Definitions

WP:MILITARY

WP-3D Orion

The Lockheed WP-3D Orion is a variant of the P-3 Orion used by the Aircraft Operations Center division of the NOAA. Only two of these craft exist, each incorporating numerous features for the role of collecting weather information. During hurricane season, the WP-3Ds are deployed for duty as hurricane hunters.

The WP-3Ds are equipped with three weather radars, C band radars in the nose and on the lower fuselage, and an X-band radar in the aircraft's tail. They are also equipped with dropsondes, temperature sensors, and other meteorological equipment. The aircraft are not specially strengthened for flying into hurricanes, however their decks were reinforced to withstand the additional equipment load.

NOAA currently operates two WP-3Ds nicknamed Miss Piggy and Kermit, and their logos featuring the characters were created by Jim Henson Productions. NOAA is currently in the process of acquiring a third P-3 aircraft. NOAA's other hurricane hunting aircraft, the Gulfstream IV-SP, is named Gonzo.

Specifications (P-3 Orion)

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