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Windsock Heavy Duty High Visibility - What You Need To Know About Windsock

Published : 07/13/2019 16:53:10
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Windsock Heavy Duty High Visibility - What You Need To Know About Windsock

A windsock is a conical shape textile tube (which resembles a giant sock, hence its name) designed to indicate wind direction and relative wind speed. It is normally placed next to the runway or a helipad, so that pilots can clearly see it after lining up on the runway or coming in for landing.

It´s also indicated on most airport ground charts with this little symbol. During night operation it is well lit either from the ground or lamps installed within the sock. It´s general purpose is to give pilots a quick reference as to where the wind is coming from and the approximate speed. Before accelerating for take-off you take a quick glance at it, so you can give the necessary rudder inputs whilst rolling down the runway.  To determine the wind direction you look at your compass, check your heading, and then estimate the pointing angle of the windsock relative to your heading.

The wind direction is the opposite of the direction in which the windsock is pointing. Which means, if we had a wind blowing from the west at 270 degrees and 10 knots, the windsock would point towards heading east, cause of the direction it is blowing in.

But why does the sock have red and white rings ?

They are there to measure the wind velocity. Each ring indicates 5 knots of wind. So as we look at this pictures, we have one,two rings fully blown up, and the last three are slightly tilted downwards, so that sums up to 2 rings times 5 knots, respectively windspeed of 10 knots. 

But at the same time you can see that the sock sometimes is fully blown up and flapping about, so you could expect some gusts as well. In the background I can see the runway, knowing it´s heading of 260 degrees I assume that the sock is pretty parallel to it, so guess the wind direction will be approximately 260 degrees. So let´s take a look at the ATIS read out. So not to bad what we´ve estimated, 260 degrees 10knots and gust, and if you compare that to the ATIS read out we got there fairly close. Again, a windsock is only for a quick reference, if you want a proper wind information you would have to listen to the ATIS or ask tower control.

So you can see, they are fairly easy to interpret and a great help to get a quick wind information. They are easy to install and cheap to maintain. It is required by flight regulations that even the smallest airport has at least one visible windsock. 


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Importance of Windsocks

The shape of a windsock is similar to that of a sock. The shape of a windsock is designed in a way so that it can indicate the speed and direction of wind. It is in simple a device that resembles a conical tube tied to a windsock pole. These devices can be found all around us are used for a variety of reasons.

It Helps in Aviation
Aviation windsocks are widely used in airports. These windsocks are used on airport runways to help the pilot ensure a safe landing and takeoff as it is an indicator of wind direction and velocity.

It is an Essential Device in Chemical Facilities
Windsocks are most commonly used in chemical facilities and plants, helping workers to calculate wind speed and direction, so that they can be careful not to let harmful toxins get exposed in the air. Using windsocks can greatly help various chemical plants and facilities in reducing environmental hazards.

It is a Tool to Calculate Wind Speed
Windsocks are an important instrument used in seaports, highways, motorways, and in mountainous regions to calculate wind speed. If wind blows at a speed of 17 mph or higher, it will spread open in a full horizontal direction making it easier to indicate about the weather conditions.

It Comes in Various Stripes and Colors
Windsocks are made in bright contrasting colors, making them incredibly easy to notice even from a distance. Windsocks can also be custom-made.
Windsocks are also available in many frames such as standard, ball bearing, extended ball bearing frames, and these are constructed and designed from high-end materials.

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