Talk:Supersonic speed

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WikiProject iconAviation Start‑class
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of the Aviation WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see lists of open tasks and task forces. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
StartThis article has been rated as Start-class on Wikipedia's content assessment scale.
Note icon
This article has been marked as needing an infobox.
WikiProject iconPhysics: Fluid Dynamics C‑class Mid‑importance
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Physics, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Physics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
CThis article has been rated as C-class on Wikipedia's content assessment scale.
 Mid This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
This article is supported by Fluid Dynamics Taskforce.


Come help with Wikipedia:WikiProject Fluid dynamics moink 23:14, 27 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Other meanings of supersonic[edit]

There are many other meanings of supersonic than travel through the earths atmosphere in vehicles. Two examples off the top of my head include:

1)the supersonic flow of plasma jet plumes suckers !!!!!!!

, which travel "supersonically" in the interstellar medium;

2)density waves passing through stellar cores during pre-supernovae collapse, which travel faster than the speed of sound in the stellar plasma.

Should this article not include descriptions of these meanings as well?Larryisgood (talk) 15:03, 18 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge from transonic[edit]

  • Merge - Jack (talk) 22:30, 7 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Don't merge - transonic aerodynamics is quantitively and qualitively different from supersonic.WolfKeeper 22:49, 5 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Don't merge - Wolfkeeper's assertion is correct. These are two different realms of flow.
      • Don't merge - Transonic will become an important qualifying characteristic of some next-gen commercial aircraft.

As such, it is a perfectly valid category in itself and the input towards this wiki subject will only expand.

I have removed the merge tag from the articles. I has been around for almost 3 months or more and not many people except Jack have asked for the merger. If you feel it should still be there, be my guest. btw I vote for not merging, for there is significant difference between the two flow regimes, especially in the numerical simulation. myth 21:19, 20 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge from hypersonic[edit]

  • Merge - Jack (talk) 22:30, 7 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Don't merge - I don't see any advantage to merging; and it seems cleaner to keep them separate articles.WolfKeeper 22:53, 5 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Definitely do NOT merge - Hypersonic is not simply a faster version of supersonic. A gas undergoing hypersonic flow is chemically reacting while supersonic flow is assumed to be chemically inert. The aerodynamics of a supersonic vehicle is strongly a function of Mach number while the aerodynamics of a hypersonic vehicle is insensitive to Mach number. The mathematics describing the thermodynamics of supersonic flow can be expressed in closed form. However the mathematics for hypersonic flow requires a computer solution. The two flows definitely require separate articles. Egg plant 04:42, 8 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Don't merge - completely different regimes. Maury 22:34, 19 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Isn't hypersonic simply a subregion of the supersonic speeds? Hence the two are not completely different. --Kri (talk) 16:45, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As this tag has been on a while with only Jack wanting a merge I have removed it. I hope that doesn't cause too much offence. Rex the first talk | contribs 02:40, 12 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

From PNA/Aerospace[edit]

i don't think this should be merged into either transonic or hypersonic. all three of these represent different aspects of aerodynamics.

Disagree: Each of these article (supersonic and hypersonic flows) can be expanded further. Also many effect of hypersonic flow are not applicable for supersonic flow. I am not sure of the transonic flow article, maybe that can be merged with supersonic flows, but would to know what others have to say about that. myth 22:54, 10 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Can you still substantially feel the passage through the sound barrier in modern-day supersonic aircraft? MadMaxDog 23:38, 4 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

umm can eyebrows be super sonic? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) -- JohnCub 17:38, 23 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Supersonic technology has been around for centuries.

This is quite questionable?!? Aircraft technology has only been around since the early 1900's. How could supersonic technology have been around for centuries??? lASQWLEQW —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:11, 23 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A whip crack is allegedly supersonic. Might want to check that isn't an urban myth. Not sure at what point rifle bullets were supersonic, certainly early guns like Civil War miniballs were subsonic. DonPMitchell (talk) 17:13, 25 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I googled it, and it certainly doesn't seem to be a myth; somebody photographed a whip tip at Mach 2.- (User) WolfKeeper (Talk) 17:40, 25 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History of Supersonic Flights[edit]

Would it be interesting to try to list some early achievements of supersonic speed? September 1933, GIRD-08 ramjet achieves Mach 2. Yuri Pobedonostsev believes that is the first supersonic flight by jet or rocket power. March 8, 1935, Robert Goddard's A-4 rocket exceeded the speed of sound. Is that the first supersonic rocket? Early rockets were typically not very powerful. And of course I think we should mention that Chuck Yaeger was the first human to fly supersonic. DonPMitchell (talk) 17:11, 25 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

-- There's not a single entry anywhere on Wikipedia about any history of any supersonic aircraft. How could such an important historical advancement in flying never be discussed? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:34, 8 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


i think it is very good and it helpd me loads —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 14 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's nice. --Kri (talk) 16:36, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Pressure and Mach speed[edit]

The article states that pressure has little to do with the speed of sound. If true then why does the speed change so much based on altitude? The ideal gas law is *P*ressure*V*olume=*n*umber of mols*R*(ideal gas constant =0.0802)*T*emperature

Picture error[edit]

(This comment was moved from the article, and is not my comment Shandolad (talk) 12:43, 17 January 2009 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Sorry to burst the bubble but the description of the second picture is not correct. The aircraft in the picture is still subsonic, fast but more like Mach 0.9 and not 1+ (i.e. transonic). All it takes is a lot of humidity and a sudden drop in local pressure and temperature, so it really is a "cool" picture. Some of the air around the aircraft has accelerated to supersonic speed locally around the wing (which if you believe Bernoulli results in a drop in pressure and temperature). In really humid conditions (like over water) this temperature change is enough to condense a cloud of tiny water droplets. There is also an attached shock wave at the back of the cloud where the pressure suddenly rises as the airflow returns back to subsonic speed. That pressure and temperature rise evaporates the water droplets. If the air is uniformly humid and the pilot maintains a constant speed and a constant G-load, this "cloud" remains attached to the airplane as long as he wants (just the water molecules involved keep changing). There is no miracle of timing on the photographer's part in capturing an "instant." If you look carefully in some of the pictures, you can see a second cloud behind the cockpits from a similar acceleration and deceleration of the local airflow at that point.--Aeronerd (talk) 20:26, 16 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I removed the "Disputed" tag, since Chick Bowen adjusted the figure caption on 18 Jan 2009, and there are no objections. -- Crowsnest (talk) 03:04, 14 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Too much information on Karman[edit]

The amount of information on Karman was really looking like propaganda. This information about the whole contributions to science of Karman had nothing to do there, so I removed it. Still, the fact that there is only one person mentioned for the invention of supersonic flight is most probably wrong. It would be nice if other people who contributed could also be cited.


Captain Charles E. Yeager was the first man to reach supersonic speed in controlled level flight.

The phrasing of this sentence begs the question, which the article ought to answer: OK, so who was the first human to reach supersonic speed under any conditions? Tempshill (talk) 05:14, 19 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

F86 Canada[edit]

needs to be removed, it was not the first production aircraft to break the sound barrier. It is also not know or been able to prove that on May 18 1953, she break the sound barrier in level flight. This is not fact and needs to be rewritten. Jacob805 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:54, 20 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why does the air get white?[edit]

This is maybe not relevant to the current state of the article, although it is an interesting question that arises when looking at the images in the article. As can be seen in the images, white clouds appear around the back of the aircraft. What is happening here? The air suddenly looses its transparency, and starts to reflect the light much like a rain cloud does. But why? --Kri (talk) 16:35, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because of the sharp rise in pressure upon encounter with a shockwave at Mach 1 (or supersonic speed) air (contains moisture) is condensed and thus forms what you've quite accurately classed as a cloud. Check Shock_wave & Vapour Pressure. (talk) 01:14, 29 April 2012 (UTC) Anon.Reply[reply]
See Prandtl–Glauert singularity. Hcobb (talk) 01:24, 29 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Way too little detail on physics of supersonic flow[edit]

And Aerodynamics merely refers back to here. (talk) 07:44, 19 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Supersonic speed/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

hey can anyone tell me what some cahracteristics for the word superonic

Last edited at 01:55, 1 January 2012 (UTC). Substituted at 07:21, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

In water, sound travels faster, but a pressure wave develops differently. On Mars, it's different still. Will (Talk - contribs) 18:31, 23 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Supersonic in mediums other than air on Earth[edit]

In water, sound travels faster, but a pressure wave develops differently. On Mars, it's different still. Will (Talk - contribs) 18:33, 23 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Transonic definition[edit]

As worded, I believe the current definition of transonic promotes the idea that only part of the craft is moving at transonic speed

Flights during which only some parts of the air surrounding an object, such as the ends of rotor blades, reach supersonic speeds are called transonic. This occurs typically somewhere between Mach 0.8 and Mach 1.2.

In some usage, crafts wholly move at speeds in this transonic range Tesseractcubed (talk) 02:57, 18 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Sonic speed" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

An editor has identified a potential problem with the redirect Sonic speed and has thus listed it for discussion. This discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2022 October 5#Sonic speed until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 06:10, 5 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]