Hurricane hunter planes get $42 million upgrade

$42 million 'nose-to-tail' upgrade for 2 hurricane hunters

Hurricane Hunters, P-3

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Miss Piggy and Kermit are getting new engines, new wings and different radar.

Every hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flies two, technologically packed aircraft into storms for research and forecasting. One’s dubbed “Miss Piggy,” while the other is “Kermit.”

This season, a $42 million “nose-to-tail” project upgrades key components on the 38-year-old planes that fly through storms at speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. The money comes from Superstorm Sandy disaster relief funds.

NOAA officials estimate that the refurbishments could keep them flying for decades. The improvements will also mean better fuel efficiency and additional safety for the crew and scientists that fly in the mobile weather stations.

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