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There's nothing magical about the speed of sound. Sure, there are some shockwaves that form around that speed that increase the air resistance, but getting past those is a (conceptually) simple matter of designing the plane to minimize the shockwaves, and then having enough engine power to overcome what's left.


A normal jet engine has subsonic flow throughout. This avoids shock problems such as choking or excessive acoustic noise. A conventional afterburner accelerates the exhaust flow to supersonic speed, allowing it to push the plane past the speed of sound. It is placed after the turbines in order to avoid those shock problems. A supercruise engine must deliver ...


It's not that unusual, it's called Supercruise Supercruise is sustained supersonic flight of a supersonic aircraft with a useful cargo, passenger, or weapons load performed efficiently, which typically precludes the use of highly inefficient afterburners or "reheat". [snip] One of the best known examples of an aircraft capable of supercruise was ...

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