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Aviation Words — Upwash

By Ian Brown, Editor

January 2020 - Upwash means the upward movement of air just before the leading edge of the wing. A corresponding downwash occurs at the trailing edge. In keeping with our reverse travel through the alphabet in previous months, we needed an aviation word beginning with "U" and there aren't many. Next month, "T" — now that's a whole different story.

Incidentally, I watched a pilot who was interested in "seeing" the upwash at his wing roots on his low-wing aircraft. He was determined to make his aircraft as slippy as possible by fairing everywhere he could. His interesting technique was to smear dirty engine oil, the dirtier the better, on the fuselage ahead of the wing root and then go flying. This allowed him to see the air flow pattern caused by the oil streaks and make the appropriate custom wing root fairings.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and upwash last night's supper dishes.

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