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By on April 5, 2006, with 50 Comments

No, this image doesnt give you navy’s aircraft that just hatched from an egg, this is what happens when airoplane breaks the sound barrier. It’s called Sonic Boom. Really cool picture indeed! I’ve added more of them inside this post.

Sonic Boom Illusion
Sonic Boom Illusion
Sonic Boom Illusion


50 Responses
  1. Carsten says:

    It’s not actually an illusion, is it?

  2. Timtom says:

    It’s not really an illusion, it has something to do with shock waves causing water vapor to concentrate on the deflagration cone.

    Some cool videos of this phenomenon have been around on the Internet for some time. At least two of them are available on Google Video:

    * F-14, the video slows down to show the formation of the vapor cone. Don’t worry for your sound card, there is no sound on this video.

    * F-18 (less impressive, but the cone is visible on both passes).

    Very cool site, by the way!

  3. fxer says:

    The condensation cone is a Prandtl-Glauert singularity

  4. Leight0n says:

    Its not an illusion, its not an illusion. So what????? I wish u geeks would stop explaining everything. Namely TIMTOM!!! Who cares????????

  5. Kevin says:

    jajajaja. that;s so cool man….

  6. 123456789 says:

    that is sooo cool, that is was cool!!!!! :)

  7. atchi says:

    cool. nice.

  8. mr.pie says:

    its plains breaking the sound barrier

  9. kitty says:


  10. biclops says:

    It actually looks like the plane is teleporting rather than hatching from an egg in the first one

  11. Rayne says:

    It doesn’t really look like an illusion, but it’s still cool. Is that what happens when planes enter the triangle? lol

  12. Neurotica says:

    I’ve seen a short film once, where the pictures shown above are from.
    This is real, no fake stuff.
    The plane was on sea-level if i remember it correctly.
    Was on a NAVAL film :)
    Very cool to see the pics, nicejob!

  13. Y do U care? says:

    How did they get the airplane in the egg in the first one? : P lol

  14. beth says:

    hey! I like the answer if I don’t know what it is! that is really cool! strange that it would do that.

  15. sam is kooler dan u, fool says:

    cool. but its not an illusion

  16. Anonymous says:

    where are the illusions?

  17. Danger Machine says:

    I dont care if it’s not an illusion, it’s still an amazing picture!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Imagine what it would feel like to do something like that!

  19. Anonymous says:

    r all of u stupid its a jet breaking the sound barrier duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =-]

    • Mary says:

      Only 1 or 2 didn’t know it wasn’t an op Ill, duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Chill.
      Love those Navy jets.

  20. RockBottom® says:

    What came first the Egg or the plane?

  21. Anonymous says:


  22. Anonymous says:

    the planes are not actually breaking the sound barrier. The air over the wings is compressing and condensing to form vapor clouds.

  23. Anonymous says:

    these planes are not actually breaking the sound barrier. only parts of them are. its quite hard to under stand but certain parts off the aircraft break the sound barrier before other parts, as you can see on the first pic a small part of the mane fuselage (near the cockpit) has broken the barrier.
    its caused as the plane is moving so fast the pressure builds up so much that the water in the air condenses on the cold metal to form the cloud of water vapor.

  24. olga says:

    ok anonymous u r really getting in my nerves dont u have something better 2 do thatn just write so much and put ur freakine long stupid comments i mean u sure get annoying 2 b honest we all want 2 c ppl’s comments not just urs ok and that freakine picture is 4 sure not illusional u can totally c that and neither is ti an egg

  25. Barbara says:

    The sonic boom illusion encourage me find more info about this topic. That another good article about breaking sound barrier

  26. Anonymous says:

    @olga not all Anonymous’ are the same person. There’s nothing wrong with explaining things.

  27. nice is life says:

    did he die?

  28. Anon says:

    This isn’t fake. It really does happen with aircraft traveling at high speeds. Here’s how it happens:

    The leading edges of the aircraft compress the air significantly when they are traveling at speeds in excess of Mach .95(ish). As the air passes the leading edge, it expands causing rapid cooling (same idea as when a CO2 cartridge pops a leak). If the cooled air is at or below the dew point, the cloud forms.

    The misnomer on this page is that this phenomenon occurs only above Mach 1. This can happen at speeds as low as Mach 0.75. I have seen it happen.

    Despite the misnomer and the science of it all, it still is pretty awesome seeing this happen. Go to an air show. It’s very common.

  29. Bob says:

    This NOT an image of an aircraft breaking the sonic barrier.
    It is an image of an aircraft passing through an area of high atmospheric moisture. The high pressure wave created by the aircraft is enough to condense the ambiant moisture to form a temporary cloud. Once the aircraft passes, the cloud returns to its previous state, which appears as if nothing is there.
    An aircraft breaking the soundbarrier would have no external visual effects. To watch the event would be boring.
    Visual effects = no.
    Physical effects = yes.
    The cloud effect can be done at practilly any speed. Depends of the moisture percent of the ambiant air. I have seen this on propeller dirven aircraft, and helecopters as well.

    • owen says:

      are you stupid?!?!?!?!do you know that it is breaking the sound barrier? why don’t you go back to school. i hope you pass your science test

  30. Minhaz says:

    whatever it is…just save on my pc just after seen it!!!

  31. Krzysztof says:

    It is not a “sonic boom” – it is the compression of air in subsonic speeds. “Sonic Boom” is not visible.

  32. Krzysztof says:

    Photography is very pretty – but it is not a “sonic”

  33. sharron says:

    hats off to the people taking the photos!:)!

  34. unknown says:

    so it’s not an illusion?
    but u said it, it does look like a plane breaking out of an egg in the middle of the air, haha

  35. bob2 says:

    Not all nerds and geeks agree it seems!
    Go do your research!

    When the sound barrier is breached, there will be a cone-shaped-cloud-like thingy dragged from the tail of the plane with a certain angle that’s related to the speed of the aircraft. There are no air that we breath contains no moisture, so it can be formed anywhere on earth! Once the aircraft slows down the cone disappears, and maybe not all pictures with planes and clouds are sonic boom pictures!

  36. Jim says:

    As has already been mentioned, this phenomenon is due to water vapour in the air (invisible at standard pressures and temperatures) condensing as the aircraft creates areas of where pressure and temperature allow this. It isn’t due to the aircraft breaking the sound barrier or its velocity necessarily, it depends on humidity and the aerodynamic effects around the aircraft.
    I have seen this first-hand at airshows where aircraft have been flying well below Mach 1. It still looks very cool!

  37. Akamarured says:

    The illusion was the egg-like image and the airship coming out of it you morons -.-

  38. pspcorner says:

    Wow great sonic boom!

  39. hangar says:

    i love how this idiot on top of page would rather not kno wut it is, good job u dummy

  40. Instrumentals says:

    Interesting images, but supersonic waves are invisible, so current images are illusion.

  41. Mcfly11 says:

    in my little pony friendship is magic, rainbow performs the exact same trick and its called the sonic rainboom.

  42. geno says:

    This is a sonic boom, These are super sonic planed and when the plane moved from transonic to super sonic speed, this cloud like thing is formed ………… better check this thing on internet

  43. kimberley brown says:

    Wow, absolutely unbelievable pictures, Sonic booom!!!

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