These Bell Boeing MV-22 Ospreys were submitted by Daryl Niewald and were taken near Eastern Sierra Regional Airport (KBIH) in Bishop, CA. The Ospreys typically conduct high-altitude training in mountainous areas similar to those near KBIH.
As a “tiltrotor” aircraft, the MV-22 (Marine variant) fills a specific requirement by Navy, Marine, and now Air Force special forces. It can carry troops and equipment several times further than a helicopter can at twice the speed and is capable of air refueling. All of this means the aircraft is self deployable, although I’m not sure I’d want to do an ocean crossing in it myself! (Read more here)
The V-22 is the result of a join venture between Bell Helicopter and Boeing’s helicopter division and began development in 1981. So far, the Department of Defense has paid out $27 billion to get it into production and is expecting to pay another $27 billion and change to obtain the required number aircraft.
The Osprey has had numerous high-profile accidents. In all, there have been seven crashes resulting in 36 fatalities. Early development of the aircraft was given a black eye when a Marine squadron commander allegedly attempted to modify maintenance records to make the Osprey appear to be more reliable than it was. (Read more here.)
In this unique picture taken at night (even without a tripod it’s still pretty awesome!) shows how static electricity can build-up on the tips of the rotors/props.
Excellent series of photos Daryl, thanks!
The above submitted images are copyright Daryl Niewald 2012-13 and are used with permission.