Breaking The Sound Barrier post

This phenomenon only happens at the instant an aircraft breaks the sound barrier.

And it literally appears like the aircraft goes through a wall.


I hope you find these pictures as fascinating as I do.

posted by Ammie @ 1:17 AM,

16 Comments:

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Matt_The_Wise said...

This phenomenon is called a Prandtl-Glauert Singularity. It is formed just before a sonic boom, when the sweeping air around the vehicle pressure and temperature drops low enough to allow water vapour to imediatley condense into droplets as a fine mist.

 
At 10:53 AM, Blogger Suga said...

hey these are very interesting, nice post

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Wise Head Young Shoulders said...

woah. thats cool. VOODOO

 
At 10:37 PM, Blogger haavik said...

I am pretty sure that this can happen at much less the the speed of sound. At least one of the pics shows trees in the background of a "Blue Angel". There are few, if any places that allow super sonic flight in the US. If I am wrong let me know. Cool pics though

 
At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This can happen low speeds too, like haavik said. Only it doesn't look the same as these pics, which are supersonic N waves. At super sonic transition zones the pressure builds ahead of the canopy and tail. But at low speeds they are usually around the canards and the wingtips (wingtip votices), or form a delta shape along the wings.

 
At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Ørjan Flatseth said...

Cool pictures! I have always wondered about one thing though: When a plane goes form supersonic back to lower speeds - doesen't it have to go through the sound barrier again?

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger fhunjunkie said...

Yeah, it's called photoshop where I'm from...

 
At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are wrong.

 
At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a badly comrpessed jpeg, not trees haavik.

Also, you may not go at super sonic anywhere over land, as this is illegal (it would destroy glass and buildings)

 
At 8:53 AM, Anonymous Lt. Col. "Goose" said...

haavik i am sorry but as far as military jets go, there are many restricted airspaces within which they may accelerate beyond mach (aka, break the sound barrier). they do not allow supercruising (sustained flight above mach without afterburner) unless it is a norad issued response, etc. when they do this however they fly much lower than commercial planes, and lower than any other small planes... all of which are being tracked by radar and that data is transmitted seemlessly to the jet's radar and to norad via intercommunication... this is done in real time. the blue angels home is presently in Pensacola, Florida, but was originally in Corpus Christi, Texas.
virtually every single air show with a jet will have them breaking the sound barrier, especially the blue angels who are the cream of the crop military pilots (they are the best that the united states has to offer, period.) beyond this there are plenty of military restricted airspaces which allow Mach+ flight on a regular basis. Also, during testing, military contracted companies (Lockheed-Martin, Boeing, etc) are given clearance for flight testing... example: the flight of the SR-71 from New York to London in 1 hour, 54 minutes, and 56.4 seconds on September 1, 1974.
You are correct in your assumption that there are few places that allow super sonic flight in the US. What you're missing is that the Military can get clearance for any of their aircrafts to do this within the united states, any where, at any time. These pictures you see are from air shows, guarunteed, where the airspace is pre-cleared for sub-sonic and super-sonic flight.
what you are wrong about is that this phenomenon can occur at much less than the speed of sound. what you see is an actual cone of sound waves (represented by water vapour) created by the pressure of the planes passing the speed of sound, thus, in essence, it cannot be recreated under circumstances less than that speed. this is called Mach.
whenever an aircraft passes mach, it creates this 'sonic boom' that you hear! pretty cool shit, i've heard them on the ground, in the air next to another military jet... but flying the pilot doesn't hear it as he's actually traveling faster than the sound waves can travel... you feel it though believe me. it's an amazing experience the first time you pass mach.
i hope this was informative!

 
At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Live in the Imperial Valley and you can hear the Blue Angels popping the sound barrier...

 
At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Talmon said...

Supersonic flights are allowed over. Maine, Montana, Alaska, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and over all national parks of sufficent size.

 
At 5:03 AM, Anonymous FreddyC (techno dan) said...

haavik is right, depending on the density of the air, the speed needed by the jet changes, i forget which way it goes, think heavyer it is, slower speed needed, like on a cloudy wet day, they can speed past well with in the limits of the area there flying over and create it (and with out creating the sonic boom)

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This phenomenon can occur at much lower speeds that Mach, depending on the conditions in the air. It is the air condensing into a fine mist, but it can happen just as easily well below mach, given the right conditions.

 
At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe not all,,but willing to bet at least one of these is Photo Shopped.

 
At 12:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i didn't actually hear it myself, but in bay city michigan where i live there was a sonic boom from a jet plane flying over lake huron. I was at wrestling practice, but most other people that were in the school said that they could hear it and feel it. Felt like a mini earth quake and sounded like a bomb went off from what i heard from my friends.

 

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