SINGAPORE - U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Kirk Wagar and several top Singapore defense officials rode in an MV-22B Osprey Feb. 7 during a demonstration flight at Changi Air Base in Singapore.
“Basically, we went through the same maneuver routine that we’re going to do for the (Singapore International Airshow),” said Capt. Alexander J. Rhodes, an Osprey co-pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “We went out to one of the approved local areas in Singapore off the coast and just started a high-speed dive and went through the routine – transitions, hovers, nacelle drills, – and basically showing off what the aircraft can do.”
Singapore International Airshow 2014 takes place Feb. 11-16 and will showcase the Osprey, the KC-130J Super Hercules with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, 1st MAW, and other aircraft from the U.S. as well as countries from around the world.
The Osprey will perform several demonstrations flights during the airshow to showcase its capabilities what makes it such a unique aircraft.
“I think when you hear that (the Ospreys) replaced helicopters, you think that it’s mostly a helicopter,” said Wagar. “I think what surprised me was how maneuverable it was like a helicopter, and yet when it went into airplane mode (it still had) the maneuverability. That was incredible.”
Other guests on the flight included Rear Adm. Harris Chen, the future system and technology architect for the Singapore Ministry of Defense and the Singapore Armed Forces, who was impressed by the Osprey.
“I see it having great application in terms of doing (Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response) operations, especially search and rescue operations,” said Chen. “Its agility and maneuverability allows the aircraft to get into a position very quickly to actually be able to do a search and rescue.”
The pilots are always happy to do orientation flights, according to Rhodes.
“It’s especially fun to see people who it’s their first time in the aircraft,” he said. “They don’t know what to expect and when they see how fast it can go, what it can do. It’s always fun to see the reactions.”
The Osprey’s presence is one that people are looking forward to, according to Rhodes. A lot of maneuvers that will be performed by the Osprey during the airshow are ones that no other aircraft in the airshow can do.
“I think it’s impossible not to think about the possibilities and how (the Osprey) can get our troops in or out of dangerous situations and how it can help people in humanitarian (operations),” said Wagar. “It just doesn’t seem like there’s a place it can’t go and a problem that it can’t be involved in helping.”