Circular Contrails near Adelaide, Australia

Mobiustrip

New Member
We have an airforce (RAAF) base to the north of my location, so it's likely their aircraft might have been involved, my sighting would have put the circles to the NE of that base. The television image from "Glenn Miller" was depicting an area, off Lonsdale, to my SSW, offshore in the Gulf St Vincent.....where the trail pattern appeared again, a week later.

upload_2013-11-21_17-16-6.png
 

cloudspotter

Senior Member.
I notice on your blog you considered cloud seeding, there aren't any clouds to seed there.

I also noticed from the pictures which included the commercial jet just how misleading perspective can be. In the first one it looks like the plane is much higher then the trails.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Looking at the description of the base:
http://www.airforce.gov.au/Bases/South-Australia/RAAF-Base-Edinburgh/?RAAF-1wiukb Vk74vCBUZ9vgkzcv8 24vsrRa
Seems very likely that it was simply a test or training flight of some sort from there, doing some high altitude turns, and just happened to make a contrail.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Comment on one of the Youtube videos suggest training flights.
Although there's no need from them to be be directly overhead the base, just within around 200 miles of it, for training.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
One thing you can tell it's unlikely to be is a high altitude hold of a commercial jet, as they don't hold in circles, but in a "racetrack" pattern, like this:
 
Last edited:

occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
Hey mobius, might be able to shed some light. If those were over Adelaide during March did u give thought that they're more than likely sky writing regarding the "clipsal 500" race? The clipsal 500, for anyone else interested, is a major V8 race held in the street circuit around Adelaide every year. There's always flyovers and aerobatic stuff usually in the vicinity. The "8" pattern certainly fits with the theme.
 

occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
My bad - Clipsal was early March. Fringe festival was on about that time tho.
Having just seen the YouTube video, there's a relatively clear shot of a plane turning inside the same circle, i.e. A holding pattern so it's more than likely something to do with the RAAF planes. Doesn't look like a PC3 Orion in the video (hard to tell as it's not that high quality) which is what you usually see out of the RAAF Edinburgh base, but there's a few Hornets located there too, which would be more than capable of nice tight circles.
 

TEEJ

Senior Member.
but there's a few Hornets located there too, which would be more than capable of nice tight circles.
I agree it looks more like what a Hornet/Super Hornet would produce. On some of the turns you can see the unidentified jet and two trails (twin engines) forming before they spread. Read some of the comments on there :)

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Hornet has very closely spaced engines. These contrails look like there is more separation than you'd expect from a Hornet, which would really just leave a single solid trail.

This is from the video, color corrected slightly:



Super hornet.


I think this is a much larger 2 or 4 engined plane.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Looks like about approx 90 second rate of turn circle (video from visually vertically up 12 sec to down at 57 second). 4 degrees per second. No astonishingly faster than a standard holding pattern rate of turn at 3 degrees per second (rate 1)
 

TEEJ

Senior Member.
Good analysis, Mick. On the following video you can see the F-18 Hornet initially produce two trails but these then rapidly blend.

 

TWCobra

Senior Member.
ARDU is the RAAFs testing and development squadron. Their test areas are to the north of Adelaide and generally activated by Notam.

image.jpg

They have a F18A permanently on strength as well as other aircraft. They were a active yesterday as we flew past.

image.jpg
 

occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
I've had a look at some of the YouTube replies, I did see the one that Mick has pointed to, regarding rate 1 turns. My reasons for thinking a Hornet were just the size of the plane on the video looked fairly small and I have seen them out and about with some regularity this year (I live and work near the base). In any case the ARDU unit does all kinds of testing, not to mention DSTO, who are always sticking all kinds of new toys to the aircraft, so it wouldn't surprise me in the least if that's what we can see in this video.
 
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