How are contrails left by airplanes generated and affected?

What are airplane contrails?

The white trails that aircraft sometimes leave in their wake are produced as a consequence of the high temperature of the gas jets that come out of the engines (often at temperatures above 500º C) in contrast to the low temperatures – of the order of minus 56ºC – which prevail at the heights at which commercial flights normally take place, which causes condensation and subsequent freezing of the water vapor they contain. These condensation trails – popularly known as “contrails”, a word derived from the English “condensation trails” – can turn into clouds, depending on the prevailing humidity, temperature and wind conditions at all times.

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Large aircraft such as the Antonov 124, the Airbus Beluga, or the Super Guppy are always in the spotlight due to their large wingspan and their ability to carry extremely large loads, such as parts of other aircraft, components of spaceships, or even other whole planes.

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Of the substance that allows our plane to rise in the sky, we are often only clear about the economic cost involved. As the saying goes, “It is not the sustenance that keeps the aircraft in flight, but the wallet.

This time we will see that beyond the price of fuel, it is important to know other aspects that will allow us to fly more safely, more ecologically and, why not, more economically.

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Find out more about other major companies in the world of aviationThe Boeing 787 is a passenger aircraft manufactured and developed by the American company Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The aerospace company is a world leader, and in permanent competition with another giant, the European consortium Airbus, with whom it competes for the title of world’s largest manufacturer of commercial and military aircraft.

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After the frenchman Clément Ader was the first to take off a flying machine in 1897, in the following years many inventors tried to be the pioneers in inventing an airplane. Their prototypes were very useful for combat in the First World War, but it was not until the end of the war that the first companies dedicated to the transport of passengers appeared. The first airlines were born between the 1920s and 1930s. Below, we will review the five oldest and still operating today, which has its merit considering the continuous changes to which companies have had to adapt in recent years.

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Air freight is used in almost all industrial sectors and distribution chains. The use of the airplane as a means of transport is ideal for certain goods, such as high value finished products, urgent goods, etc., but is not advisable for others such as bulk, low value and high weight and/or volume goods, for technical or cost reasons.

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evolución de Iberia

In this second part of the company’s history, we are going to talk about the evolution of Iberia from the arrival of the reactors in the 1960s to the present day.

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Historia de Boeing

The history of Boeing begins on July 15, 1916, when a company called Pacific Aero Products Co. is established in Seattle (USA). At that time the company was nothing more than a small factory of seaplanes and aeronautical parts located by the Duwamish River. Read more

Aviones más rápidos del mundo

With the discovery of the jet engine and the pressurised cabin, limiting factors such as altitude and speed became irrelevant. This led to the development of the fastest planes in the world. Read more

Titanes de la aviación - Airbus

This May, Airbus will celebrate 51 years of activity, going from being a nascent beginner to one of the giants of the aeronautical industry. Read more