Category Archives: Sound Effects

Jet Noises

This is probably not “music,” but it sure is to me! I wanted to go into the Air Force as a pilot when I was a teenager, so I asked my dad (a USAF Korean war veteran) to look into it. He said that I needed 20/20 vision to qualify, so that was the end of that. I probably couldn’t have put up with all the saluting and everything anyway. I content myself with paragliding with and without a propeller.

We attended the Miramar Air Show this past weekend and I brought along my digital recorder. You will hear the Blue Angels in their F-18 Hornets screaming by, as well as a longish segment of the vertical take-off of a Harrier AV-8B “Jump Jet,” followed by its transition into level flight and away into the distance.

I usually disconnect myself from any political implications of these examples of military hardware and just enjoy the aesthetic experience. There were also biplanes, sailplanes, and even a powered hang glider in the show, as well as a MIG fighter which is sponsored by the Red Bull company.

There is a bit of distortion, but that’s what it sounds like when you’re up close to some of the most powerful engines in the world. Crowd noise and the show announcers and music are also heard.

Also included is a track from a CD called SuperSonics which is a collection of recordings of military aircraft. Listen to the sound of an SR-71 Blackbird spy plane engine start. The engines cannot be started unless they are already spinning at at least 10,000 RPM, so the Air Force uses a V8 engine from a Cadillac for the job. You can hear the V8 start and rev up as the jet engine kicks in.

When I first bought the CD, I forgot it was playing in the car and almost panicked when the sound of a jet fighter closing in came though the speakers.

Harrier Jet take off and transition into level flight


Two F-18 bombing runs


Blue Angels low-level pass


SR-71 Engine start (from the CD SuperSonics on Aircraft Records)


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Filed under Noise, Sound Effects