Modern pollution in aviation

On the weekend I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time on the afternoon watching American aircraft from World War II flying in and out of Moffett Field airbase. Whilst I was there, two other, more modern, aircraft used the airfield.

The planes observed on Sunday afternoon were:

One very stark difference between both the P-3/Vomit-Comet and the WWII planes was the level of pollution that could be observed coming from the engines of the aircraft and quite surprisingly, it was the WWII planes that produced no observable pollution and the two more modern ones that made the blue sky brown as they passed. I don't know much about the engineering that goes into the engines for planes but I, just like everyone else that was present, could discern the difference between the engines that appeared to burn cleanly vs dirty. And it wasn't just a little bit of pollution that those two planes left in the air as they went on their way.

Maybe the FAA needs to come up with a "smog check" equivalent for planes...

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