Two hurricane-hunting aircraft visited the Quonset State Airport (KOQU; North Kingstown, RI) yesterday:
- Lockheed WP-3D Orion (N42RC; c/n 285A-5622) of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and
- Lockheed WC-130J Hercules (97-5304, c/n 382-5474) of 53rd WRS, 403rd Wing, AF Reserve.
The aircraft were part of NOAA’s “Hurricane Awareness Tour” aiming to “raise awareness of the impacts from tropical cyclones threats and the danger of being caught without a personal hurricane plan.” The Orion is one of two such aircraft operated by NOAA, based in Lakeland, Florida and equipped to do data collection to supplant data from ground-based radars as well as from satellites. Similarly, the Hercules collects weather data from storms and other adverse weather phenomena; this aircraft is based in Keesler AFB, Mississippi.