Breaking the sound barrier
Yeager once said there was a demon that lived in the air.
And that whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly and they would disintegrate. The demon lived where the air could no longer move out of the way, behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass.
It was called the sound barrier.
No wonder that movie won so many awards.
All drama aside, though, here’s how the physics actually works. Once the plane cruises from subsonic to supersonic velocities, a white cloud of chaotic air molecules known as a vapor cone forms around the aircraft.
And that moment generates a sonic boom at more than two hundred decibels, which, by way of comparison, is about fifty percent louder than a shotgun blast.
The right stuff, indeed.
What’s interesting, though, is how pilots describe it. Because when their aircraft approaches the sound barrier, everything in the cockpit starts to rattle and shake and seem impossible.
Which is a terrifying moment. But once the plane pushes through the threshold and everything suddenly feels so smooth on the other side, they look back and wonder what all the disturbance was.
It’s the perfect analogy for our dreams. We burn ourselves for an impossible vision, working and fighting and persisting against the gravitational pull of whatever demon stands in our way.
And although that demon fights to tear every chance we want away from us, we keep pushing, accepting the resistance as a natural process and a sign that we’re on target, trusting that the world belongs to those who resist, and those who persist.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What awaits you on the other side of your personal sound barrier?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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