Did You Know That the White and Orange Strips on Windsocks Are Not for Decoration?


The aviation world seems to continuously surprise us with various strange items serving particular purposes. This time we’ve decided to focus on the socks that are used in aviation. Let’s find out more about this mysterious tool together!

To start with, windsocks are usually placed at runways. They consist of a taped cone-shaped sleeve which catches the motion of air and pivots to indicate the direction of wind and its velocity. The cone shape allows the wind to enter the large end and the tapered end points away from the origin of the wind.

All the information provided by the windsock is vitally important. It helps pilots to make decisions while landing or taking off.

However, white and orange stripes on windsocks aren’t just decorations! Actually the stripes indicate the purpose windsocks are designed for! Usually they are produced in bright colors to be visible even from a distant area.

Windsocks knots

Image source: solutions4ga.com

Therefore, it is useful to know that:

  • the first stripe indicates a 3-knot breeze;
  • the second stripe indicates  a 6 knot wind;
  • the third stripe indicates  a 9 knot wind;
  • the fourth stripe indicates  a  12 knots;
  • the last stripe indicates  15 knots or stronger  wind;
  • in case the windsock is missing – don’t tempt your fate and leave the airport as soon as possible!

Aviation world is truly full of different weird items. However, every single object, which even seems to serve no purpose, counts! Each sign indicated by a windsock might save thousands of lives. Incredible, isn’t it?