Afterburners are a feature on jet engines that inject more fuel and oxygen for a quick and massive boost. For modern day fighter jets, the increase in thrust could be anywhere between 40 to 70 percent.
Due to the high fuel consumption rate, the use of afterburners is limited to a few minutes in scenarios such as taking off on short runways or during combat.
During these few minutes, the bright plume of fire is produced, creating the following eye-catching effects.
An F/A-18F Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- US Navy
An F-22 Raptor jet engine is tested in a full afterburner state. Airmen test aircraft engines like these in a specialized hangar, known as a “hush house”, to ensure that all components are functioning properly.
- US Air Force
A US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off on a mission at dawn from Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
An F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Diamondbacks of Strike Fighter Squadron fires its afterburners before launching from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.
- US Navy
A US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing takes off from Atlantic City International Airport, New Jersey.
An afterburner glows during a test engine run and diagnostics on an F-15 engine, following repair at the Jacksonville Air National Guard Base.
A US Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon from the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard rotates during a full afterburner take off.
NASA’s SR-71 streaks into the twilight on a night flight from the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California.
A US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft assigned to the 13th Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan, uses its afterburner to launch down the runway.
An F/A-18C Hornet, assigned to the Ragin’ Bulls of Strike Fighter Squadron 37, ignites afterburners as it launches from aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.
A Danish F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from the tarmac of the Sigonella NATO Airbase on the southern Italian island of Sicily March 21, 2011.
- REUTERS/Max Rossi