August 9, 2006 Two Bell Boeing MV-22 Ospreys recently visited the United Kingdom for the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) and Farnborough International Air Show (FAS). Though the demonstration flights at RIAT and FAS were conducted by Bell Boeing pilots, the flights to and from the United States were part of an overall long range operational evaluation being conducted by the US Marines. The Osprey is such a new animal, with its dual helicopter and long-range plane capabilities that the Marines are busy “writing the book" on long-range deployments and have been conducting a series of long-distance flights to develop tactics,techniques and procedures for long-range, over-water movements of MV-22s, in preparation for the first combat deployment in 2007. Unlike conventional rotary wing aircraft, which must be transported into overseas theaters of operation aboard amphibious shipping or heavy lift transport planes, the V-22 can self-deploy thousands of miles over water to get itself to the fight.
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