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June introduced the first of CH's with the more powerful Allison TA turboprop engine. Nearly identical to the CE externally, the new engine brought major performance improvements to the aircraft. The latest C to be produced, the CJ entered the inventory in February With the noticeable difference of a six-bladed composite propeller coupled to a Rolls-Royce AED3 turboprop engine, the CJ brings substantial performance improvements over all previous models, and has allowed the introduction of the CJ, a stretch version with a foot fuselage extension.

To date, the Air Force has taken delivery of 32 CJ aircraft from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company with orders for approximately 46 more aircraft. The Weatherbird Software: The Weatherbird computer software enables the ARWO operator to monitor atmospheric conditions, both numerically and graphically, near the WCJ and transmit this data to monitoring stations on the ground.

Atmospheric and aircraft flight data are sampled six times per second at flight level and formulated into ten-second averaged data sets by a signal conditioner. The software then uses the ten-second data to compute numerous higher level meteorological parameters, such as pressure, altitude, temperature, and dew point, all of which can be displayed and stored. The ten-second data is averaged into 30 second averages which is then formulated into data messages, called High Density Observations HDOBs each containing minutes worth of information.

Finally, the software serves as a storage and transmission facility for data messages. All messages can be retrieved, edited, and restored by the ARWO and finally sent to the customer via the satellite communication system. The main CNIU component is a GPS navigation unit which can pinpoint a position accurately to within one mile after an average hour hurricane reconnaissance mission. It can be displayed in various digital formats or graphically depicted in time series or position plots.

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An acknowledgment of receipt of a message is automatic and is instantaneously relayed to the sending station by the receiving station. This enhances the book keeping process by the ARWO on the aircraft and ensures that none of the critical hurricane reconnaissance data is lost in space. AVAPS is a self-contained atmospheric profiling system, installed in two standard inch racks, that records current atmospheric conditions vertically below the WCJ aircraft from a deployed dropsonde that transmits data back to the arcraft as it falls to the surface.

As it descends from aircraft altitude 5, — 38, feet to the surface, at about feet per minute, it measures and transmits current pressure, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and GPS position information to AVAPS hardware in the aircraft twice each second.


Up to four sondes can be deployed simultaneously. AVAPS receives this data, processes it, then displays the time from launch, raw weather data, number of GPS satellites being tracked, and geopotential altitude for each Sonde deployed. After the drop has ended, the data files can be printed and data can be analyzed by the ASPEN program. Due to the very hectic and busy nature of the hurricane reconnaissance mission, ASPEN was specially designed to operate as automatically as possible, while allowing the user to have full control over the quality control methods.

This site is managed by the non-profit Hurricane Hunter Association.

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An amphibian configured C could prosecute the entire search and rescue mission under decent weather and sea conditions. There are many other applications for an amphibious C, like disaster relief and even military missions, and especially those carried out by the special operations community.

USS Forrestal C-130 Hercules Carrier Landing Trials

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