Re: Sighted a shock wave above airliner wing

Date:         05 Oct 98 00:26:44 
From:         "Riley Rainey" <>
Organization: Web Simulations Inc.
References:   1
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

>A couple days ago I saw a fascinating sight I had never yet come
>across -- seeing the shockwave of local transonic flow above the wing
>of an airliner in flight.
>This isn't the visualization of low pressure because of condensing
>water vapour, a more commonly observed phenomenon.
>I'd like to hear comments on this. While my undergrad was in aero
>engineering (making this all the more fascinating), I'm not in the
>business now.

I'd be interested in comments, too.  I was returning to DFW from
Orlando last week in a 767-300 and saw the same thing.  I happened
to have a digital camera with me and I took a few shots.  I saw
two prominent lines which intersected, both approximately mid-chord.
The lines started near the fusleage.

One was perpendicular to the fusleage, one approximately parallel
to the leading edge sweep.  Both lines disappeared before reaching
the location of the engine pylon.

Neat to watch.  As we slowed to descend, they moved noticeably
forward, then disappeared.