10 May 2008


by Cecily
My uncle's friendly neighborhood Aeronautical Engineer tells us about the airplane science:

My initial thoughts were that it was a pair of vortices coming off the engine nacelle or off the end of a leading edge flap (called a slat). This photo appears to have been taken at low altitude during takeoff or landing. You see only sky in the photo, no ground or horizon, so it was either at high angle of attack during a climb out after takeoff or was in a banked turn to the right either after takeoff or to maneuvering for a landing approach. Also, you generally only see a vortex in a high humidity environment, which is usually at low altitude. The vortex becomes visible only when you have condensation within the vortex as you do in a high humidity environment. The vortex motion drops the pressure and temperature within the vortex and the air becomes supersaturated causing the condensation.

He is right, it was during takeoff and landing. Both! On the flight between Addis Ababa and Kigali. The picture's from the landing takeoff part.

1 comment:

  1. That's just because it's a conspiracy among scientist to keep the gremlins secret. They don't want us to flip out on the planes.