Fighter aircraft nearly broke the sound barrier flying over parts of Orange County as the U.S. Air Force commemorated the 70th anniversary of the first supersonic flight Friday.
Residents of multiple cities in Orange County observed the formation of four high-performance aircraft flying 1,000 feet above the ground at the event, which started at noon. Flights concluded at 1 p.m.
The event featured flyovers above multiple schools in the Orange County area including a viewing experience at J.H. McGaugh Elementary School in Seal Beach.
It's an "incredible feeling to know that this school does so much to support the military kids that attend here," said Air Force Capt. Nathan Welch, a graduate of the elementary school.
The commemoration worked in support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), a program designed to promote development in fields essential to the future of the state and nation, according to the 412th Test Wing event website. The event launched two formations solely intended to fly over multiple elementary schools in Southern California, the website stated.
Observers got the opportunity to see the F-22 Raptor, F-15 Eagle, F-35 Lightning II and F-16 Fighting Falcon in action. The fighters originated from Edwards Air Force Base in Kern County where nearly all U.S. Air Force advanced aircrafts have been developed since World War II.
The event honored the first supersonic flight that took place 45,000 feet over the Mojave Desert on Oct. 14, 1947. The Bell X-1 fighter that achieved the feat was piloted by Capt. Charles "Chuck" Yeager who accelerated the aircraft to 700 mph – breaking the sound barrier.
He became the first confirmed human to travel faster than the speed of sound via flight. Yeager's accomplishment blazed the path for ground breaking development in future supersonic flights.