I visited a childhood friend after he enlisted in the Air Force. As A kid he was always fascinated by my bedroom ceiling because it was festooned with model airplanes. I got real sick when I was young with scarlet fever and then soon after chicken pocks and then some nasty coughing sickness. My mom to keep me entertained and quiet would sit at a table near my bed and build all these wonderful model airplanes. One of favs was the gigantic B52. I like it so much I would get mom to take it down just so I could hold it (took both hands)
My air force fried remembered my love of the BUFF and when I visited took me to where I could observe a B52 starting up and then taking off. I asked why we were so far away And can't we get closer. (IIRC about 60 yards or so) He informed me weren't allowed to get closer and besides YOU DON"T WANT TO BE CLOSER. In a few minutes I understood why.
I've seen and heard some awe inspiring Loud events Rock Concerts, a Live Fire Exercise at a tank training area. Even got to see a live fire exercise of a destroyer and a ship defense system called the R2D2. And then there is the memorable Goal Line stand in Cleveland Stadium when the Browns held the Bengals on four consecutive downs. (I could have fired a 12 gauge right next to my wife's ear and she would never have heard it because of the crowd noise. It was feral in nature, the combined voices of 80,000 people in a rage.) BUT nothing comes close to that sound I FELT from the B52 when it got to full on startup of all those engines and then taxied out and hit the thrust!
Its one of those things you can't explain. You just have to experience it and when you tell another who has also went through it they nod knowingly.
Mach number is complex, and the F-18s that were doing their fast fly over flower formation (or whatever they call it) had just broken at about angels 10 and met back up midfield going everywhichaway.
One broke off low. Over my house. And dear Lord, the vapor trail hit the ground. Broke the sound barrier (not his fault, he was trying to run right at the edge and the pressure changed). Dust drifted down from the ceiling, a glass of water on the table jumped.
But that keeps us free. I dislike those that bitch about the noise.
And I pray for the men that fly and fight.
Quick sidebar. While coming home from a Browns game a few years ago on the Shoreway the same time as the Airshow was in progress I looked out the window and directly in front of me was a F-117 making an approach to Burke Airport at what seemed to be a hundred feet off the deck. It was almost totally noiseless, until it went past.