Everything you need to know about the surprise “sonic boom”
Target 3 explains how a Boeing fighter jet broke the sound barrier and set off a loud explosion
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) – Phone lines, group chats and email inboxes lit up with a flurry of curious questions at local police stations, fire stations, city governments and communities. newsrooms just after 11:00 am Tuesday morning. The question that echoed through central Illinois was, “What was that big boom that rocked windows, houses, and nerves?” “
Social media detectives were quick to come up with possible explanations. Some have wondered if it was an earthquake. Others have suggested an explosion at a chemical plant. WCIA3 chief meteorologist Kevin Lighty, a Federal Aviation Administration licensed drone pilot, was among the first to suggest that it was a “sonic boom,” created by a jet passing through the wall of the his.
Minutes after the disruption, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency was on the case, seeking to allay the concerns of a panicked public. In a statement, IEMA officials said the noise nuisance triggered “immediate collaboration between federal, state and local authorities to identify the impact and source of the incident.”
According to sources during that call, Boeing, one of the country’s largest defense contractors, informed the state that Defense Ministry pilots were pulling out one of their new F- fighter jets. 15EX Strike Eagle II for “final acceptance”. which is sort of a test drive before you complete the deal.
“Upon closer examination, it was determined that an F-15 fighter jet in the airspace over central Illinois corrected the creation of a sonic boom,” the door said. IEMA’s word, Rebecca Clark, later in the afternoon. “When the plane broke through the sound barrier, the pressure wave created an audible noise and minor jerks in the area.”
Aviation records show the flight path traveling from Pittsfield, Ill., Across state lines to Missouri, before returning in a straight line to Decatur, reaching a top speed of 1,148 miles on time. The plane landed safely at Saint-Louis Lambert International Airport at 12:30 p.m., less than an hour and a half after take-off.
Aircraft can create a ‘supersonic detonation‘whenever they fly over 750 miles per hour. According to publicly available flight records, the Boeing aircraft traveled over the sound barrier at an altitude above 40,000 feet for about two minutes.
A Boeing promotional video described the roar of the jet as the “sound of freedom”. The US Air Force says shock waves from a sonic boom carry enough power to shatter glass in buildings at ground level.
Clark assured that there were “no reports of damage associated with the incident.” But the noisy boom that has prompted local and state governments to scramble to keep the public safe has raised questions about the lack of notice that has caught so many off guard.
FAA sectoral aeronautical charts designate specific areas of jurisdiction in the sky that allow military aircraft to perform tests.
Tuesday morning’s test flight appears to have taken off from inside a military operational zone (MOA) in Pittsfield. Fighter pilots often simulate combat missions in these spaces and are not subject to any “speed limit” per se. Although pilots communicate with air traffic controllers if they come within their radius, they cannot notify local authorities before their tests.
The training assignments themselves are rather routine. It was the speed of this particular flight that was extraordinary. The jets project a wider, but softer “sonic boom” the higher they go. According to US Air Force estimates, people could have felt the supersonic impact on Tuesday afternoon up to 46.5 miles from the plane’s flight path.
When the first reports surfaced in Springfield, Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport informed the mayor’s office that it was not aware of any theft that allegedly took place within its area. This turned out to be true. The F-15’s flight path never entered the 10-mile radius of Springfield Airport, but its pilots reportedly contacted St. Louis air traffic controllers.
According to a official release From the US Air Force, Boeing contracted with the Department of Defense to deliver this latest batch of eight new F-15 EX jets that cost taxpayers $ 1.2 billion.