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Was 'sonic boom' over Hildenborough caused by Red Arrows?


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Residents of Kent have reported hearing a "sonic boom" in the skies over Kent this morning.

The loud bang was reported by residents of Hildenborough, near Tonbridge, just after 10.30am.

Some people who heard the sound said they saw the Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, fly by.

The sound could have been made by the Red Arrows. Picture: Gary Browne
The sound could have been made by the Red Arrows. Picture: Gary Browne

The bright red jets are scheduled to take part in Herne Bay Airshow on Sunday.

Other people reported seeing two fighter jets fly past at speed.

When a huge boom shook west Kent in 2014 it was caused by Typhoon fighter jets intercepting a Russian-built Latvian cargo plane, which had failed to respond to numerous attempted communications.

The Red Arrows are due to perform at Herne Bay air show this weekend. Picture: Gary Browne
The Red Arrows are due to perform at Herne Bay air show this weekend. Picture: Gary Browne

A sonic boom is heard when a vehicle travels through air faster than the speed of sound.

However, the speed of sound is just over 760mph and the Hawk T1 currently used by the Red Arrows team can travel at just over 600mph so if the loud noise heard this morning was caused by the aircraft it wasn't actually a sonic boom.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed this afternoon the 'boom' was not caused by any of its planes.

A spokesman said they had no "quick reaction alerts" today.

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