Osprey Squadron for Iraq

The first V-22 Osprey combat squadron has been deployed by the Marines in Iraq.The V-22 Osprey is the world’s first operational tilt-rotor aircraft.10 Ospreys along with the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 left Monday aboard the USS Wasp from New River Air Station next to Camp Lejeune.About 200 marines comprise a typical marine squadron.The “Thunder Chickens” is the name of the squadron and the 20 pilots that form up the squadron are to spend the next 7 months or so ferrying troops, supplies and cargo.

The Osprey has the unique capability of taking off vertically and once airborne it tilts the rotors enabling it to fly like an airplane.The cruise speed of the Osprey is considerably greater than that of a normal helicopter.The Marine Corps plan to use 360 Ospreys.98 Ospreys will serve with the US Navy and Air Force.After decades spent in development it is nice to finally see the Osprey at work, the world’s first operational tilt-rotor.

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