VO-RI-23  << previous picture back to the gallery next picture >> 
smoke trails
A plane flies through a closed loop in one of its self-created smoke trails. The trails get their solid-looking appearance from a unique vortex smoke system designed by pilot Herb BAKER and built into the wingtips of his ex-Navy T-28 airplane. Because the smoke is released in the wingtip it makes the typical stream of twisting, tornadic air visible that is formed by high and low air pressures created by the shape of the wings. Surprisingly, the two trails of smoke disconnect and then reconnect into giant rings and other amazing shapes, a phenomenon that has yet to be fully explained by aeronautical engineers.

Photo taken during the "Airfest 2007" air show at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. See next image for a closer view of the unusual properties of these smoke trails.

[© "Ernie" - photo shown with permission (more images of these unusual smoke trails can be found at and at]