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Notes from the Field

Science Flights over Hurricane Gonzalo Begin

October 15th, 2014 by Mary Morris
Maintenance crews and the pilots prepare for departure from MacDill Air Force base on October 15, 2015

Maintenance crews and the pilots prepare for departure from MacDill Air Force base on October 15, 2015

HS3 UAV flights officially ended a couple of weeks ago, but there has been a successful extension of the HS3 mission through a new NASA/Navy collaboration. Two instruments from HS3 that didn’t get to fly this hurricane season due to aircraft issues, HIRad and HIWRAP, are now loaded onto a manned WB-57 and will be flying over storms through the end of October.

Members of the team collaborate as they launch dropsondes into Hurricane Gonzalo during a science flight on October 15, 2014

Members of the team collaborate as they launch dropsondes into Hurricane Gonzalo during a science flight on October 15, 2014

Things are looking up for the HIRad and HIWRAP teams, as we just finished our first successful science flight over Hurricane Gonzalo today. Hurricane Gonzalo is undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle and has a maximum sustained wind of 125 miles per hour. Headed towards Bermuda, Gonzalo is expected to maintain its major hurricane status through Friday. Luckily, Gonzalo is in range of the WB-57, which will be based out of the MacDill Air Force base in Tampa, FL through Friday. The team here is working hard to get as much data as possible. Stay tuned!

The WB-57 lands after completing its first science flight at MacDill Air Force base on October 15, 2015

The WB-57 lands after completing its first science flight at MacDill Air Force base on October 15, 2015

 

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