Flying research laboratory to appear at Royal International Air Tattoo
6 July 2012
Visitors to the UK's Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford this weekend will be able to see an aircraft that deliberately flies into the most violent storms and investigates volcanic ash clouds. It is making its first-ever appearance at an air show.
Researchers aboard the FAAM BAe-146 Atmospheric Research Aircraft last year flew into the most disruptive, violent cyclone that Scotland had seen in decades. More recently, in May this year, they flew into the heart of ferocious storms battering southern England. The data they collected will help improve weather forecasts by giving scientists unprecedented knowledge about what happens in the storms' turbulent depths.
The FAAM BAe-146 in flight
And another research team took the aircraft to the edge of the volcanic ash cloud that brought UK air traffic to a standstill in 2010. Their efforts, together with the team aboard NERC's Dornier 228, helped give the Civil Aviation Authority the information it needed to allow passenger flights to restart.
This flying laboratory is fitted with highly sophisticated scientific equipment that measures wind speed, temperature, humidity, the composition of particles in clouds, and other atmospheric properties. It makes research flights across the world to investigate weather, climate and the environment for the UK atmospheric research community. Much of the research is funded by NERC and the Met Office.
NERC Press Office
Natural Environment Research Council
Polaris House, North Star Avenue
Swindon, SN2 1EU
Tel: 01793 411561
Mob: 07917 557215
1. The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Met Office jointly manage the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM), which operates the BAe-146, one of the UK's dedicated research aircraft.
2. The Dornier 228 is operated by NERC's Airborne Research & Survey Facility.
Briefing note: 10/12
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