Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Vortex breakdown

  1. Aug 17, 2004 #1
    does any one know what's breakdown of a vortex. what is its significance in airplane design?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    <background vortex information>
    When fluid flows over an aerofoil as with air over an aeroplane's wings, a phenomenon known as vortex shedding occurs. This can be observed (in a wind tunnel) as a series of vortices coming off the trailing edge of the wing. A vortex will appear in a clockwise direction from the upper surface, then in an anticlockwise direction from the lower surface, and this cycle repeats itself. Vortex shedding caused the failure of the famous Tacoma Narrows bridge, - the frequency of vortex shedding matched the natural frequency of the bridge.
    </background info>

    Now, to answer your question. The issue of "vortex breakdown" involves the amount of time it takes for these vortices to settle down after an aircraft has passed through the air. If another aircraft passes through the same air before the vortices have subsided the following aircraft can experience severe turbulations. This is the reason that ATC allow a set time between aircraft taking off on the same runway (and not for collision avoidance!).
  4. Aug 18, 2004 #3
    i guess you are confused between vortex wake and wing tip vortex. what i was asking is the "vortex breakdouwn(burst)" phenomenon on delta wings which is dictated by reynold number.
  5. Aug 18, 2004 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ah, vortex burst, sorry, was confused by the term "breakdown".

    Perhaps this link may prove useful:

    http://www.sv.vt.edu/classes/ESM4714/Student_Proj/class93/schaeffl/vortex.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  6. Sep 1, 2004 #5
    thanx it is useful
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Vortex breakdown
  1. The Vortex doubt (Replies: 1)

  2. Vortex Flow (Replies: 1)

  3. Ideal Vortex (Replies: 1)

  4. Vortex tube ? (Replies: 2)