Sonic boom which made 'whole house shake' explained

Two Eurofighter Typhoon jets were scrambled from RAF Coningsby to intercept the civilian aircraft

Two Eurofighter Typhoon jets were scrambled from RAF Coningsby to intercept the civilian aircraft - Credit: Archant

A sonic boom, which was heard as far as Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgshire this afternoon, has been revealed to have been due to a civilian aircraft being intercepted by two RAF jets.

The huge boom, which happened around 1pm today, was the noise of two Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft going supersonic after being scrambled from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. 

Flight tracking website ADSBexchange.com recorded a Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 reaching a peak speed of over 1,000 knots (1,150mph) above Ickleton, just south of Cambridge.

RAF Typhoon jets went supersonic to meet a civilian aircraft

The jets were heard at around 1pm today after going supersonic to reach the aircraft quickly - Credit: Archant

A sonic boom is created when an object moves through air faster than the speed of sound, 767mph, which the jet first surpassed near Peterborough.

An Essex Police spokesperson said: “We were contacted at just after 1pm today following concerns for a private aircraft which appeared to have lost radio contact.

"As a precaution the aircraft, which was a private plane travelling from Germany to Birmingham, was intercepted and escorted into Stansted airport.


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"Those on board the aircraft were spoken to and all was found to be in order and the aircraft was allowed to proceed on its journey.

"During the incident residents across Essex and neighbouring counties may have heard a sonic boom.

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"We would like to reassure everyone that the loud noise was related to this incident and we thank everyone for their concern.”

Mark Johnson in Writtle, Chelmsford, said: "Thought someone had hit my front door with something."

The noise could also be heard in Suffolk and Ady Swift in Stradishall said: "made the whole house shake!"

Some residents speculated whether the jets had been scrambled from a Suffolk airbase, as the noise was so loud.

The jets were scrambled from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire

The jets were scrambled from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire - Credit: Google Maps

The Typhoon jets are often deployed to escort aircraft that lose contact with air traffic control or don’t respond to communications.

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