We've all heard of the Hurricane Hunters - C-130s and P-3s that fly into the eyes of tropical cyclones to gather weather data. Well, thanks to New Scientist, we now know of the potential for Hurricane Killers. The magazine has uncovered a whacky, but serious patent for a method of suppressing or eliminating hurricanes using the destabilizing effect of sonic booms generated by supersonic fighters.
Essentially, two supersonic aircraft would fly in concentric circles at low altitude round the eye of the hurricane in the opposite direction to the cyclone's rotation. The shockwaves generated by the aircraft would slow the rotation of the hurricane and increase pressure at the center of the cyclone's eye, disrupting the upward flow of warm and humid air that fuels the storm.
Inventors Arkadii Leonov and Atanas Gagov of the University of Akron, Ohio, say: "Two F-4 jet fighters flying at approximately Mach 1.5 are sufficient to suppress, mitigate and/or destroy a typical-sized hurricane/typhoon." I say let's try it!