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Posted on Nov 26, 2006 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Royal International Air Tattoo 2006

By Phil Royal

The other contender was the first UK public appearance of the MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor – the Farnborough show demos were a few days later. OK, so the concept has been around a while, but this was the real thing – an in-service machine that couldn’t make its mind up as to whether it was a helicopter or a propeller driven aircraft.

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MV-22 at the hover… …and rotors fully forward

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Operating as helicopter  …for landing approach.

Whilst the Osprey’s display itself was fairly short, it was still impressive to watch, even if at the end you were still scratching your head about what you had just been looking at. Thanks must go to the US Marine Corps for being so bold to procure these machines and then pop over to the UK to give a demo.

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Other spirited heavy metal displays were provided by the Swedish Air Force with their F/A-18C and JAS 39C Gripen, a French Mirage 2000B and a brace of Eurofighters, one from the RAF and one from the Spanish Air Force. The Dutch provided their display F-16AM which, in a surprising twist, added a couple of flares to its routine in addition to wingtip smoke – which is usually impressive enough on its own!

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Swedish AF  F/A-18C rolling… …and airborne

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RNAF F16 display and smoke-winding

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