NASA has shared three stunning air-to-air images of supersonic shockwave interactions, which is unprecedented. The three photos feature two T-38 Talons, piercing the sky. Although shared on Wednesday, these photos are from March 2019, when NASA successfully tested an advanced air-to-air photography technology during flight and captured the first ever image of shock wave interaction. T-38 is a two-seater, two-engine supersonic jet trainer.
In an Instagram post, NASA said: “Who knew that breaking barriers would look so good?” It explained that when planes fly faster than the speed of sound, the shock waves move away from them and are heard on the ground in the form of a sonic boom To. Although the first two pictures have been colored, the third one is in the original monochrome form. The agency said: “These images are the product of an updated camera system on our research aircraft.” “Researchers use these images to study shock waves as part of our efforts to make the sonic boom quieter, which may be possible in the future. The supersonic flight opens the sky over land.”
NASA stated in another note on its website that the flight distance of the two T-38s was about 30 feet, adding that the trailing aircraft was about 10 feet lower than the leading aircraft. This is the first time that shock wave flows from two aircraft and the interaction of shocks have been observed during flight.
Dan Banks, a senior research engineer at NASA Armstrong, said in 2019: “We see a certain level of physical detail here, and I think it’s something no one has seen before.” Think it’s better. We imagined better. This is a very big step. “
The agency said that one of the biggest challenges in the series is timing. In order to obtain these images, NASA flew the B-200 equipped with an updated imaging system at approximately 30,000 feet (9,144 meters). The T-38 not only needed to maintain formation, but also needed to fly at supersonic speeds. The exact moment directly below. These images are the result of all three aircraft being in the correct position at the correct time specified by the NASA operations team.
NASA researchers use these images to study these shock waves, which will help it design the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology X-plane. The agency said that although the X-59 will fly at supersonic speeds, it will generate shock waves, so that only quiet pops can be heard.