Topic Author
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:43 pm

Turboprop's Make Con Trails?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 6:41 am

This is probably a stupid question, but if the conditions were right and a turboprop were high enough, would it make condensation trails? Or do only jets that do that? Out here we have lots of B1900's and Dash 8's, and I was wondering if they are capable of producing them. Thanks in advance.

Mr Spaceman
Posts: 2723
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Turboprop's Make Con Trails?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:09 am

Hello Alert3.

I don't think it's a stupid question.

I would think that the answer is YES, as long as there's enough moisture in the tuboprop's exhaust streams and it's flying high where the air temp is cold enough to make the moisture in the exhaust gases condense into visible contrails. There's probably a lot of turboprops overhead of us everyday that are leaving contrails, but we don't see them because they disipate to quickly.

Back in 1989/90 I lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba where it gets extremely cold outside during the winter. It's normal to have an outside air temperature below -30 degrees C during the daytime in February. One day, I remember seeing a little Cessna 150 flying around 800 feet over me on a very cold (about -32 C before the windchill) clear, sunny day, and it was leaving a thin white contrail that was around 40 feet long! I thought that was very neat to see.  Big thumbs up

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
Posts: 9576
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:09 am

RE: Turboprop's Make Con Trails?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 7:12 am

Yes they can.

Takes low temperatures and more to the point, low dew point.

I used to see contrails left by B-29s, B-36s, Strats and Connies when I was a kid. So even recips can leave them.

But I have not seen anything like that in a long time.

Maybe they burn cleaner now.

The conditions for them to form are most commonly found above thirty thousand or so. Not many props bother to go that high.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.

RE: Turboprop's Make Con Trails?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 8:34 am

Yes they can and do if flown high enough in the right atmospheric conditions. To follow up on what SlamClick wrote, just about every WWII movie with B-17s shows shots of contrails left by the bombers and their fighter escorts.

Posts: 553
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2001 10:39 am

RE: Turboprop's Make Con Trails?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 11:05 am

Absolutely turboprops can leave contrails. However, I have never actually seen it (except in photos of Electras and the like). Next time I am up FL250 in the Dash 8 I will have to get a turn from ATC to take a look!

The Dash may not leave many contrails, but if you look carefully you might just see a dirty brown streak of turbine oil getting left behind! (Jokes of course, but the Pratts on the Dash do leak allot).

Topic Author
Posts: 108
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:43 pm

RE: Turboprop's Make Con Trails?

Fri Feb 20, 2004 1:05 pm

Mr. Spaceman, Slamclick, Jetguy, and scooter... thanks for your replies!!.. they are appreciated. I especially liked the Cessna 150 Mr. Spaceman talked about... I would love to see a Cessna leaving a con-trail!! You are all so smart!!! Thanks a bunch


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