For the first time ever, NASA is flying two drones into the Atlantic Ocean to unravel the mysteries of hurricanes. The scientists want to know – when the ingredients are pretty much the same – why do some storms turn ferocious while others fizzle?
To solve that mystery, scientists from Wallops Island are launching huge robot planes that once spied on our enemies to now spy on storms.
The story is Wednesday at 6. In the meantime, the chase-plane crew that escorts the drones in and out of Wallops Island let NewsChannel 3 put a GoPro camera in the cockpit for a buzz around the Wallops Island Flight Facility.
You can join the pilots in a scenic flight over the Wallops Island area.
The drones spend most of their flight time in restricted airspace or over the Atlantic. But when the drones take off and return, they briefly fly through national airspace, the airspace where regular airplanes fly.
Because of this, the drones need a “chase” aircraft to keep an eye on them, and to look for other aircraft in the area.