Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford - Image © Paul Johnson/Flightline UK

USAF CV-22B Osprey

For the first time an Insitu-Boeing ScanEagle and a Bell-Boeing CV-22 Osprey will be on static display at IWM Duxford during The American Air Show on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29th May.

Visitors will be able to see the ScanEagle in the American Air Museum at IWM Duxford and chat to Boeing representatives about its technological capabilities. The ScanEagle is an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Unmanned Air Vehicle. It is designed to launch and recover without the need for an airstrip, which makes it ideal for maritime operations from deployed ships and boats.

It has been operational with the Royal Navy since 2013, the first time the Royal Navy has employed an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) on maritime operations, heralding a new era of aviation and game-changing intelligence gathering.

The ScanEagle is launched by a pneumatic catapult and recovered using a vertical rope suspended over the side of the vessel. It can fly at speeds of up to 80 knots and can stay airborne for more than 15 hours, with a radius of 60miles from launch.

The Insitu-Boeing ScanEagle has kindly been loaned to IWM Duxford for The American Air Show by Boeing, in celebration of the company’s centenary this year.

Boeing ScanEagle

Boeing ScanEagle

Visitors to The American Air Show can also see the Bell-Boeing CV-22 Osprey and chat withmembers of the 352d Special Operations Wing of the United States Air Force in Europe, based at RAF Mildenhall. The Osprey is used by the 352d Special Operations Wing to execute long-range special operations missions.

The Wing is the only Air Force special operations unit in European Command. It stands ready to support the President of the United States and protect US allies anytime, anywhere. The Osprey was born out of a need from the United Statesmilitary for an aircraft that could not only take off and land vertically, but could carry combat troops at speed.

A joint service,multirole combat aircraft, the Osprey combines the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed wing aircraft. With its nacelles and rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, its nacelles can be rotated to transition the aircraft to a turboprop aircraft capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.

More than 160 Ospreys are currently in operation and the worldwide fleet has amassed more than 130,000 flight hours, with nearly half of those hours logged in the past two years.

The American Air Show celebrates the reopening of the newly transformed American Air Museum with vibrant flying displays, evocative living history, veterans’ voices and powerful filmandmusic. It shows the developing relationship between Britain and America through the World Wars, Cold War and into the present day. Highlights of the flying programme include:

Epic flying displays depicting the bomber operations of the Second World War, the war in the Pacific and the Vietnam War.

  • Thrilling contemporary displays by the Patrouille de France (Saturday only), the Red Arrows (Sunday only) and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
  • Archive sound and filmfootage places visitors on an Eighth Air Force bomber airfield in the Second World War as the ground crew await the arrival of the last B-17 Flying Fortress to return from a mission. B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B flies in, accompanied by two P-51 Mustangs and a TF-51 Mustang, the fighter aircraft that accompanied the huge bombers for part of theirmission.
  • Following a poignant display by B-17 Flying Fortress Sally B, the Mustangs are intercepted by a Hispano Buchón (Messerschmitt Bf 109) and a thrilling tail chase ensues.
  • Demonstrating the war against Japan in the Pacific, a North American B-25 Mitchell, Mitsubishi A6M Zero Replica, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, Grumman FM-2 Wildcat and Goodyear FG-1D Corsair, take to the skies accompanied by archive filmfootage of the Doolittle raid.
  • In commemoration of the decade-long Vietnam War two North American T-28 Fennecs take to the skies to the unmistakable sound of Jimi Hendrix. Bell UH-1 Iroquois (‘Huey’) and Hughes OH-6 Cayuse (‘Loach’) helicopters fly through accompanied by the dramatic Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner. The Vietnam display concludes with a display by a North American OV-10 Bronco and a Shorts SC-7 Skyvan to the rousing music of The Doors.