Breaking The Sound Barrier
The Prandtl–Glauert singularity (sometimes referred to as a “vapor cone”) is the point at which a sudden drop in air pressure occurs, and is generally accepted as the cause of the visible condensation cloud that often surrounds an aircraft traveling at transonic speeds, though there remains some debate. It is an example of a mathematical singularity in aerodynamics.
In aerodynamics, the sound barrier usually refers to the point at which an aircraft moves from transonic to supersonic speed. The term came into use during World War II when a number of aircraft started to encounter the effects of compressibility, a grab-bag of unrelated aerodynamic effects. By the 1950s, aircraft started to routinely “break” the sound barrier.
The white halo is formed by condensed water droplets which are thought to result from a drop in air pressure around the aircraft…
An aircraft is a vehicle which is able to fly by being supported by the air, or in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.
Although rockets and missiles also travel through the atmosphere, most are not considered aircraft because they use rocket thrust instead of aerodynamics as the primary means of lift. However, rocket planes and cruise missiles are considered aircraft because they rely on lift from the air.
The human activity which surrounds aircraft is called aviation. Manned aircraft are flown by an onboard pilot. Unmanned aerial vehicles may be remotely controlled or self-controlled by onboard computers. Target drones are an example of UAVs. Aircraft may be classified by different criteria, such as lift type, propulsion, usage and others.
Aerostats use buoyancy to float in the air in much the same way that ships float on the water. They are characterized by one or more large gasbags or canopies, filled with a relatively low density gas such as helium, hydrogen or hot air, which is less dense than the surrounding air. When the weight of this is added to the weight of the aircraft structure, it adds up to the same weight as the air that the craft displaces.
Small hot air balloons called sky lanterns date back to the 3rd century BC, and were only the second type of aircraft to fly, the first being kites.