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A visible trail of streaks of condensed water vapor or ice crystals sometimes forming in the wake of an aircraft. Also called vapor trail.


(Aeronautics) another name for vapour trail
[C20: from con(densation) + trail]



a visible condensation of water droplets or ice crystals from the atmosphere, occurring in the wake of an aircraft, rocket, or missile.
[1940–45; con(densation) trail]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.contrail - an artificial cloud created by an aircraft; caused either by condensation due to the reduction in air pressure above the wing surface or by water vapor in the engine exhaust
cloud - a visible mass of water or ice particles suspended at a considerable altitude


n (Aviat) → Kondensstreifen m
References in periodicals archive ?
The contrails caused excitement as they appeared as four lines in tight formation.
Climate change is occurring and it is largely attributable to human activity, but it has nothing to do with contrails, which are visible lines that emanate from jet exhaust at high altitudes, given sufficient water vapor present.
Many of us often wonder why some airplanes leave contrails that can last seemingly forever, while others leave a contrail that doesn't last but a few seconds.
The NASAs newly unleashed report has asserted that biofuels reduce aircraft-generated particle emissions by 50% to 70%, trimming damaging contrails.
During flight tests in 2013 and 2014 near NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, data was collected on the effects of alternative fuels on engine performance, emissions and aircraft-generated contrails at altitudes flown by commercial airliners.
CoCiP is a Lagrangian model that traces individual contrails forming behind aircraft flying along given flight routes for given ambient meteorology.
first fine contrails scratching vacant sky), same dislike to sit while
The report, ordered by Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis back in February, determined that contrails (short for condensation trails) are responsible for the phenomenon observed where white trails crisscross the sky, sometimes lingering there for hours.
They say that normal contrails left by aircraft dissipate relatively quickly, and contrails that do not dissipate must contain additional substances.
Oval contrails left by a mystery jet plane were spotted over the region on Tuesday morning.
Contrails and aircraft-induced cirrus clouds are reputed being the largest components of aviation-induced global warming, even greater than carbon dioxide ([CO.
There were no wings, no audible sound, no propellers, no finnedempennage, no smoke, no contrails.