Hailstop ’74

There have been a lot of severe thunderstorms running up “Thunderstorm Alley,” this year.

In the summer of ’74 I flew with a program that had a dual purpose. First off, we were trying to reduce hail damage to crops in central Alberta. Second off, scientists were trying to get a measure of how effective such efforts actually are.

The aircraft shown here is equipped for bottom seeding. In the diagram of “Seeding Concepts,” that’s what’s going on at the bottom of the clouds, next to the mountain range. There was a different aircraft rig used for top seeding, which is represented by that magenta “bubble” across the tops of the newly-growing turrets. I’ll try to find a photo of what the aircraft equipment looked like for that procedure, and explain a little more in a later post.

It was a fascinating few months. If the airline “thing” hadn’t worked out, I’m pretty sure I would have pursued more opportunities to work as a research / weather modification pilot.

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