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View Diary: How Airliners Work - Flaps and Slats (77 comments)

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    You can often see this on days with low ceilings.

    There are low-pressure regions around a wing, and the falling pressure causes (adiabatic) expansion/cooling, causing water to condense. I see this a lot when airliners pop out of the clouds on approach (I work under the approach at a major airport).

    You can also see it in many films of the Blue Angels and the like -- clouds form over the wings, particularly in high-g maneuvers. They're also more prone to form when flaps & slats are out on slow-moving aircraft.

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