twaconnie
Topic Author
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:18 pm

Hurricane hunters question?

Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:45 pm

With hurricane Dorian in the news do the hunters still use C-130's to fly into the storm?
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3513
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:48 pm

Yes, the AF Reserves 53rd squadron uses WC-130Js and NOAA uses WP-3s. The Js still have navs, too.

GF
 
twaconnie
Topic Author
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:18 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:54 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Yes, the AF Reserves 53rd squadron uses WC-130Js and NOAA uses WP-3s. The Js still have navs, too.

GF

Thanks your really up to date.
 
twaconnie
Topic Author
Posts: 200
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 3:18 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:55 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Yes, the AF Reserves 53rd squadron uses WC-130Js and NOAA uses WP-3s. The Js still have navs, too.

GF

Thanks your really up to date.
 
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Spacepope
Posts: 4284
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:58 pm

Here's a P-3 flight for later today, scheduled for nearly 8 hours.
https://flightaware.com/live/flight/NOA ... /KLAL/KLAL
The last of the famous international playboys
 
PI4EVR
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 4:29 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:39 pm

NOAA also uses a Gulfstream that flew yesterday from Lakeland and saw a special report on its mission from ABC News WFTS in Tampa.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3513
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:51 pm

I think the GLF flies over the top of a storm to measure upper atmospheric conditions. The typical, envisioned hurricane hunter mission into the storm is flown at fairly low level, under 10,000’, often much lower.

GF
 
dfwjim1
Posts: 2201
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Fri Aug 30, 2019 5:52 pm

I wonder if drone technology will ever render manned flights obsolete.
 
LightningZ71
Posts: 482
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:59 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:58 am

Eventually? Yes. In the near term? Probably more as a supplement. The biggest net gain for forecast modeling is the synoptic flights by the gulf stream. The P3 and C-130 flights (and I know I'm just using the short designator and not the full model ID) are more to tell you what's actually going on in the storm at this very minute. NOAA/NWS wishes that they could fly the gulfstream a lot more often than they do. The reason being is that the atmospheric measurements that it gives are fed directly into the computer models, giving them much better starting points for their computational modeling runs to predict the movement of the storm. Right now, they get a gulfstream flight maybe once every 24 hours at best. Usually, its a longer turnaround from what I remember reading (granted, that could have been shortened aince it's been years since I read up on this).

Where a drone might be able to help is in being able to repeatedly run long duration sampling missions around the surrounding environment of the storm. You could have a few of them on a continual cycle that are constantly feeding up to date information into the computer models. A limiting factor will be the dropsonde supplies. Since most drones are much smaller than the Gulfstream and P3/C-130, they won't have the magazine capacity to drop a lot of those sensors into the air. With some of the larger platforms however, canister launchers could be installed where existing hardpoints are for ordnance. That could cover a lot of the need right there.

As for replacing the C-130 and P3 for storm penetration duties, that's a different animal. Smaller drones would have significant issues with handling the turbulence aloft in those storms. Larger platforms are CURRENTLY more optimized for loitering in "still" air. That isn't to say that they can't be made, just that it isn't economical to do so. The existing frames used for that duty are either second hand from the navy, or are just repurposed frames that were designed for other uses. There have been attempts at purpose built smaller platforms for storm chasing duties in the past, but, they never proved to be economically viable. You might see something when a optionally piloted large transport is developed in a few decades.

Generally, the storm chasing endeavor is an expensive one already. But it doesn't have the budget to develop bespoke platforms or to even purchase brand new air frames. It's going to be second hand drones that the military and DHS is done using that will eventually filter into NOAA/NWS use.
 
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Spacepope
Posts: 4284
Joined: Tue Dec 28, 1999 11:10 am

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:06 am

A few years back NASA was flying their RQ-4 (NASA 872) for hurricane Michael. Haven't seen one airborne yet. Long missiona as they based the flights out of Edwards, so 24 hours of flight time.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
Runway28L
Posts: 1781
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:35 pm

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:50 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Yes, the AF Reserves 53rd squadron uses WC-130Js and NOAA uses WP-3s. The Js still have navs, too.

GF

Out of curiosity, is there a particular reason why they kept the nav position on the WC-130Js?
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3513
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:54 am

Yes, a Senator named Trent Lott said so; he wasn’t going to see civil service military technicians laid off in his state. Letter to General Fogelman settled that issue.

GF
 
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kc135topboom
Posts: 11106
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:45 am

Navigators are needed to accurately plot the different features inside a hurricane which is vital data for forecasting the movement of the storm.

FWIW the WC-135s also have a navigator, but the WC-135s are not hurricane hunters. They are used to plot where radiation is as well as other things the WC-135s do.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3513
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Hurricane hunters question?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:55 am

Not according to the OG during the conversion to the J, pilots could easily do it. He was later my boss, flew a lot with him, great stories.

GF

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