Wingtip Vortices in Ground Effect

[original media no longer available]

If you’ve ever watched airplane contrails fade, you’ve probably observed the Crow instability, which causes the trailing wingtip vortices of the plane to interact and distort. The same effect is explored in the video above with the addition of ground effect. The first clip shows a pair of counter-rotating vortices from the side, showing a periodic pattern of thickening and thinning along the vortices. The second clip shows cross-sectional slices of the vortices at a thin and a thick point.

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