A Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor unofficially broke a rotorcraft record on 20 August by carrying a 4,550kg (10,000lb) external load at 220kt (410km/h) in trials .

The maximum payload lift, by a Marine Helicopter Support Team, was made on the V-22's aft external cargo hook. "This is the fastest speed any rotorcraft has carried an external load, no matter what the weight, "says John Buyers, Bell Boeing V-22 programme director at NAS Patuxent River.

The V-22 also completed in-flight refuelling "hook-up" trials with a Lockheed Martin KC-130 tanker aircraft.

Low altitude terrain-hugging flights and confined area landings in day and at night have also been completed.

The V-22 test fleet is completing trials as it works towards its 1999 in-service date, including completion of airspeed system evaluation and load calibration tests, flying external loads and stores separation tests.

Source: Flight International