Stunning footage has emerged of a U.S. Navy jet breaking the sound barrier, leaving a sonic boom in its wake as it streaks past an aircraft carrier.
The supersonic flyby was posted to YouTube by Military.com, the Mirror reports, though it is unclear which ship was involved in the demonstration. The footage depicts an F/A-18C fighter jet performing an orchestrated maneuver, passing an aircraft carrier at sea. An announcer can be heard in the beginning of the video, directing the assembled sailors to expect the jet on the ship’s left (port) side.
After a few seconds, the jet appears from the horizon, streaking into view. The F/A-18C leaves a vicious wake in the sea below it, as a tail of displaced air surrounds the jet. By the time the fighter passes the midsection of the carrier, it is traveling faster than the speed of sound, in excess of 761 mph, creating a sonic boom. This phenomenon occurs when sound waves created by the plane compress, as the Huffington Post notes, eventually forming a single shockwave. As the jet passes the carrier, the sonic boom can be observed striking the water near the ship.
— HuffPostUKTech (@HuffPostUKTech) January 3, 2015
When a jet like the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, informally known as a Rhino, passes through the air, it leaves a series of pressure waves both in front of and behind it, similar to a boat wake. These pressure waves become condensed as the jet nears Mach speed, eventually forming a sonic boom, which trails the aircraft. An observer on the ground sees the plane soar by before the sound of its passing reaches the same spot.
The shock wave creates a “Mach cone” behind the aircraft, which narrows as the jet travels faster. A sonic boom is generated continually as long as the aircraft is in supersonic flight, striking the ground in a narrow band behind it, known as the “boom carpet.”
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) January 3, 2015
Last month, a series of strange noises reminiscent of sonic booms were heard concurrently in England and upstate New York. Though a variety of explanations for the strange occurrence were posited, from the outlandish to the mundane, their exact cause has yet to be determined. As the Inquisitr previously reported, however, the strange sonic booms were connected by at least one researcher to a new type of jet engine thought to be in development.
[Image: Military.com/YouTube via the Daily Mail]