Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some Amazing Things Happen When A Jet Breaks The Sound Barrier

For an airplane to break the sound barrier, it must hit speeds of about 770 mph — when it does that a couple of things happen.
All the air in front of the craft gets pushed together, can't get out of its own way — and when that magic number gets hit — the air finally breaks out of its own way and crashes behind the plane causing a sonic boom.
The boom is literally an explosion of sound waves that travel with the plane as long as it's flying at that speed.
But the moment that first barrage of air pounds back over the airplane it sometimes condenses or sweeps up vapor from the jets engine, moisture in the air, and even sea water — resulting in some pictures like these.
Supersonic plane

This F/A-18F Super Hornet flew over visitors aboard the USS Kitty Hawk and stunned everyone with a supersonic demo

While this could make a great Valentine's Day card
Like a portal into another dimension
Another odd shape of vapor as this F-22 Raptor cuts through the sky and slips past the speed of sound

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