Listen to the loud bangs caused by RAF Typhoons during an alert scramble

This is the sound of a sonic boom.

Two loud bangs were heard across central eastern UK on May 2, as two Typhoon jets from RAF Coningsby were scrambled to intercept a Cityjet Avro RJ-85 that was flying as Air France 1558 from Paris Charles de Gaulle, France, to Newcastle, UK.

The RJ-85 failed to reply to the ATC (Air Traffic Control) calls prompting the British Air Defense to scramble two Typhoons in QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) that intercepted the airliner and escorted it to landing.

To reach the “unresponsive civil plane” the two Typhoon fighters accelerated to supersonic speed causing the sonic booms that shocked several houses in parts of Yorkshire at around 21.50LT.

The following video was filmed by a surveillance camera in North Leeds. Turn your speakers on to hear the two loud bangs!

Image credit: BAE Systems (not a RAF Typhoon as it carries an IRIS-T)

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. You cant imagine how the Concorde project thought that flying supersonically overland was going to be ok. That was some mighty big bangs and from a much smaller aircraft. What happened to the aircraft they intercepted? Did they force it to land somewhere?

      • So forced to land at one of the designated airstrips away from commercial traffic? You just dont escort a plane if there is no com to a busy hub like Heathrow.

        • They managed to regain communication with the pilot of the commercial aircraft as they neared the airport and verified the identity. The plane was apparently having electronic communications problems.

  2. My parents live in an area of intense fighter training activity in the south countryside of France, and it’s not rare that the dogfighting Mirages from Orange AFB break the sound barrier. Not in purpose of course because it’s forbidden overland except for QRAs, but it happens eventually, shaking the hell out of everyone’s windows and eardrums (when they don’t buzz the hills / roofs at treetop altitude).
    The regular citizen is quite upset, but that kind of free airshow is perfectly fine by me ;).

  3. During the cold war days you could hear sonic booms every now and then in Kassel, Germany, which is pretty much smack in the middle of the country and slightly north of the Fulda Gap. The boom has much more base than in the video, it always rattled our windows and the glasses in the cupboard.

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