Snap-through buckling can reduce the life-span of structural systems such as aircraft surface paneling. This is envisioned to be a specific problem in hypersonic vehicles in which severe thermal loading and acoustic excitation conspire to create an especially hostile environment for structural elements. A shallow arch, and two simplified link models are used to investigate the mechanisms of snap-through buckling from a fundamental, or phenomeno-logical, standpoint. The complexities introduced by modal interactions are introduced and a method for identifying snap-through buckling is developed. Copyright © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.