Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Noah Shachtman, Danger Room The controversial, fast-flying Osprey tiltrotor craft has become a favorite for ferrying generals around Iraq. Now, civilian bigwigs can get similar treatment. Osprey-maker Bell Helicopter has rolled out its Bell 609, which looks (and flies) a whole lot like its military cousin -- combining "the speed, altitude, and comfort of a turboprop with the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of a helicopter." The machine goes twice as fast as normal helicopters, soars to 25,000 feet, and carries nine well-heeled passengers, the company promises. With the 609, "an executive could conceivably take off from the helipad of a country house outside London, fly in comfort to a meeting in Frankfurt in just 60 minutes, then fly on to Zurich, Milan and back home for early dinner."


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