A Review of the Physics of Aircraft Trailing Vortices
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Original versionSINTEF Rapport A26905. 27 p. SINTEF, 2015
In this review the formation, movement and persistence of aircraft trailing vortices are discussed. The focus is on parameters that are important for the safety and productivity of air travel and transport. This review investigates the predictability of the vortices, in particular in terms of the lifespan and durability of vortex pairs. The strong interplay between the rotational and axial velocity components in the vortex is analyzed. Different types of turbulence that can influence the airflow within the vortices are discussed, including the various atmospheric and ground-related factors that dominate the vortex behavior. Finally, instances of wakes rising back, and the still unexplained bursting of the vortices are discussed. The review also briefly covers the potential for wake vortex detection and control.