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NOAA Bringing Hurricane Hunter ‘Gonzo’ to Oshkosh

April 12, 2018 - An increasing EAA AirVenture Oshkosh presence by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2018 will be highlighted by the arrival of one of its hurricane hunter aircraft to Boeing Plaza.

NOAA’s Gulfstream IV-SP jet, nicknamed Gonzo, is a high-tech, high-flying, and high-speed platform used for hurricane forecasting and research. Its primary mission is to fly around and over developing tropical cyclones to create a detailed picture of the surrounding upper atmosphere.

“We are thrilled to provide EAA AirVenture visitors an opportunity to see NOAA’s Gulfstream IV-SP and learn how the agency uses this unique and highly capable aircraft to collect data to help save lives and property, and better understand our environment,” said NOAA Corps Capt. Timothy Gallagher, commanding officer of the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center in Lakeland, Florida, which is home for the NOAA Hurricane Hunters.

With a range of nearly 4,000 nautical miles and a cruising altitude of 45,000 feet, Gonzo provides observational coverage at high altitudes critical for defining weather systems in the upper atmosphere. The aircraft is equipped with tail Doppler radar and the ability to deploy weather data-gathering probes while in flight. NOAA’s Gulfstream IV-SP can also support other atmospheric and air chemistry studies.

The aircraft’s appearance at Oshkosh is part of an expanding NOAA presence at AirVenture, particularly at the International Federal Pavilion (IFP) on the grounds. The Pavilion is the weeklong home to more than a dozen federal agencies that have connections to aviation, and allow AirVenture attendees to discover and discuss the many ways that federal aviation program assist scientific progress, enhance the nation’s security, and provide benefits for pilots and the flying public.

“We are excited that NOAA, an integral member of the International Federal Partnership, will be bringing our aircraft to AirVenture,” said Ed Holicky, a NOAA senior meteorologist who is the IFP volunteer chair in 2018. “It’s a rare opportunity to see an aircraft that is important not only to those in hurricane-prone areas but nationwide. Expect more exciting opportunities as the IFP and EAA continue to build on their partnership throughout the year.”

Further details on displays and programs at the International Federal Pavilion will be announced as they are finalized.

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