Popular Program Gives Marines/Blue Angels The Chance To Strut
The results of an experiment filmed on a Yuma training range to
test whether a sonic boom from a jet would shatter glass is
scheduled to air June 10, 2009, at 9 p.m. EST on The Discovery
Channel. In February 2009, popular television show
“Mythbusters” teamed up with the Blue Angels and the
air station to conduct the test in a section of the Barry M.
Goldwater Range used for supersonic flights.
Two Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets made multiple supersonic passes
at altitudes as low as 200 feet directing the sonic boom toward the
ground where various type of glass was staged. A sonic boom, which
sounds and feels like a large explosion, occurs when an aircraft
breaks the sound barrier by traveling at least 750 mph.
The “Mythbusters” teamed up with the Blue Angels and
Marines Feb. 18-20, 2009, on the Barry M. Goldwater Range to test
whether a sonic boom from a jet would shatter glass. The Blue
Angels made multiple passes at different altitudes to test the
effects on glass in a car, a house and various glassware.
“I came up with the idea of getting
‘Mythbusters’ to test the theory about a year
ago,” said Capt. Tyson Dunkelberger, Blue Angels’
public affairs officer. “They were busy filming at the time,
but we tried again six months ago and now we’re finally here
working with them.” To test the myth, the crew built a small
shed with a window, parked a car nearby with the windows rolled up
and set up glassware on a table. Two Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets
then zipped over the test area, directing the sonic boom toward the
ground as they passed.
“Mythbusters” co-host, Jamie Hyneman, stayed on the
ground at the site, while his partner, Adam Savage, rode in one of
the jets. The theory was tested with the Blue Angels flying at
elevations of 8,000, 2,000, 500 and 200 feet. Yuma’s
Goldwater Range was selected as the test site because it contains
an authorized supersonic flight corridor.
“The only places that we could have done this were here or
offshore in the Pacific,” said Dunkelberger. “Obviously
the range was much more practical.” This was the show’s
first experience working with the Marine Corps.
“Working with sailors and Marines has been a great
experience,” said Hyneman. “It’s nice to work
with people who are so on the ball and dependable.” Events
like this are part of the Blue Angels public relations mission.
“Our role is to represent and promote the Navy and Marine
Corps in the best possible way,” said Dunkelberger. “An
event like this is a great public relations opportunity. If we can
inspire someone watching the show to think about joining the
military, then the Blue Angels have done their job.” So
was the myth busted? Viewers will have to wait until the episode
airs June 10, 2009, at 9 p.m. EST on The Discovery Channel, to find