wake vortex

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An aircraft-generated wake vortex made visible by artificially-generated smoke.


wake vortex (plural wake vortices)

  1. (aviation, aerodynamics) One of the paired vortices formed behind any heavier-than-air aircraft when producing lift, created by the velocity differential between the air being accelerated downwards by the wings (or other lifting surface), on the one hand, and the unaccelerated air beyond the aircraft's wingtips, on the other.

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