US Air Force Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreys spotted over Lancashire
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Unlike any aircraft in the world, the V-22 Ospreys are combat aircraft with tiltrotors, combining the vertical performance of a helicopter with the high-speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft.
It means the distinctive-looking plane, jointly manufactured by Boeing and Bell Helicopters in the United States, can switch its rotors to ‘helicopter mode’ for vertical take-offs and landing. In ‘plane mode’, they can travel at a maximum speed of more than 320mph.
According to FlightRadar24 – the internet service that shows real-time flight tracking information – the planes were flown by the US Air Force.
Lucy Woods snapped pictures of the planes as they roared low over her home in Rishton near Blackburn.
“We were gardening at the front of the house and heard a very loud noise overhead,” said Lucy.
"We live behind a school field so it's sometimes the air ambulance landing. But this time I looked up and saw these two unusual shaped planes flying quickly past, so I took a pic!”
It’s not known why the US military was operating over Lancashire and FlightRadar was unable to provide details on which airfield they departed from or where they were heading.
The only known V-22 Ospreys based in the United Kingdom are at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk which primarily supports United States Air Force operations.
They are usually flown by the 7th Special Operations Squadron at the base, who are responsible for deploying or extracting troops from “hostile” locations.
The RAF was approached for comment.