Thursday, March 27, 2014
It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's.... An Osprey!
My granddaughter and I were out on the balcony of my daughter's apartment when we heard an aircraft flying over us. It is possible you have never seen one of these, but we see them every now and then as they are built right here in Amarillo, Texas! It went over us several times so I ran inside for my camera. I have never seen the underside as close as it was today.
It is an Osprey, made at the Bell Helicopter plant. It is unique because it can fly as an airplane but it can also maneuver like a helicopter. Called a tiltroter, the military aircraft can fly as a fixed wing aircraft with the proprotors vertical and within 90 seconds they can be rotated so the proprotors are horizontal, as in the photo I took, and fly like a helicopter. They can carry more troops (24) than a helicopter but can land and lift off just like a helicopter. A Marine Corps news release said the Osprey could “fly twice as fast, carry three times as much and fly four times the distance of the older CH-46E helicopter it is replacing.” I hear they cost about $70 million each.