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Why use prop planes to hunt hurricanes?

  1. Sep 15, 2003 #1
    What is the mechanical reason why hurricanes are explored with propeller planes, and not jet planes? Is it because of the density of water in clouds therein?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2003 #2

    chroot

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    It's most likely because prop planes fly more slowly and are more agile, giving the investigators more time to study.

    - Warren
     
  4. Sep 15, 2003 #3
    They are? I didn't know that,

    I thought it was because prop planes are cheaper and easier for scientists to afford with their scanty grants.
     
  5. Sep 15, 2003 #4

    selfAdjoint

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    Also they sometimes haul drogues behind to sample the air (drop size, etc.), and a prop plane doesn't spew a stream of partly oxidized kerosene out the back.
     
  6. Sep 15, 2003 #5

    chroot

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    It depends on the aircraft, but many jets have pretty high stall speeds -- and especially in the environment near a major storm, winds can quickly change direction and cause an aircraft to stall. By contrast, a Cessna with 40 degrees of flaps in the breeze can fly as slowly as about 35 miles per hour.

    And yeah, they're a lot cheaper, too.

    - Warren
     
  7. Sep 15, 2003 #6

    russ_watters

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    A commonly used plane is the P-3 Orion, a turboprop. One benefit is it can remain airborne for 12 hours (without refueling). Thats considerably longer than a typical jet.
     
  8. Sep 16, 2003 #7
  9. Feb 4, 2004 #8
    i think i'd rather go 35mph than have that happen to my plane! oh my!
     
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