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Engine and gun smoke appears incorrect when flying with wind


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When flying perpendicular to a steady wind, the smoke from guns and engines appears to be trailing behind the aircraft along its ground track, rather than along its path through the air. The effect is that the smoke doesn't trail straight back along the aircraft's longitudinal axis, but instead at an angle.


Contrails do appear to move correctly in wind, so an easy way to view this is to fly with the A-10 at a high enough altitude to form contrails, perpendicular to the wind, and then fire the gun. The gun smoke trails behind at an angle. In the attached screenshot there is a strong wind from the left side of the picture (from the plane's right).


I've also attached a very short track showing this. The wind is at 30m/s to make it easier to see.


[EDIT] The title should probably be something more like "Engine and gun smoke drifts incorrectly in wind".



Edited by NoJoe
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