Stunning supersonic snapshot

And a little something from NASA today showing schlieren photographs – a technique allowing imaging of soundwaves – capturing supersonic shockwaves emanating from NASA Boeing F-15 and F/A-18 aircraft flying at supersonic speeds. The images were gathered by a twin telescope and digital camera system on the ground at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center to manually test the Ground-to-Air Schlieren Photography System, or GASPS.

NASAshockwaves

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One Response to Stunning supersonic snapshot

  1. Thad Beier 6 October, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    My father-in-law has a photo on his desk of the shadow of an F-4 he was flying on the deck at supersonic speeds. It was a test for the Air Force, where they lined up a series of traffic cones across a bit of desert, to see how fast one could fly if you didn’t have to do anything by follow a line on the ground.

    He looked over his shoulder, and saw the shadow of the plane with shock waves, much like this photo. So, the next day he brought his camera, trimmed the plane to climb slightly, and quickly snapped a photo. I don’t know if he calculated how many milliseconds he would have had to react if anything had gone wrong…

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