Articles

Take a moto break with these 11 photos of U.S. military fighters breaking the sound barrier

An F/A-18C Hornet breaks the sound barrier. | US Navy


At a speed of about 767 miles per hour, depending on temperature and humidity, a moving object will break the sound barrier.

It was not until World War II, when aircraft started to reach the limits of the sound barrier — although without successfully breaking the barrier into supersonic speed — that the term came into use. Now, More than 70 years later, military aircraft can routinely break through the barrier and travel at incredible speeds.

The pictures below demonstrate the still amazing visual effects that occur as military aircraft punch through the sound barrier and travel faster than sound itself.

An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113 breaks the sound barrier during an air power demonstration over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

US Navy

An F/A-18 Super Hornet assigned to the Kestrels of Strike Fighter Squadron 137 breaks the sound barrier during an air power demonstration above the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

US Navy

An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113 breaks the sound barrier during an air power demonstration over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

US Navy

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Bounty Hunters of Strike Fighter Squadron 2 breaks the sound barrier during a fly-by of USS Ronald Reagan.

US Navy

An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113 breaks the sound barrier during an air power demonstration over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.

US Navy

An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113 breaks the sound barrier alongside the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during an air power demonstration.

US Navy

US Air Force Thunderbirds pilot Maj. Williams performs a Sneak Pass during the Boston-Portsmouth Air Show at Pease Air National Guard Base.

US Air Force

An F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Black Aces of Strike Fighter Squadron 41 breaks the sound barrier during an air power demonstration for participants of a tiger cruise aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis.

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Benjamin Crossley | US Navy

Capt. Norbert "Smurf" Szarleta, commanding officer of Carrier Air Wing 17, breaks the sound barrier in an F/A-18F Super Hornet strike fighter during an air power demonstration aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

Chief Petty Officer Augustine Cooper | US Navy

An Air Force F/A-15 Strike Eagle reaches the sound barrier during the San Francisco Fleet Week Air Show.

Cpl. Salvador R. Moreno | USMC

An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113 breaks the sound barrier over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during an air power demonstration.

Petty Officer 2nd Class James Evans | US Navy

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