March 13, 1967: AFFTC Resources Departed for England in Support of Project HICAT

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

A U-2, Dragonlady, surveillance aircraft and a C-130 and associated support equipment and personnel departed for England in support of Project HICAT. During the following three months, the team supported missions over France, Italy, and various points in the United States.

The report describes the high altitude clear air turbulence HICAT flight investigation with primary emphasis upon the results achieved since 15 February 1965. On this date the program was redirected to utilize a new digital instrumentation system for the measurement of CAT in the wavelength range from about 100 feet to 60,000 feet. The program effort required the measurement of CAT velocity components at altitudes of 45,000 to 70,000 feet in seven geographic areas. Instrumentation carried aboard the HICAT aircraft, an Air Force U-2, consisted of a PCM System, an Inertial Navigation System, aerodynamic and aircraft response sensors including a fixed vane gust probe, oscillograph recorder, and a digital magnetic tape recorder. The program objective is to determine the statistical characteristics of high altitude CAT so as to improve structural design criteria. Overall, 29.2 hours of high altitude CAT were located and recorded in flights covering over 256,000 miles from bases in California, Massachusetts, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, and Australia. Actual vertical, lateral, and longitudinal gust velocity time histories were calculated from the measurements and used to obtain gust velocity power spectra. Derived equivalent gust velocities were also calculated and peak counted. Meteorological factors were considered in categorizing and correlating data. Meteorological data and flight track maps are included.

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