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Experiments have been performed to study the co-rotating wing-tip vortex pair produced by a pair of rectangular wings in a split-wing configuration. Detailed measurements made in cross-sections upstream and downstream of merger reveal, for the first time, the complex turbulence structure of this flow. The vortices spiral around each other and merge some 20 chordlengths downstream of the wings. As merger is approached the vortices lose their axisymmetry – their cores develop lopsided tangential velocity fields and the mean vorticity field is convected into filaments. The cores also become part of a single turbulence structure dominated by a braid of high turbulence levels that links them together. The braid, which quite closely resembles the structure formed between adjacent spanwise eddies of transitional mixing layers, grows in intensity with downstream distance and extends into the vortex cores. Unlike a single tip vortex, the unmerged cores appear turbulent.
The merging of the vortices wraps the cores and the flow structure that surrounds them into a large turbulent region with an intricate double spiral structure. This structure then relaxes to a closely axisymmetric state. The merged core appears stable and develops a structure similar to the laminar core of a vortex shed from a single wing. However, the turbulent region formed around the vortex core during the merger process is much larger and more axisymmetric than that found around a single wing-tip vortex.
Originally posted by illusions
Oh, wait a minute.
No I didn't. I don't remember anything like that from when I was a kid.
I never saw contrails that lingered for miles and miles when I was a kid.