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condensation trail[‚kän·dən′sā·shən ‚trāl]
A visible trail of condensed water vapor or ice particles left behind an aircraft, an airfoil, or such, in motion through the air. Also known as contrail; vapor trail.
A visible cloud streak, usually brilliantly white, which trails behind an aircraft, missile, or other vehicle in flight under certain conditions. It is caused by the formation of water droplets, or sometimes ice crystals, resulting from sudden compression and then expansive cooling of the air through which the aircraft, missile, or vehicle passes. Also called contrails and vapor trails.