Use of artificial lightning equipment in Project Thunderstorm, and radar operations supporting project and its aircraft
Ohio United States USA Date:1947 Duration:8 min 13 sec Sound:Yes
Tug tows Northrop F-15 Reporter into hangar in Minneapolis, Minnesota to be instrumented for Project Thunderstorm. Various scenes of electrical equipment used in making man-made lightning, including a generator made up of hundreds of transformers, and a connected massive generator for producing high voltage. A large oscillograph is shown along with a smaller oscillograph designed for airborne use. A scientist is seen inside the giant generator. Artificial lightning tests are made on canopy of the F-15 occupied by a scientist, and the canopy remains intact following lightning strike. Lightning rods are attached to lightning-vulnerable nose, tail fin, and wing tip locations of the Project Thunderstorm aircraft. Pilot climbs into canopy of F-15. Airborne F-15 project aircraft seen in flight headed toward area of dark clouds. In Ohio at Clinton County Army Air Field, a project officer (AAF Captain) describes how search procedures of the pilot, weather observer, and radar observer are coordinated and key locations of radar and cooperating facilities at Jamestown and the Clinton County Army Airfield. Large radar antenna revolving on top of large tower, scanning for signs of thunderstorms. Radar antenna scanning vertically, near Quonset huts. Command center inside a quonset hut with project personnel at radar scopes and thunderstorm and aircraft positions plotted on large plexiglass screens. Technician adjust motion picture camera that photographs radar scopes every four seconds. Operator at vertical measuring instrument, showing reflected returns from targets, on July 18, 1947. View of operator at plan position indicator radar scope showing weather returns on June 6, 1947. Ground Control Approach (GCA) truck located near end of airfield to guide landings of Thunderstorm aircraft. Radio operators sitting at radar scopes inside the GCA unit. P-61 makes GCA approach and landing in good weather, to maintain skills needed when weather is bad. Briefing officer at blackboard cites radio channels to be used for various purposes. View of AAF aircrews in audience.
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