Atmospheric research flying

70 years of challenging our understanding of the atmosphere

In 1942, during the Second World War, the United Kingdom started airborne atmospheric research with the establishment of an RAF Flight of two aircraft at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire. 70 years on airborne observations of the atmosphere remain a crucial part of the way that scientists are building their understanding of the intricate processes that define weather systems, and the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) carries on this important scientific research using a BAe 146-301 aircraft based at Cranfield.

70 years of ARF_timeline 70 years of Atmospheric research flying timeline manuscript (PDF, 1 MB)

70 years of Atmospheric Research Flying Timeline

Top 15 Scientific Achievements

Over the last 70 years Met Office scientists in the Meteorological Research Flight (MRF), and later through the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Research (FAAM) have provided significant scientific contributions to our understanding of the atmosphere, making measurements which have only been possible with the use of specially instrumented aircraft.

FAMM Top 15 Scientific Achievements Read more about the top 15 scientific achievements (PDF, 1 MB)

Last updated: 11 March 2013