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April 20, 2014

April 20, 2014

Posted by **J** on Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 8:59pm.

- physics -
**drwls**, Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 10:01pmThe Mach number is 1.25. (You left out the words "of sound" in your first sentence). The Mach number can be used to get the approximate angle the shock wave makes with the horizontal. (It also depends somewhat upon the "wedge angle" of the airplane). The APPROXIMATE shock wave angle is

theta = sin^-1 (1/M) = 53.1 degrees. When the shock wave is felt, the plane has travelled 1.25*330*60s past the overhead point, or 4.95 km.

Draw yourself a figure of the situation.

The altitude H is given by

H/4.95 km = tan 53.1 = 1.332

H = 6.59 km

This problem is not as simple as they would have you believe. The shock wave angle formula is an approximation.

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