These fantastic photos show the shockwaves generated by bullets fired by an F-5E Tiger

The photos in this post are really impressive!

Axalp Ebenfluh is a famous firing range located near Meiringen air base.

From 1942, once a year, the Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) opens the range to the public during the firing activities carried out by the Swiss combat planes: formations of F-5E Tiger and F/A-18 Hornet jets engage the range for the practice shooting sessions in front of photographers from all around the world.

The two photos in this post (that some of you may have already seen) were taken by Polish photographer Andrzej Rogucki at the Axalp range in Switzerland during one of such sessions in 2012. They show Swiss Tigers firing the two M39A2 cannon, 20 mm caliber single-barreled revolver cannon originally developed for the U.S. Air Force in the late 1940s (!), one on either side of the F-5’s nose.

What is really cool about these shots is that Rogucki was able to catch the bullets fired by the F-5E and the conical shockwaves generated by the bullets travelling at supersonic speed (1/3200s shutter speed at 1000mm).

F-5 Swiss Air Force shockwave

Image credit: Andrzej Rogucki


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.