Can planes be used to stop hurricanes? © iStock

Can planes be used to stop hurricanes?

Dorothy and Toto can attest to the fact that flying into extreme weather can yield unwanted results.

Asked by: Anonymous

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Hurricanes can cause hundreds of deaths and billions of pounds’ worth of damage. But scientists at the University of Akron in Ohio have patented a possible way of dealing with them. Their plan involves flying jet fighters into the eye of the storm to disrupt the delicate airflow and pressure causing the ferocious winds.

The Supersonic Hurricane Neutraliser plan is still on the drawing board, but in theory it would work something like this: two F-4 jet fighters, flying at a speed of Mach 1.5, would fly into the hurricane’s eye – the calm part at the centre of the storm. The sonic boom produced by the jets would raise the air pressure inside the eye, which would disrupt the upward flow of warm air that gives the storm its power, thus bringing the storm to an end.

Trials are planned which it is hoped could show that only one jet fighter is needed to disrupt a storm. Now all they have to do is find some pilots prepared to make the flight.


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