August 16, 1967: Project HICAT

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

A U-2 Dragonlady and a C-130 Hercules aircraft, along with support equipment and personnel, returned to the Air Force Flight Test Center from a test support project in Australia. Project HICAT involved missions flown from various locations in Australia and New Zealand. Data gathered would be useful for turbulence studies and high altitude weather forecasting for the supersonic transport and other high altitude projects.

The report describes the high altitude clear air turbulence HICAT measurements and meteorological correlations derived from Air Force U-2 flights with emphasis upon the results achieved since 13 March 1967, the program extension date. The program effort required the measurement of CAT velocity components at altitudes of 45,000 to 70,000 feet in 6 geographic areas. The program objective was to determine the statistical characteristics of high altitude CAT so as to improve structural design criteria. In addition, meteorological forecasts and analyses were to be correlated with the CAT measurements to improve CAT forecast procedures. In the Extended Program, 18.3 hours of high altitude CAT were located and recorded in flights covering over 156,000 miles from bases in England, Louisiana, Maine, Panama, Florida, and California. Actual vertical, lateral, and longitudinal gust velocity time histories and power spectra were determined and analyzed. Peak counts of true vertical gust velocity and derived equivalent gust velocity were obtained. A practical procedure for forecasting high altitude CAT was developed. The pilots log, gust velocity time histories and power spectra, as well as flight tracks and meteorological descriptions of all the tests appear in Volume II of this report.

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