Whilst wind vanes or weather vanes have been used for years in order to determine the wind’s direction, windsocks are a much more modern and, in many ways, better alternative to wind vanes. Most people are familiar with wind vanes, of course, as they are often seen on top of the roofs of houses and barns – but today, windsocks have an array of uses, and more people choose windsocks over weather vanes or wind vanes for various reasons. Windsocks are also known as wind cones, air socks, or air cones, and windsocks are more popular for industrial grade and aviation applications rather than just for a farm or rural or urban home.
The construction and appearance of windsocks
Windsocks are comprised of a piece of sturdy fabric (often nylon) which is shaped like a cone, with one end which is narrow and another end which is wide. As its name implies, it looks like a sock, and the ‘sock’ will blow according to the direction of the wind. Windsocks wouldn’t be complete without windsock poles, and windsock poles can come in a variety of different materials, which include the more common steel plus aluminium and fibreglass. Windsock poles can also be either permanent or temporary, but it’s important to choose the right attachments and poles for windsocks so they can last longer and be more efficient as well. Windsocks today are as sturdy as they come, with windsocks that are built for heavy duty applications which can be either snapped on or laced on, as can be seen at Windsocks Direct.
How windsocks work
Windsocks are built to determine the direction of the wind as well as its speed. The windsock is built to flow and blow freely according to the force of the wind. It’s important to note, however, that the direction in which the windsock flows will not be the wind’s direction – it will be the opposite. So, if a windsock blows pointing north, the direction of the wind is south.
As mentioned, a windsock can also determine the speed of the wind. Since it is placed on a high spot or location, especially on a long pole, the wind speed can be tracked according to the angle of the windsock. For example, if a windsock is fully inflated, this can mean that the wind is traveling at a speed of about 27 kilometres per hour.
The various applications of windsocks
Many of us have probably seen windsocks used on the runways of airports, as windsocks are crucial in helping pilots and the staff of the airport determine the direction as well as the speed of the wind. Aside from airports, windsocks are widely used in various manufacturing locations, particularly when it comes to manufacturing plants. Manufacturing plants which make use of gases or other toxic materials can use windsocks to find out which direction the wind is blowing when they release these gases or toxic materials.
Another use for windsocks is along motorways and other areas which are open to the public. Aside from this, windsocks can be used on boats, and it serves as a valuable aid when it comes to proper navigation.
Image attributed to Pixabay.com