We use our new knowledge of the motion of turbulent vortex rings  to speculate upon the dynamical characteristics of the trailing vortex pair which forms the wake of a lifting surface. We present an interpretation of common observations which suggests that the gross features of the two systems are similar, at least before the aircraft wake distorts due, among other things, to a self-induced instability. The theory presented in  is extended to the two-dimensional case and predictions of the shape of aircraft trails are displayed in nondimensional form. As a special case we present a preliminary prediction for the wake shape of a 747, in cruise condition, for a set of parameters that are only approximately correct. Only comparison with actual observations can further refine these guesses. Unfortunately the required observations are not available for any aircraft type. However, the present work suggests a program of measurements which would help in narrowing the possible parameter range. Comments on the motion of vortex rings and vortex pairs in a stratified atmosphere complete the presentation.
The Motion of Aircraft Trailing Vortices
Departments of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Cite Icon Cite
- Search Site
Maxworthy, T. (June 1, 1975). "The Motion of Aircraft Trailing Vortices." ASME. J. Appl. Mech. June 1975; 42(2): 279–282. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3423567
Download citation file:
- Ris (Zotero)
- Reference Manager
Get Email Alerts
Thermal Expansion Induced Neutrality of a Circular and an Annular Elastic Inhomogeneity
J. Appl. Mech (December 2019)