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Aeroplane and clouds

  1. Sep 12, 2009 #1


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    Why is it that an aeroplane can travel through a small cloud and the cloud does not seem to have been disturbed.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Why would the cloud be disturbed? Airplanes are designed to be aerodynamic: aerodynamic means not disturbing the air.

    It's like a skilled diver diving into a pool but making very little splash.
  4. Sep 12, 2009 #3


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    There is still the thrust from jet engines.
  5. Sep 12, 2009 #4
    Well, they are disturbed a little.
  6. Sep 12, 2009 #5


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    I think the cloud only seems undisturbed.

    A jet airliner produces vortices from its wingtips. Those vortices take a long time to dissipate. When two airliners are flying in the same corridor (which is generally avoided but inevitable when approaching a landing strip), then the separation must be at least two minutes. Too short a time interval and the still violent turbulence may crash the trailing aeroplane. Wherever a jet airliner flies, it will leave heavy disturbance.

    But if inside a cloud a portion of the air mass is turbulent, would you spot that from the ground? I don't see how. You cannot see inside a cloud; it's a cloud when you cannot see through it.

  7. Sep 12, 2009 #6


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    Homework Helper

    Scroll down about 1/3rd into this web page to see the effect:

    http://home.comcast.net/~clipper-108/lift.htm [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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