Linked Questions

3 votes
2 answers
8k views

How could it be possible to fully prevent wing tip vortex formation? [duplicate]

I know that winglets and swept wings are ways to reduce the vortex that are currently in use on many aircraft. Are there any aircraft design concepts out there that completely eliminate the vortex ...
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  • 9,137
3 votes
2 answers
687 views

Why does this plane have vapor trails coming out of wings? [duplicate]

See this video of Birmingham strong crosswinds landings: At 2.57, there is a 737-800 landing (screen shot below). One can clearly see some vapor (?) coming out of ...
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  • 691
0 votes
1 answer
390 views

Why do I see moisture coming from the middle of the wing as well as wingtip vortices? [duplicate]

A lot of times I see small tube like streams of visible moisture training from the middle of an airliners wing. I assume this is induced drag created by wingtip vortices, when the aircraft is heavy, ...
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  • 833
1 vote
0 answers
214 views

How does downwash bend airflow down? How can wing-tip vortices reach the airflow in front of the wing? [duplicate]

Wing-tip vortices only start occurring when the pressure difference on the two sides of the wing starts. Wouldn't this mean that by the time the downwash from the vortices is acting on the airflow it ...
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60 votes
11 answers
40k views

How do wings generate lift?

Just the basic question that every aviation enthusiast must be curious about: exactly how does a wing generate lift?
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  • 23.6k
50 votes
8 answers
13k views

How complete is our understanding of lift?

I'm currently studying for my PPL and one of the accepted textbooks contains the following disclaimer at the end of the Principles of Flight section on lift: It is important to note that the forgoing ...
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  • 8,830
57 votes
5 answers
14k views

Is a winglet better than an equal span extension?

Is there indisputable evidence that a winglet improves performance over an equal span extension? Please note: I am only interested in L/D improvements. Winglets do improve roll performance, that is ...
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28 votes
10 answers
9k views

What is ground effect?

We've all heard the "acts like a cushion of air" explanation tossed casually around by CFIs. There's also plenty of books and reference materials that give a detailed, accurate, and complete ...
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  • 22.2k
31 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why the ground effect has such a different outcome for wings and cars?

I have some confusion concerning the ground effect. If we take two applications: Aircraft and Cars, they seem to have completely opposite effects. Aircraft From Ground effect (aerodynamics), we can ...
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  • 6,103
28 votes
5 answers
17k views

How do paper airplanes create lift if their wings are flat?

Paper airplanes' wings are completely flat, unlike the droplet shaped curvature of a full sized wing. How does a flat wing generate any lift if both sides have the same air pressure?
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  • 631
12 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can these vortices be dangerous?

There is a question related to this one right here but I'm more interested in the danger of those vortices. Are they very dangerous to cause a wake turbulence for the aircraft that comes behind this? ...
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  • 11.2k
12 votes
2 answers
29k views

How does the raked wingtip of the Boeing 787 work?

The wing tips are very different on these airplanes. The wingtip on a Boeing 787 is a sharp triangle, while the wingtip on a Boeing 737-300 is flat. British Airways Boeing 787-8 G-ZBJC wingtip | by ...
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  • 9,137
7 votes
7 answers
3k views

Does an aircraft landing on a carrier increase the carrier weight before it touches down? [closed]

The same question goes for any runway, but I guess that for small aircraft carriers, one might actually be able to measure the exact point of weight increases (e.g. measure the submersion of the hull)....
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  • 7,307
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

Can wing-tip vortices be reduced/eliminated with a rear-facing propeller near the wing-tip?

Let's say we have a propeller-driven aircraft in the pusher configuration (rear-facing propellers). If we could somehow put an engine at the wing tip (ignoring structural concerns), and maybe make the ...
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  • 17.1k
11 votes
3 answers
11k views

Does the downwash created by induced drag increase or decrease lift?

According to the theory I know, lift is produced by accelerating air downwards at the trailing edge (downwash). Hence, as downwash increases so does lift. Induced drag is due to vortices at the wing ...
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  • 731

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