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Wake Turbulence from a Paper Airplane

It's not just something that happens with large airliner jets, the same phenomenon occurs in smaller planes, including RC models and even down to paper airplanes.

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Video Shows Wake Turbulence from Tiny Paper Airplane

Wake Turbulence happens when an object moves through the air. It's not just something that happens with large airliner jets, the same phenomenon occurs in smaller planes, including giant scale RC models and even down to paper airplanes as the video below demonstrates. Perhaps you have experienced it flying an RC model at an event with many other aircraft flying at the same time. You fly through an area where another plane just passed and you notice turbulence. That's wake turbulence.

I've experienced this indoors flying small agile planes. When flying in a tight circle, it is possible to fly through your own wake and the see the plane get rocked by the swirling air. It's not enough to be really concerned about from a safety point of view in model aircraft, but it is an interesting bit of science. The video below does a great job of explaining wake turbulence and showing it in an artistic way using a paper airplane and a fog machine. Enjoy.

Have you experienced wake turbulence flying model airplanes before?

Last edited by Jason Cole; 06-29-2021 at 08:02 AM..
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:02 AM
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Say Ah!
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Great video! This is why I wait a bit after the turbine gets airborne before taking off
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Old 06-29-2021, 05:30 PM
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AWESOME!!!!
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Old 06-29-2021, 05:49 PM
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Old 06-30-2021, 10:35 AM
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Neat!
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Old 06-30-2021, 06:03 PM
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Wow. Incredible shots, Dude!
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Old 06-30-2021, 09:54 PM
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That is an awesome video! Who would have thought the same principles from full scale apply to a simple paper airplane!
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Old 07-04-2021, 07:12 AM
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I fly large transport airliners for a living, I have flown thru and I am sure some have flown thru mine. It can be violent, definitely something to prepare for.
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Old 07-15-2021, 06:26 AM
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The setup and video are amazing, so well done...
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Old 08-27-2021, 01:09 PM
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I love flow-viz!!

the cloud trapped inside the vortex that gets dragged along behind the airplane is part of the drag....

There are some Ground Effects Vehicle videos on yt and they did the same sort of viz....

cool stuff
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