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There are a number of UK research aircraft now potentially available to the UK Arctic community but only those operated by BAS have extensive polar operational experience.
BAS operates four ski/wheel equipped De Havilland Twin Otter aircraft, of which two are equipped with sophisticated research instrumentation packages. One of the Twin Otters has a geophysics fit used extensively for sub-ice sheet studies whilst a second Twin Otter has a meteorology instrument fit.
BAS also operates a larger and longer range aircraft, a
De Havilland Dash 7
that is wheel equipped but can operate on blue ice runways.
In the past a BAS Twin Otter has been deployed on Svalbard and more recently one of these aircraft was successfully deployed at a variety of locations across the Canadian Arctic, operating out of Resolute Base on Cornwallis Island.
British Antarctic Survey ski-equiped Twin Otter and Dash-7 aircraft above Rothera research station, Adelaide Island, Antarctica.
NERC also has access to additional research aircraft, notably a leased (External) BAE-146 jet that has a sophisticated meteorology/atmospheric chemistry instrumentation fit and a smaller (External) Dornier 228 used for surveying and aerial photography. More information on these aircraft can be found on the NERC website under ' (External) Research Facilities '.
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