The C-130 Hercules aircraft supports observational research studies of atmospheric chemistry, cloud physics, mesoscale meteorology, boundary-layer dynamics, air-sea interactions, oceanography, and other fields within the atmospheric sciences.

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The G-V, also known as HIAPER (High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research), has a maximum altitude of 51,000 feet (15,500 meters), enabling scientists to probe the upper edges of hurricanes and thunderstorms in unprecedented detail as well as study chemical processes high above Earth.

Photograph of an airplane in flight