Sonic boom generated by supersonic aircraft

Other Names:
Risk of sonic bangs

When an aircraft flies at supersonic speed it produces a boom corridor some 60 to 100 kms wide in which the pressure experienced on the ground rises very sharply to a higher value through a shock wave. The pressure then drops until it is approximately as much below ambient pressure as it was above it. A second shock wave brings the pressure back to its normal atmospheric value. While absolute pressure change on the ground caused by the shock wave is relatively small, its onset is very rapid, creating a characteristic sharp report that is known as the sonic boom, and which can be heard (depending on atmospheric conditions, location of observer, flight altitude, or ground configuration), as anything between a sharp crack of a rifle shot and a distant rumble of thunder.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST