Tampa, FL (AP) – Two "hurricane hunter" aircraft based in Florida will get a $35 million overhaul starting next year.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials say the refurbishing won't take the two Orion P-3 propeller planes out of service this hurricane season.
Most of NOAA's flights into hurricanes are based at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. The planes based at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida have additional Doppler radar that improves storm track and intensity forecasting.
NOAA's chief of operations at MacDill tells The Tampa Tribune that the planes are getting new wings, refurbished engines and upgraded radar.
The planes named "Miss Piggy" and "Kermit" have flown into more than 80 hurricanes each. Officials hope to keep them flying at least another 15 years.
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