Thursday , 29 September 2016

Sonic booms? actually, “no”

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You may think that your looking at “sonic booms” but you’d be wrong.

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In fact, it’s almost impossible to “see” a sonic boom with the naked eye.

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As an aircraft gets near the speed of sound, around 767mph, a vapor cone forms around the plane.

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This cone forms from a discontinuity of air pressure and temperature when the air loses it’s capacity to hold water. First a vapor like condensation will form and eventually it shapes into a cone shape.

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Above photo of F-22 Raptor during a turn. Notice the bottom verse the top. High pressure “below” and condensation “above” the wings.

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Creating this vapor cone without causing an actual sonic boom shockwave is tough. The pilot has to travel just below the speed of sound.

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This makes performers like the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds even more amazing. If they travel to fast and generate a sonic boom…it’s a problem for the ears of those watching below.

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