Sinusoidal Thin Contrails Explained [Meandering Solitary Hybrid Contrails; the 'Rook' Instability]

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Incidentally, I saw a solitary thin trail yesterday. Not as spectacular as above, more like the one in my post #34 in the previous page. It evolved only a little wave and dissipated in about five minutes after its formation by shrinking from the ends. The Emirates A380, flight UAE17, was descending to Manchester and passed about 14 miles southwest of my location:
Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 17.43.58.png
IMG_8170.JPG
It stopped producing contrail below 30,000 ft or less, but before that it left a typical two-strand hybrid contrail, with one strand dissipating faster than the other:
IMG_8173.JPG IMG_8175.JPG

In five or so minutes, when another flight, AF1486, approached the same patch of the sky, the remnants of the survived strand looked a bit wavy, but did not last much longer:
IMG_8179.JPG IMG_8184.JPG
 
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Trailspotter

Senior Member.
A new sighting of solitary thin trail in Dublin, Ireland on November 30, 2016 at 14:08 UTC.


A380 Contrail
by Ken Meegan, on Flickr
From FR24 playback, the only A380 at the time near Dublin was British Airways flight 286 from SFO to LHR at 39000 ft.

The trail is reminiscent to this OP photo:
Viewed at some angles, such irregular helical shapes may look very different from a sine curve, like, for example:
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
A new occurrence of the solitary thin trail, spotted on April 8, 2018 in Volgograd, Russia:
wx1080.jpg
https://www.volgograd.kp.ru/online/news/3077034/

I asked the photographer about the time of photo, she said it was 18:20 Moscow time = 15:20 UTC. This makes Lufthansa Airbus A380, Flight LH760 Frankfurt -> Delhi, the most likely culprit:
Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 18.04.22.png

LH760 track (KML attached) matches well the location of the photo:
Volgograd Lufthansa A380 trail.jpg

The plane was exiting the jet stream at the time and could have encountered clear-air turbulence:
Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 20.08.37.png https://earth.nullschool.net/#2018/...thographic=42.35,51.85,1883/loc=44.706,48.576
 

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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Via Email from Estonia:

Date Time Digitized: Feb 17, 2019 at 1:25:58 PM
DSC_0209.JPG
Metabunk 2019-02-17 09-42-49.jpg



Date Time Digitized: Feb 17, 2019 at 1:27:03 PM
DSC_0210.JPG

These are interesting as they show the solitary hybrid contrail pulling away from the conventional exhaust contrail. The close up also makes it very obvious that it's a hybrid contrail (a portion of the exhaust contrail entrained and amplified by the wake vortices). It has the classic explosive unraveling of the vortex as seen in this video of mine (which shows a more normal pair of vortices):
Source: https://youtu.be/nfwejwWlmt4
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Via Email from Estonia:

Date Time Digitized: Feb 17, 2019 at 1:25:58 PM
Is the time local or UTC? What was the location?
If it was local time, there were two A380s crossing the Estonian airspace at around 11:25 UTC that day, both following essentially the same route and passing on the sun's side of the capital Tallinn and the second populous city Tartu.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Is the time local or UTC? What was the location?
If it was local time, there were two A380s crossing the Estonian airspace at around 11:25 UTC that day, both following essentially the same route and passing on the sun's side of the capital Tallinn and the second populous city Tartu.

Some more info via email:
17.02.2019, 59.4478° N, 24.7351° E (Tallinn, ESTONIA).
First photo (https://yadi.sk/i/8CvYt7CYLVCTXQ) was taken at 13:25, and the second one (https://yadi.sk/i/m21bDrvVV2h8Bw) at 13:25.

...

Mick,
I would like to add a few details to my previous emails.
I saw this meander line about two minutes before the first shot.
The outlines of the meander were clear and sharp. After two minutes (picture1, 13:25),
the outlines in some parts of the meander became more blurred, as well as after the
next two minutes (picture 2, 13:27). From this it can likely be assumed that the meander in this
part of the firmament was formed over the entire visible length at a high speed, much
greater than the speed of any modern aircraft (?).
Content from External Source
I'm not entirely sure what he means with his second email.
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Some more info via email:
17.02.2019, 59.4478° N, 24.7351° E (Tallinn, ESTONIA).
First photo (https://yadi.sk/i/8CvYt7CYLVCTXQ) was taken at 13:25, and the second one (https://yadi.sk/i/m21bDrvVV2h8Bw) at 13:25.

...

Mick,
I would like to add a few details to my previous emails.
I saw this meander line about two minutes before the first shot.
The outlines of the meander were clear and sharp. After two minutes (picture1, 13:25),
the outlines in some parts of the meander became more blurred, as well as after the
next two minutes (picture 2, 13:27). From this it can likely be assumed that the meander in this
part of the firmament was formed over the entire visible length at a high speed, much
greater than the speed of any modern aircraft (?).
Content from External Source
I'm not entirely sure what he means with his second email.
As the photos had been taken by a smartphone, the time is almost certainly local (UTC+2). This is confirmed by the sun position in the photo from the identified camera location. All this makes the Emirates EK202 flight by A380 A6-EDY being the most likely culprit:
Screenshot 2019-02-18 at 19.57.02.png
It takes about six minutes from plane passing to its contrail developing squiggles of such amplitude.
Screenshot 2019-02-18 at 20.16.32.png

There was a strong tailwind, as the aircraft was following the jet stream during this part of the flight.
Screenshot 2019-02-18 at 20.20.22.png

And, yes, there were good conditions for contrail formation at the flight altitude:
https://earth.nullschool.net/#2019/...thographic=23.11,58.17,3000/loc=24.683,59.380
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Spotted in the sky above Haarlem, Netherlands 2021-12-21 at about 15:20... it was a cold (-2 C) frosty but very clear day...

WhatsApp Image 2021-12-21 at 15.21.26.jpeg
Nice shot. These are very recognizable wone you know what you are looking for. You can see the spinning vortices where the trail thicken slightly.

2021-12-22_09-46-44.jpg
 
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