Osprey flies into RAF Mildenhall
- Credit: Archant
Skygazers in Norfolk and Suffolk will be getting a unique sight from now on after a US airbase welcomed its new $78 million aircraft.
Resembling something from the Transformers films, two CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft will be flying out of RAF Mildenhall having arrived in June. Another eight are expected to arrive by August 2014.
The base invited aviation enthusiasts and the press to get a closer look at the Osprey this morning.
The craft's hybrid technology blends the attributes of a helicopter and fixed-wing plane, giving it the ability to take on missions that would normally require both types of aircraft.
The introduction of the aircraft will see military staff at the airbase increase to 1,200 next year, from 780 last year.
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Colonel Christopher Ireland, 352nd Special Operations Group, said the expansion would 'inevitably' mean an increase in flying hours and disruption for the local community.
'We know there will likely be more complaints but fundamentally we view ourselves as part of the community and we are extremely keen to sustain that relationship,' he said.
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Squadron Leader Rick Fryer, the base's British RAF Commander, said the Osprey's introduction would also see more jobs for the local community: 'We can't say how many at the moment but inevitably the growth will have a knock-on effect, and things like construction contracts are going to be picked up by local companies.
'It's implicit that the growth has a good impact on the local community.'