NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Sep 12th, 2019.
Local aviation fans had a rare treat this afternoon when two United States Air Force Osprey V22 aircraft flew into Flintshire airspace.
Flying in close formation, the two tiltrotor military helicopters, call signs Knife 71 and Knife 72 arrived overhead at around 4pm.
They were spotted flying low over Penyffordd, Halkyn, Flint and Bagillt before looping over the Dee Estuary and back over Ewloe and Buckley.
[Orange line showing the flight path of the two Osprey aircraft this afternoon ]
Carolyn said she spotted the pair “up here over the mountain in Halkyn running in line with A55 then turned and headed back towards Hawarden.”
David told us they “flew right over Northop Hall, a great view from my orchard!!”
Anwen said, “Oh that’s what the noise was…… thought it was tractor and trailer.”
They then flew from Flintshire, over towards Wrexham before heading South.
Flew over the back of our house in Buckley. 👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/G3bBd0XVxS
— Gaz Urquhart (@gazurquhart) September 12, 2019
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is a multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing, and short takeoff and landing capabilities.
It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
United States Air Force UK Osprey unit is based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, despite its status as a Royal Air Force station, it primarily supports United States Air Force operations.
The Osprey may be a rare sight in Flintshire however, they do fly up to RAF Valley on Anglesey fairly regularly and spotted along Mach Loop, the set of valleys, situated between Dolgellau and Machynlleth.
The area is regularly used for low level flight training, with flying as low as 250 feet from the nearest terrain.
[Feature image credit: Martin Hartland (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) A close formation pair of Bell-Boeing Ospreys of the USAF 352nd Special Operations Wing based at RAF Mildenhall passing through the Mach Loop. 31.08.17]