I was watching a video of an V 22 (Osprey) taking off and it had that white cloudy stuff that looked like turbulence around the propellers. Can helicopters have turbulence too? I know an osprey is not a full helicopter nor airplane but it has some features of a helicopter.

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    $\begingroup$ I think you are asking about contrails or wingtip vortices, not turbulence. Turbulence is chaotic changes in air pressure which cause bumpiness when flying. $\endgroup$ – GdD Jul 11 '17 at 8:12
  • $\begingroup$ "white cloudy stuff that looked like turbulence". You can't see turbulence! $\endgroup$ – J. Hougaard Jul 11 '17 at 11:36

That 'cloudy stuff' that you say is not 'turbulence', but condensed water vapor, the condensation being due to the sudden cooling caused by the adiabatic expansion of the air due to the aerodynamic disturbance caused by a passing blade (or wing).

That condensation can also be observed as wakes in landing aircraft, and in stationary revving props. It appears when the sudden expansion takes place in humidity conditions close to saturation.

  • $\begingroup$ But yes, helicopters can experience turbulence just the same as an airplane. ;) $\endgroup$ – SnakeDoc Jul 11 '17 at 17:01

It's just as possible to get turb on a helicopter as on a fixed-wing aircraft: Turbulence is primarily caused by the characteristics of the air you're flying through, not the machine you're in. That said, the rotors on a helicopter are reasonably good at damping turbulence (like the wings on an A380). As the V22 has smaller rotors it may be a little more bumpy than other - traditional - helicopters.

  • $\begingroup$ The super simple answer is that the helicopter moves through the air and with it. It the air moves, then the helicopter will too. As to the condensation, this video shows it nicely. $\endgroup$ – Simon Jul 11 '17 at 17:46

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