402419 01: The first CV-22 Osprey is shown conducting a flight test in the summer of 2000 at Edwards Air Force Base, CA. Flight tests of the Air Force version were halted after a December 2000 crash of the V-22 which grounded the entire Osprey fleet. (Photo by Dennis Taylor/USAF/Getty Images)
Marines go to places where it's dusty and difficult to fly, but now an aircraft that can operate in adversity sits in their backyard.
Military officials announced plans last week to base V-22 "Osprey" tilt-rotor aircraft at MCAS Miramar.
They addressed safety concerns and said crashes of the past were in older models. A Marine safety expert explained the expanded capabilities of a tilt-rotor.
"It's like driving a Ford Tempo or a Ferrari, it's an all-glass cockpit," said Richard McGahhey|, director of safety for VMM 16.
"It's got tons of power. It will do pretty much anything you ask it to. And it puts you back in your seat. When you push on the power, it goes."
Marines who fly helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft say the Osprey is well beyond both of those. It flies like a helicopter and an airplane.