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F-18 jet breaks speed of sound before huge sonic boom in extraordinary close up footage

Joe Harker

| Last updated 

The moment an F-18 fighter jet broke the sound barrier as it tore past an aircraft carrier was captured on camera and the noise is incredible.

At first there's what looks like a brief flash of light on the horizon as the jet fighter speeds towards the carrier, blasting past it at incredible speed.

However, the most remarkable thing about the footage - which was filmed in 2013 at a US military air show - is that for the longest time the plane doesn't appear to make a sound and that's because it's travelling faster than the speed of sound itself.

The F-18 is travelling so fast that it's outrunning the sound of its own approach, and it's not until the fighter is flying right by the carrier that anyone on board can hear a thing about it.

The F-18 flying by as it breaks the sound barrier. Credit: Newsflare/@FlightDeckLife
The F-18 flying by as it breaks the sound barrier. Credit: Newsflare/@FlightDeckLife

Fortunately everyone was set and ready to see it, and got to witness the iconic sonic boom which is produced by planes travelling faster than the speed of sound.

When a plane breaks the sound barrier, waves of pressure follow behind it as though it's following in the wake of a boat going through the water and that sound wave passing by is the 'boom' you can hear.

While land vehicles can break the sound barrier, it's planes that stand the best bet of going at such speeds, and people watching the amazing footage have been impressed and astonished by it.


Some have said that as impressive as the video is, the footage doesn't do it justice as a person 'can't even imagine how loud and massive' one is, saying a sonic boom can cause a whole house to shake.

Topics: Science, Technology, Weird

Joe Harker
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