Fleet of ear

Contributed by
Oct 9, 2006

Every year in San Francisco, they celebrate Fleet Week, an amazing gathering of ships and planes. I was in SF for an astronomy meeting last week, and it turns out we discovered rather quickly that the Blue Angels were there. I wish I had had time to go see them, but they made it a little bit easy by flying several times less than a kilometer from my hotel.

Ever wonder what a Navy F/A - 18 Hornet sounds like when it goes past you at just under Mach 1 and you hang a microphone out your window?

It sounds like this.

Trust me-- it as a lot louder than this mp3 implies. Way cool. The bell you hear ringing is a cable car. It's San Fran, after all!

By the way, just to make this at least marginally sciencey, you don't hear a Doppler shift in the roar because the plane came up behind me, so the hotel blocked the approach. And you can't even imagine what it sounds like when four of those planes go by in formation.

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