A Flock Of Army Osprays Land In Cheyenne
Some interesting aircraft land at the airport in Cheyenne.
There's a reason for that.
It has one of the longest runways in the region, currently under repair.
It's centrally located in our nation, without the congestion of Denver's airspace.
Plus the harsh winds Cheyenne gets for parts of the year are perfect for testing new aircraft and training new crews.
For those same reasons, the airport in Casper is used by some freaky aircraft.
On Monday, August 14th Don Day of Wyoming-based Day Weather Meteorology rushed to the top of his office building, at the airport, to snap these photos.
Don Day's office is located in the old tower at the airport. That tower was turned into an office building. He rushed up to what used to be the traffic controllers center at the top to take these pictures and record some video.
Is that a helicopter or an airplane?
The answer is both.
What you're looking at is an Army aircraft called The Osprey
The Osprey is unique in that it uses two engines positioned on fixed wing tips housed in nacelles that rotate to allow the MV-22 to land and take off vertically, but achieve much faster flight than a helicopter by tilting the nacelles forward while in flight in a configuration similar to a fixed-wing aircraft. (Military.com).
They most likely landed in Cheyenne just to refuel.
But it's not uncommon for them to have been on training missions in and around the area, using Cheyenne as a base to come and go.
With the speed and range of a turboprop, the maneuverability of a helicopter, and the ability to carry 24 Marine combat troops twice as fast and five times farther than previous helicopters, the Osprey enhances Marine assault operations.
The Osprey's impact was felt immediately upon its arrival in Iraq. Commenting on its advanced expeditionary capabilities and staggering operational reach. (Military.com).
You might wonder how this strange-looking machine was created.
The internet has an answer for everything.
I might believe that this explanation is true.
Just last year this next awesome machine was doing touch-and-goes at the airport in Casper.
Like Cheyenne, the Casper airport has some long runways.
But minimal air traffic.
These two airports are the perfect place to practice.
The picture above is an actual photo of a B-1B flying over the runway at the Natrona County Airport in Casper, Wyoming.
Below is a video of the action.
As most people in Wyoming know, Natrona County International Airport was originally a training base for World War II bombers and fighters.
The long heavy runways were constructed to train young aviators before they were sent off to the European or Pacific wars.
Today, it's a regular airport for private and commercial traffic. But that doesn't mean it's no longer used for military training.
Blackhawk helicopters regularly land there.
Wyoming Air National Guard C1-30s touch and go on a regular basis.
More recently, a B-1B Lancer did a few "touch and go's." That must have been an exciting site for those working at the airport.
For those airplane GEEKS out there (people like me...)
The B-1 was designed in the 1960s as a platform that would combine the Mach 2 speed with a long-range. Most airplanes could only do one or the other.
After a long series of studies, Rockwell International (now part of Boeing) won the design contest for what emerged as the B-1A. What you see in the photo above is the B-1B over Casper Runway 21. The video is below.
Nicknamed “The Bone,” the B-1B Lancer is a long-range, multi-mission, supersonic conventional bomber, which has served the United States Air Force since 1985. The aircraft is on track to continue flying, at current demanding operations tempo, out to 2040 and beyond, and Boeing partners with the Air Force to keep the B-1 mission ready. Originally designed for nuclear capabilities, the B-1 switched to an exclusively conventional combat role in the mid-1990s.
In 1999, during Operation Allied Force, six B-1s flew 2 percent of the strike missions, yet dropped 20 percent of the ordnance, and during Operation Enduring Freedom the B-1 flew on 2 percent of the sorties while dropping over 40 percent of the precision weapons. The B-1 has been nearly continuously deployed in combat operations over Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001.(BOEING).
But enough of this. LET'S SEE THE VIDEO!
Let's have a look at the video that was posted by the Natrona County International Airport on their Facebook page.
A big thank you to whoever was holding the camera steady.
I only wish we could provide for you the actual, in-person, audio of what one of these things sounds like up close.