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Wake Vortex Study at Wallops Island Feature Summary

Physics in Your World
Wing Vortex Wake
This photo (hi-res version) shows the vortex wake behind a small propeller plane.  To learn more about this photo, visit Wing Vortex Wake.

The energy in the vortex behind the wing comes at the expense of the aircraft's speed, so minimizing these vortices is important for aircraft design. To learn more,, see the Smithsonian's Vortex Drag.

(This feature was updated on July 16, 2013.)
photo credit: NASA; <a href="" target="_blank">image source</a>
photo credit: NASA; image source
Image URL:
September 16, 2007 - October 1, 2007