Jets and Weird Physics
Every so often, just the right combination of conditions and events
occur to create an unbelievable event-in this case an F-18 passing
through the sound barrier. Not only were the water vapor, density and
temperature conditions just right, but there just happened to be a
camera in the vicinity to capture the moment. The F-18 is actually in
transonic flight, with normal shock waves emanating from behind the
canopy and across the wings and fuselage. The condition will last for
only an instant, and once supersonic flow exists completely around the
aircraft, sharp-angled sonic cones replace the normal shock waves. The
odds of getting a shot like this are staggering.
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