Smoke from engine? [No, it is Water vapour] | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Smoke from engine? [No, it is Water vapour]

miniyazz

Intern
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
76
Flying on QF36 today (SIN-MEL) and coming in to land noticed what appeared to be smoke coming over the wing around where the near port side engine would be located: 2019-11-15 06.01.23.jpg

It came and went seemingly related to the amount of thrust being applied, at least based on my subjective assessment.

Thoughts?
 

tgh

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Apr 23, 2006
Messages
1,433
I believe that it is water vapour , probably caused by differential air pressures.
Repost on the " Ask the pilot" thread if you don't get a definitive answer here
 

miniyazz

Intern
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
76
It was noticeable for at least a few minutes towards the end of the flight, and only from that one point on the wing that I could see. Just more information - not sure how it relates the the possibility of water vapour.

Thanks
 

woodborer

Active Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
770
I've seen that or something similar quite a few times. As far as I know it's water vapour (or a contrail)
 

eric2011

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
1,910
Flights
My Map
"These are a by-product of the lift forces which hold aircraft up in the sky. Lift comes about because the air pressure is low above the wing, and a drop in air pressure (and temperature) tends to cause invisible water vapour (gas) to condense into the visible water droplets (liquid) we see as what you described as smoke"

Moisture will condense around other spots too, such as the flap fairings and engine attachment pylons. You’ll witness what appears to be a stream of white smoke pouring from the top of an engine during takeoff and landing. This is water vapor caused by invisible currents around the pylon. Other times the area just above the surface of the wing will suddenly flash into a white puff of localized cloud. Again, this is condensation brought on by the right combo of moisture, temperature and pressure
 
Last edited:

DC3

Established Member
AFF Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2010
Messages
3,587
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
I see water vapour. :p

Edit: No need for a new thread. See post # 4
 

miniyazz

Intern
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
76
Thank you for the detailed explanation, eric2011!

Quite cool to watch, reminiscent of aerodynamics testing on e.g. cars. Apart from the imminent death and destruction, of course 😅
 

AviatorInsight

Active Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2016
Messages
703
Not limited to over the wings either. As an engine spools up for take off and if there’s plenty of humidity, as the air is being drawn in you may see what appears to be a little cyclone extending from the bottom of the nacelle to the ground.
There may also be a white cloud that forms inside the nacelle as well as the pressure drops.
996C2AA6-7887-4B03-A8A6-EDB5D71D1CC3.jpeg415EE52A-E3D9-44BF-9616-F1527818EF9B.jpeg
 

AFF on Air Podcast

  • British Airways Executive Club – AIR025
    Sat, 30 Nov 2019 22:53:26 AEDT
      Many Australians join Qantas Frequent Flyer by default. But even if you fly with Qantas regularly, you could benefit by using the British Airways Executive Club frequent f ...
  • Married Segments & More – AIR024
    Sat, 16 Nov 2019 04:32:20 AEDT
      Airlines seem to love married segments, but for frequent flyers and travel agents they can be extremely frustrating. Sometimes you'll find an award seat on a flight you w ...
  • HARS (Historic Aircraft Restoration Society) – AIR023
    Sat, 02 Nov 2019 13:24:03 AEDT
      The Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) boasts a collection of over 60 aircraft, including a retired Qantas 747, Super Constellation and DC-3s. John Travolta's Bo ...
  • “Hidden City” Court Case – AIR022
    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 09:30:46 AEDT
      Earlier this year, German airline Lufthansa tried to sue a passenger that exploited the loophole of hidden-city ticketing by skipping the last flight on their ticket. This ...
  • Summer in Europe – AIR021
    Sat, 05 Oct 2019 17:28:53 AEST
      Qantas and Virgin Australia are fighting over two rare and lucrative new landing slots for Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Meanwhile, four European airlines have gone bankrupt in ...

Community Statistics

Threads
83,930
Messages
1,953,563
Members
51,384
Latest member
Caroline rickie
Top