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Stornoway airport is expected to see an unusual visitor this afternoon (Friday September 6th), as a US Air Force V-22 Osprey helicopter lands for a refuel around 2pm.

The V-22 Osprey is a US Marine corps support aircraft and is unique in that it uses two engines positioned on fixed wing tips. It can land and take off vertically like a helicopter, but flies much faster because of engineering which tilts the engines forward to create a flying position similar to a fixed-wing aircraft.

It has huge speed and range, and carrying capacity for up to 24 combat troops. US aircraft are currently on exercise from RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire and the Osprey supports B52s in operation.

The potential V22 landing comes in at the end of a good week for aircraft spotters, especially military enthusiasts. Yesterday Stornoway saw a flypast by a Eurofighter Typhoon from 9th Sqadron RAF Lossiemouth and earlier this week V22s and Hercules transport planes were overflying the north of Lewis.

Pictures of yesterday’s Typhoon visit and a V22 Osprey are by Jason Spinks.