development of an armored T-28 aircraft for probing hailstorms

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  • 1 Institute of Atmospheric Sciences, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, S.D. 57701
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A T-28 aircraft has been extensively modified and instrumented to be used as a hailstorm penetration vehicle. The structure of the aircraft was strengthened and all leading edges were armor plated to protect the aircraft from hail damage. A larger engine was installed. Meteorological data are recorded aboard the T-28 and later combined with the Pilot's recorded visual observations to gain a fuller understanding of the interior structure of hailstorms.

The aircraft is normally directed to make horizontal penetrations through the high reflectivity zones and updraft areas between 4.88 and 7.32 km MSL. The maximum intensity storm intentionally penetrated had a radar reflectivity of 55 dBZ. Aircraft icing presented the most significant problem.

Data analysis is continuing. Results to date indicate the following:

A T-28 aircraft has been extensively modified and instrumented to be used as a hailstorm penetration vehicle. The structure of the aircraft was strengthened and all leading edges were armor plated to protect the aircraft from hail damage. A larger engine was installed. Meteorological data are recorded aboard the T-28 and later combined with the Pilot's recorded visual observations to gain a fuller understanding of the interior structure of hailstorms.

The aircraft is normally directed to make horizontal penetrations through the high reflectivity zones and updraft areas between 4.88 and 7.32 km MSL. The maximum intensity storm intentionally penetrated had a radar reflectivity of 55 dBZ. Aircraft icing presented the most significant problem.

Data analysis is continuing. Results to date indicate the following:

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