There’s a great new series on the BBC in the UK: Britain From Above, that shows how various things look from a high perspective, using very interesting visualization techniques.
One of the most interesting (for me) was an episode that showed all the air traffic in UK airspace in a 24 hour period. That involved mapping the positions of 7,500 aircraft, showing how they crisscross the UK:
Here’s a video:
Here’s the same video on Youtube, if you can’t see the above:
This is just part of them, captured midway through the day. But it’s interesting to see the width of the paths they fly along – particulalrly those that fly over London to Manchester and Scotland. It’s also very interesting to see the area where paths cross. These would very obviously give rise to the to contrail “grids” that some people feel are so suspicious.
Britain has nothing like the amount of traffic that the US has. According to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association:
On any given day, more than 87,000 flights are in the skies in the United States. Only one-third are commercial carriers, like American, United or Southwest. On an average day, air traffic controllers handle 28,537 commercial flights (major and regional airlines), 27,178 general aviation flights (private planes), 24,548 air taxi flights (planes for hire), 5,260 military flights and 2,148 air cargo flights (Federal Express, UPS, etc.). At any given moment, roughly 5,000 planes are in the skies above the United States. In one year, controllers handle an average of 64 million takeoffs and landings.
Here you can make out the shape of the US purely from the flight paths. You can see the major cities, and the air links between them. You can also see that there is really nowhere in the US where you don’t have commercial flights flying over you. Even more, there’s hardly anywhere where you don’t have two or more flight routes intersecting near you.
For an interactive look at this data, see:
So it’s no surprise that in regions where the weather is right for contrails to persist, then you’ll see some kind of “grid”, or intersecting contrails in the sky, like this: