with smoke generators on the wingtips to see how the vortices behave:


http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Movie/B-747_Vortex/HTML/EM-0073-01.html

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