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Osprey goes vertical

FILE PHOTO -- It will be awhile before Air Force Special Operations Command gets its first CV-22 Osprey, but that hasn't lowered the command's enthusiasm for the aircraft. The eagerness to get the plane isn't just because the CV-22 will replace up to 89 aircraft currently in AFSOC's inventory. Neither is it just because the CV-22 can take off and land like a helicopter and fly like a turboprop airplane. AFSOC -- which has headquarters at Hurlburt Field, Fla. -- is confident in the belief that the CV-22 will enable the command to do what it can't do now. That is, conduct long-range, high-speed, vertical lift missions in an aircraft capable of getting troops into and out of an area in one night. Almost futuristic in its design, the CV-22 looks like a helicopter on the ground with two sets of propeller rotors on each wing tip. Once airborne, the rotors tilt forward so the aircraft resembles a dragon fly with turboprops. (U.S. Air Force photo)

VIRIN: 021202-O-9999G-006.JPG
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