YAKIMA, Wash. — One of the world’s more remarkable aircraft is coming to Yakima for a two-hour visit Tuesday. And don’t miss the back story.
The aircraft is an MV-22 Osprey, a military transport that flies like a plane but lands like a helicopter. This particular one is part of the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161, aka “Greyhawks,” out of Miramar, Calif.
The Osprey is scheduled to make a stop at the McAllister Museum of Aviation from 1:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. and will be available to the public for tours at that time. There is no charge.
The aircraft will be flown by Capt. Benjamin Tate, a native of Yakima, who will be available for interviews and recruiting, along with other Marines.
While the aircraft is on display, the McAllister Museum plans to throw a birthday celebration for Capt. Tate’s grandfather, William Oscar Tate, who is turning 99.
The senior Tate is a Navy veteran of World War II who served in the South Pacific from 1941-1947. He is the subject of one of the many displays inside the museum.
After the war, Tate owned and operated a Flying A gas station at the corner of 41st Street and Terrace Heights Drive from 1947-1957, when he moved to the Parker Heights area.
He now lives at the Orchard Park retirement center in Yakima. About 20 of his fellow residents are expected to attend the birthday celebration.
Operated by both the Marines and the U.S. Air Force, the $69.3 million Osprey can take off vertically like a helicopter but has the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
Last week the Osprey was in the news when it made its Marine One debut, shuttling White House staff, media and Secret Service members — but not the president — from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod.
The Marines say the Ospreys is twice as fast and can travel four to six times the distance of the Vietnam-era CH-46E helicopters that have supported missions involving the president.
Since entering service in 2007, the Osprey has been deployed in combat and rescue operations over Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The McAllister Museum is at the east end of the Yakima airport, accessible from 16th Avenue and Valley Mall Boulevard.