Wingtip vortices

Wingtip vortices, Turbulence caused by difference in air pressure on either side of wing.

Wingtip vortices image

Wingtip vortices are circular patterns of rotating air left behind a wing as it generates lift. One wingtip vortex trails from the tip of each wing. Wingtip vortices are sometimes named trailing or lift-induced vortices because they also occur at points other than at the wing tips. Indeed, vorticity is trailed at any point on the wing where the lift varies span-wise (a fact described and quantified by the lifting-line theory); it eventually rolls up into large vortices near the wingtip, at the edge of flap devices, or at other abrupt changes in wing planform. Wingtip vortices are associated with induced drag, the imparting of downwash, and are a fundamental consequence of three-dimensional lift generation.
This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia® - the free encyclopedia created and edited by its online user community. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.