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Lockheed Martin Claims Responsibility for Mysterious Boom, Shaking Reported in Parker County

Lockheed Martin says a loud boom reported over Parker County that rattled residents and reportedly shook homes and businesses Wednesday morning was from one of their aircraft.

The aeronautics company said they were flying aircraft in the area which caused a sonic boom, but they wouldn't say which aircraft.

A sonic boom is the sound of a shock wave created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound. Since the speed of sound is not constant and varies with altitude (ranging between 659 mph and 761 mph) it's not known how fast the aircraft was traveling when it caused the boom. Sonic booms can be heard over a wide area, depending on how long the aircraft travels at supersonic speeds.

Lockheed, which built F-16s at their Fort Worth facility for decades, now builds the stealth F-35 Lightning II fighter jet at their factory adjacent to NASJRB. The F-35 can easily reach supersonic speeds and is believed to top out at mach 1.6, or roughly 1,200 mph.

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Azle police said they received a number of calls about a "loud, booming noise" over a wide area and that some even reported houses and businesses shaking. Before the cause of the boom was confirmed, NBC 5 checked in with officials in Parker County and the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth.

Officials at the base, home to the 457th Fighter Squadron which flies the supersonic F-16 Fighting Falcon, said they didn't have any F-16s in the air today.

Parker County Emergency Management said they conducted a search after receiving numerous reports of the loud noise, but that nothing was found. They added that they contacted Lockheed Martin, who confirmed they did have planes in the air but didn't elaborate further.

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