Tag Archives: tilt-rotor

CV-22 Display

I have seen plenty of MV-22B Ospreys in service with the Marine Corps but I haven’t see too many CV-22s with the Air Force.  One of the early ones was at Hurlburt Field when I visited years ago but we weren’t allowed to photograph it.  RIAT provided my first opportunity to shoot one in action.  I got some shots of it on arrival day but I was not pleased with the results for a lot of them.  I don’t know whether the focus was off or it was my struggles with the low shutter speed but I didn’t do too well.

They did display during the flying program, though, so I had a lot more chances to get some shots.  The extra lumps and bumps make this distinctive from the USMC version but it is still a hard thing to photograph if you want to get significant blur on those giant, slow turning props.  The different shade of gray they go with seems slightly more interesting than the Marine’s scheme too.

V-22s But No Air Force One

wpid13566-AU0E8853.jpgThe President was visiting the Bay Area for a couple of days recently. This meant the arrival of Air Force One, the VH-3D helicopters, the C-17s to transport them and the V-22s that support the VH-3Ds. What more could an aviation guy want? I took a look at the temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) listed online to see when the airspace was going to be shut down. When the president flies, the airspace around him is shut down for security purposes. These closures are published (otherwise, how would the other pilots know not to fly) so it means we know when to expect things to happen.

Sadly, the arrival was on a day I was at work and was timed to come in to SFO around sunset so, even if I could be there, there was a chance that the light would have gone. (As it was, the arrival was just before the light went completely and a friend of mine did get some good shots.) The departure, on the other hand, was scheduled for Saturday morning. That I could manage. I figured that getting there early would be wise since I would not be the only one trying this so getting somewhere to park might be tricky. Plus, if they went early in the slot, I wanted to be ready.

wpid13562-AU0E8673.jpgI checked the TFR the night before and got up early the next morning. I had some breakfast and headed out. I arrived in plenty of time but did need to park quite a distance away. I got to the bayshore trail and found a few other guys with cameras. However, word quickly reached me that he had gone. I bumped into a friend of mine and he told me that he had checked the TFR earlier that morning and saw that it had been brought forward. He rushed out and got there just in time. I arrived about 20 minutes after they took off. Curiously, as I had been driving across the San Mateo bridge, I had seen a large jet airborne near the airport and wondered. Now I knew.

There was a silver lining to this disappointment. With Air Force One safely on its way, the V-22s were free to head out. The three of them took off in close succession and turned in our direction to head off down the peninsula. They didn’t come terribly close but I did get my first shots of them since they replaced the CH-46s that used to provide support. (Many moons ago I did see the CH-53Es that used to be undertake this role. They looked fantastic!)

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Marine Week

wpid10983-AU0E6829.jpgEn route from a day with a client to the airport I had a spare hour to pay a visit to Boeing Field in Seattle. I figured that my time window would mean there was nothing much to see and I didn’t have anything longer than the 24-105 with me anyway. However, when I got there I could see an interesting collection of USMC machines on the opposite side of the field and the Blue Angels were parked up near the Museum of Flight.

wpid10985-AU0E6834.jpgI took a ride around to where the Marine helicopters and V-22 were parked and got chatting to one of the crews. He explained it was the start of Marine Week and offered a chance to walk around the ramp with one of the crew. I was not going to refuse that. Mario kindly showed me around and let me shoot anything external. They had three UH-1Y Venoms and three AH-1Z Cobras along with a single V-22. One fof the Cobras was marked up in special squadron colors. I took a walk around all of them and grabbed a few shots while chatting with Mario about what it was like to support these machines. He had worked on the UH-1N before converting to the Venom so he had some interesting perspectives on the relative reliability of the two.

wpid10989-AU0E6839.jpgThese machines were going to be progressively moved across to the other side of the field as part of the public displays for Marine Week and the first of the Cobras actually was towed while I was there so my timing was excellent. However I did have to go and then my timing let me down as, while I was driving away, I saw an AV-8B Harrier II coming down the approach. Oh well. I still did better than I had expected.