Photos of the Week: Cross-Country Adventure

Versatility, speed clash in long-distance travel

By BlueSkyStaff

Published May 9, 2022

Read Time: 2 mins


A plane and helicopter in one? Believe it or not, there is such a thing.

The V-22 Osprey—a tiltrotor aircraft operated by the U.S. military—possesses the functionalities of both a traditional helicopter and turboprop airplane, operating in austere environments that no other aircraft can.

A joint product of Bell Helicopter and Boeing, the Osprey has vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. In other words, it can hover like a helicopter and fly fast like an airplane.

How does it do this? The V-22 uses two large, three-bladed propellers attached to nacelles that can rotate 90 degrees for each mode of flight. The nacelles can change position in 12 seconds, allowing for a smooth transition from hover mode to flight mode.

The Osprey has a cargo hold large enough to carry 24 troops or one light transport vehicle. Its cargo payload is approximately 20,000 pounds.

The Osprey is flown by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, making it one of the few types of aircraft to see service from three major branches of the armed services.

Connor Ochs submitted this photo of a Marine Corps V-22 at Harrisburg International Airport. It flew all the way from its home base at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar just outside of San Diego—a three-day journey that required several fuel stops along the way.

Three days to cross the United States? Compare that to three hours to cross the Atlantic Ocean. That’s all the time it took for the Concorde to fly nonstop between New York and London.

While the Concorde may not be as versatile as the Osprey (the Concorde only flew regularly between New York, London and Paris), it excelled at one thing unmatched by any passenger aircraft today: flying faster than the sound barrier.

The Concorde’s design and appearance engenders not only speed, but elegance. We can only imagine how Suni Lynn Lee felt seeing it in person when she snapped this photo of a British Airways Concorde on display at London Heathrow Airport from the window aboard a Virgin Atlantic flight.

Thanks, Connor and Suni Lynn!

Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming—you can click here for submission guidelines.

A Virgin Atlantic 787-9 Dreamliner taxis past a British Airways Concorde on static display at London Heathrow Airport. (Photo submitted by Suni Lynn Lee)

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