In general, it is video games that try to copy what’s going on in the real world. In fact, developers strive to make virtual environments look as life-like as they can, in the quest to give players an as close-to-real as possible experience. And at times they get it so right we’re having trouble discerning between the two realities.
Look at the image we have here. It shows a CV-22 Osprey moving over a desert floor, with a majestic city in the background, engulfed in a mild haze. It could very well be a scene from Call of Duty, or Battlefield, or whatever other war video game with decent graphics comes to mind.
Only it’s not. This pic (click main photo to enlarge) is as real as they get. That is a solid Osprey, flying over the suburbs of this planet’s Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Back in mid-September, when the tiltrotor was captured in this amazing still by a U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant, it was conducting an undisclosed chase mission around the city.
This flying machine is one of the most spectacular to presently be deployed in the skies of the world. Its design, with two nacelles holding Rolls-Royce Liberty engines, allow it to operate both as an airplane and as a helicopter.
Introduced back in the late 1980s, the tiltrotor is capable of traveling at speeds of 322 mph (518 kph), and at altitudes of up to 25,000 feet (7,620 meters). The massive machine can lift off weighing up to 60,500 pounds (27,400 kg), and can carry 32 floor-loaded personnel, or 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg) of cargo.
Back in September, Bell Boeing delivered the first Osprey boasting improved nacelles, as part of a $81 million contract awarded by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), one that will see the capabilities of most such flying contraptions being improved by the middle of this decade.