Tag Archives: sonic boom

Watch the shock wave move on the wing of MiG-29 Fulcrum as it breaks the sound barrier

This video shows the shock wave of a MiG-29 Fulcrum flying past Mach 1.0 during an Edge of Space flight.

The following was shot by famous aviation video producer Artur Sarkysian for MigFlug, a company that offers fighter jet flying experiences during a Edge of Space mission with their MiG-29 Fulcrum.

Sarkysian attached GoPro cameras to the two-seater Mig-29UB’s outer surfaces in such a way they could withstand speed up to 2450 km/h and a load factor of 9g.

One of these cameras caught the shock wave on the Fulcrum’s wing as the aircraft thundered past Mach 1.0.

The pressure wave is visible in the form of a line that moves over the right wing of the MiG-29 until it disappears behind the aircraft:  when an aircraft passes through the air it creates a series of pressure waves around it similar to the bow and stern waves created by a boat on the water. These waves travel at the speed of sound. As the speed of the aircraft increases, the waves are forced together, or compressed, because they cannot get out of the way of each other. Eventually they merge into a single shock wave, which travels at the speed of sound.

Beware: as mentioned on the Youtube page, the readings of speed on the video are not completely reliable as they are taken by the GoPro camera and not fed by the aircraft instruments. Anyway, at 40.000 feet Mach 1.0 equates to a CAS of 312 kts and a TAS of 573 kts, hence not too far from the IAS calculated by the device.

The characteristic “sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound.







Listen to the loud bangs caused by RAF Typhoons during an alert scramble

This is the sound of a sonic boom.

Two loud bangs were heard across central eastern UK on May 2, as two Typhoon jets from RAF Coningsby were scrambled to intercept a Cityjet Avro RJ-85 that was flying as Air France 1558 from Paris Charles de Gaulle, France, to Newcastle, UK.

The RJ-85 failed to reply to the ATC (Air Traffic Control) calls prompting the British Air Defense to scramble two Typhoons in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) that intercepted the airliner and escorted it to landing.

To reach the “unresponsive civil plane” the two Typhoon fighters accelerated to supersonic speed causing the sonic booms that shocked several houses in parts of Yorkshire at around 21.50LT.

The following video was filmed by a surveillance camera in North Leeds. Turn your speakers on to hear the two loud bangs!

Image credit: BAE Systems (not a RAF Typhoon as it carries an IRIS-T)

Crazy photo shows T-38 Jet passing in front of the sun at supersonic speed

You can clearly see the shockwaves.

The image above is fantastic.

It depicts a U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School T-38C passing in front of the sun at supersonic speed, generating shockwaves.

The photograph was taken by NASA for research purposes using a modern version of schlieren imagery, a 150-year-old German photography technique, used to visualize supersonic flow phenomena with full-scale aircraft in flight.

According to NASA, the results of the research will help engineers to design a quiet supersonic transport aircraft.

Image Credit: NASA/Ken Ulbrich

Awesome photo shows Blue Angels #5 pulling high gs during demo display

This is one of those pictures that don’t need much words.

Taken on Oct 18, the photo in this post features Lt. Cmdr. Mark Tedrow, Blue Angels #5 and Lead Solo with the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, performing aerial acrobatics during the 2015 Kaneohe Bay Air Show and Open House at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

What makes this image so unique is the condensation cloud that surrounds the wings of Tedrow’s F/A-18 Hornet: even though spectators usually think that such clouds represent a visual manifestation of a “sonic boom”, actually they are the effect of the quick depression on the flight surfaces that brings the water vapour contained in the air at the condensation temperature.

It is a common phenomenon in high-G maneuvers, like those typically performed by Blue Angels #5, when the depression on the upper side of the wing increases (as the lift does); it can be observed even at sea level, when the amount of moisture is significant and air temperature is quite hot.

Image credit: U.S. Navy


Following bomb threat two Italian Typhoon jets perform supersonic scramble to escort Lebanese Airbus 320

Two Italian Eurofighter Typhoon in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) were scrambled to intercept and escort MEA214 flight that reported a bomb threat aboard.

Two loud sonic booms were heard at around 1.45PM LT in Central Italy as two Italian Air Force Typhoons accelerated to supersonic speed to intercept Middle East Airlines 214 flight, an Airbus 320 from Geneva to Beirut.

The two fighter planes, belonging to the 4° Stormo (Wing) from Grosseto, in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) service round the clock together with those of the 36° Stormo from Gioia del Colle, were dispatched to intercept the Lebanese plane that, once flying over Bari, in southeastern Italy, radioed the Italian Air Traffic Control the request to land at Rome Fiumicino airport, because of a bomb threat.

The two armed Typhoons intercepted the Airbus 320 T7-MRC and escorted it to landing on runway 16R at Fiumicino airport, then circled at low altitude over the sea near the airport, until security forces surrounded the plane and brought it to an isolated parking slot.

The subsequent inspection did not find any bomb aboard the plane.

The MEA214 route could be tracked on Flightradar24.com as the following screenshot shows.


Image credit: screenshot by FR24.com