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Thread: Why no contrails?

  1. #1
    Flight attendant
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    Why no contrails?

    Can someone please explain to me, the science of contrails? Because everything flying overhead this morning at 28000ft and above, doesn't have one.
    Or does the co-pilot have a switch in front of him marked CONTRAIL On/Off?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator speedbird1960's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfynche View Post
    Can someone please explain to me, the science of contrails? Because everything flying overhead this morning at 28000ft and above, doesn't have one.
    Or does the co-pilot have a switch in front of him marked CONTRAIL On/Off?
    It depends on the current atmospheric pressure.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrail
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  3. #3
    First officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfynche View Post
    Can someone please explain to me, the science of contrails? Because everything flying overhead this morning at 28000ft and above, doesn't have one.
    Or does the co-pilot have a switch in front of him marked CONTRAIL On/Off?
    The UK is having fairly typical April weather at the moment - a cool dry low humidity air flow from the north/north west/west.
    When the humidity is low - contrail developement is poor or non existent.
    You may have seen the trick for tv cameramen by Siberians in winter - throwing a cup of boiling hot water into the air and seeing it vapourise and disappear immediately. That's what happens when the humidity up there is very low!
    The prevailing air flow for the UK however is typically from the south west bringing with it humid air from the Azores region - ideal for contrails - because humid air cannot absorb water very well. The higher the humidity the better for contrails - so not long to wait!!
    Last edited by Mike Griffiths; 2012-04-11 at 16:16.

  4. #4
    Flight attendant
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    Contrail.jpg

    Go on! You're all having me on. All this science Mumbo Jumbo.
    I just knew there had to be a switch somewhere on the flight deck, for con trails!
    Where's the profit in world peace? Or a cure for the common cold?

  5. #5
    First officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfynche View Post

    Go on! You're all having me on. All this science Mumbo Jumbo.
    No we're not. Honest.

    http://www.dot-spotter.co.uk/page1.php

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