Re: Sighted a shock wave above airliner wing

Date:         12 Oct 98 00:02:16 
From:         Alan Browne <>
Organization: Bell Solutions
References:   1 2 3
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Phil Dunn wrote:
> Do you think this could be condensation instead of shock wave?
> I have flown lots of supersonic formation and you don't see shock waves.
> You can feel them though.
> But as the pressure gets very low, you can see transient condensation of
> water and this appears like shock wave.

I agree: I have often seen condensation form in sheets over a wing, and
occasionally in sharply defined patterns that could be interpreted as a
shock wave.  Since the density of water vapour can vary greatly as the
wing flies through it, these patterns tend to pop into view, disappear
and pop back.