View Full Version : Fighter jet forms 'shock collar' cutting through sky at 760mph

04-05-10, 08:16 AM
A cloud of mist forms around a U.S. Navy Super Hornet off the Peruvian coast. Known as a 'shock collar' or 'vapour cone' it is created in certain atmospheric conditions at high speeds

Plane amazing: This awe-inspiring image shows a U.S. Super Hornet while performing at the New York Air Show

This 'shock collar' was caused by an F/A-18 'Hornet' above the USS Constellation

It looks like the special effects department have been at work in this image of a fighter jet with a cloud of mist around it.

But this cloud created by a U.S. Navy Super Hornet off the Peruvian coast is known as a 'shock collar' or 'vapour cone', created in certain atmospheric conditions at high speeds.

In this case the 35million jet was flying at 760mph over the Pacific coastline having taken off from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

The vapour cone effect is caused by pressure differences around the aircraft. A sudden drop in pressure associated with high speed allows water vapour, which is normally invisible, to condense as fog.

The shape of the Super Hornet, which can travel at up to 1,370mph - 1.8 times the speed of sound - encourages the cone to form.

These condensation clouds are frequently seen during Space Shuttle launches but their precise nature is still under debate.

Similar effects sometimes allow passengers to see clouds around an airliner's wing tips or even in a corkscrew ahead of a plane with a propeller.


04-05-10, 09:11 AM
I saw that once off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale. Down there doing the McDonalds Air Sea Show for the Civilians. Same kinda bird an F-18 came low down the coast had the cloud around the jet. Its pretty cool to see in person.:thumbup:

04-06-10, 08:07 PM
Awesome...oh yea, and bad ass.

04-06-10, 08:16 PM