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The WC-130 Hercules is a high-wing, medium-range aircraft used in weather reconnaissance missions. This plane is a C-130 transport configured with palletized weather instrumentation for penetration of tropical disturbances and storms, hurricanes and winter storms to obtain data on movement, size and intensity. The WC-130 is the weather data collection platform for the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. The aircraft is capable of staying aloft almost 18 hours at an optimum cruise speed of more than 300 miles per hour. An average weather reconnaissance mission lasts 11 hours and covers almost 3,500 miles. The crew collects and reports weather data as often as every minute. The WC-130J carries a minimal crew of five: pilot, co-pilot, navigator, aerial reconnaissance weather officer and weather reconnaissance loadmaster. The crew and the aircraft are assigned to the 53rd WRS , an Air Force Reserve Command unit assigned to the 403rd Wing at Keesler AFB, MS. The 53rd WRS, known as the Hurricane Hunters, is responsible for the reconnaissance mission in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Eastern and Central Pacific Ocean areas. From the front of the cargo compartment, the Aerial Reconnaissance Weather Officer operates the computerized weather reconnaissance equipment and acts as flight director in the storm environment. The weather officer also evaluates other meteorological conditions such as turbulence, icing, visibility, cloud types and amounts, and ocean surface winds. The ARWO uses the equipment to determine the storm's center and analyze atmospheric conditions such as pressure, temperature, dew point and wind speed. A critical piece of weather equipment on board the WC-130J is the dropsonde system. The GPS Dropsonde Windfinding System is a cylindrically-shaped instrument about 16 inches long and 3.5 inches in diameter and weighs approximately 2.5 pounds. The dropsonde is equipped with a high frequency radio and other sensing devices and is relea
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
|Orientation of image||1|
|Image resolution in width direction||300/1|
|Image resolution in height direction||300/1|
|Unit of X and Y resolution||2|
|Color space information||65535|
|Exif image width||3000|
|Exif image length||1972|
|Software used||Adobe Photoshop 7.0|
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