UNUSUAL aircraft that look like a cross between a helicopter and plane have been spotted in the skies over Herefordshire over the past 12 months.

They can often be seen flying north-westerly over the Bromyard area of Herefordshire, and have been seen touching down at Shobdon airfield near Leominster.

The futuristic-looking Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tilt-rotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing and short takeoff and landing capabilities.


It's design is meant to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

It can carry 24 troops at a speed of 360mph with around eight hours flying time - enough to travel comfortably around the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.

Ledbury Reporter: Bell Boeing Osprey aircraft at Shobdon airfield, Herefordshire. Picture: Donna DaviesBell Boeing Osprey aircraft at Shobdon airfield, Herefordshire. Picture: Donna Davies

It is not known which arm of the military is responsible for the Ospreys seen above Herefordshire, but both the US and UK military operate these state-of-the-art aircraft.

In 2017, broadcasters for the British Armed Forces, Forces.net, said the SAS, based at Credenhill near Hereford, was training to use Ospreys in the fight against terrorism.

Forces.net reported at the time it understood the Ospreys would be twice as fast as the SAS's current transport and would be able to make the journey from Hereford to London in 30 minutes. 

It could make the trip to Manchester in roughly the same time.

The Ministry of Defence never comments on the United Kingdom's Special Forces.