This story really is pure cool. On July 27, 1943, Lieutenant Ralph O’Hair and Colonel Duckworth made the first airplane flight into a hurricane.
The pair flew a single-engine AT-6 training plane into a hurricane. They weren’t on some kind of desperate mission though; they mostly just wanted to see if they could do it!
Their successful trip into the heart of the storm encouraged the Air Force to continue sending flights into hurricanes to gain information used for forecasting and civil defense. The practice continues to this day, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration using these flights’ data in conjunction with satellite technology to predict storms and protect coastal cities.
Combining old-school derring-do with modern technology to save lives? Crazy cool.