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Aircraft wing vortices

Aircraft wing vortices

T610/0266

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Credit

PEKKA PARVIAINEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PEKKA PARVIAINEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Aircraft wing vortices. A spiral of air flowing over the upper surface of an airplane wing during takeoff. This is created by a vortex generator (horizontal plate at bottom right) attached to the engine cowling. A large engine close to the wing can create a large turbulent 'shadow' across the wing, reducing its effectiveness at low speed. Vortex generators either side of the engine create streamers of spinning air that pinches the sides of this turbulent region together to minimise this disturbance. Vortex generators such as this are common on passenger jets such as the Airbus A320 family and (as here) the Boeing 737.

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