Wing tip Vortices
The phenomena of wing tip vortices is caused by the pressure difference between the upper and the lower wing surfaces. Air, being a fluid, flows from an area of high pressure to an area of lower pressure. This means that the air on the lower wing surface flows from the fuselage or centre of the wing to the tips, were it flows around the wing tip towards the upper wing surface. With the forward motion of the aircraft, it causes a ‘ horizontal tornado’ emanating from the trailing edge of the wing tip and is one element of Aerodynamics.
At one stage or another we all curse ‘the @@##$% who gave a bloody wake’. Well, here is a series of photo’s taken at Kai Tak Airport, Honk Kong. This is about the most graphical example of wing tip vortices that I’ve come across. Although it is unlikely that you will ever fly behinda Boeing 747, I’m sure that you will keep a good safe distance to your fellow pilots after seeing these photo’s.