Dozens of people reported hearing and seeing an unusual looking aircraft flying above parts of Wales on the evening on Thursday, July 30.

Residents in Pontardawe, Gorseinon, Loughor, Llanelli and Burry Port reported seeing the vehicle which was described as ‘half-helicopter’ and ‘half-airplane’ circling over areas before flying away.

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the aircraft was actually a United States Air Force CV-22B Osprey which is usually based in RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

The aircraft stopped in Pembrey Airport to refuel
(Image: Ryan Milsom –

Many described the aircraft as ‘half helicopter, half airplane’
(Image: Ryan Milsom –

The military aircraft is said to cost around $90 million and landed in Pembrey Airport at around 6pm on Thursday evening to refuel.

The CV-22 Osprey is an aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff, hover and vertical landing qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop (turbine) aircraft.

It is said to be equipped with integrated threat countermeasures, terrain-following radars, forward-looking infrared sensors and other systems that allow it to operate at low altitude in adverse weather conditions and high-threat environments.

There are around 46 CV-22’s believed to be on active duty and used to ‘conduct long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions for special operations forces.’

The aircraft which has two engines landed in Pembrey Airport after locals in Loughor and beach-goers at Llanelli beach spotted it around 5:30pm.

Many spectators commented on the unusual look of the aircraft.

Betty Stephenson, 77, was on Llanelli beach when she took a picture of the aircraft and said: “We heard it before seeing it because it sounded like a helicopter and an airplane combined – and that’s how it looked aswell.”

A spokesperson for RAF Mildenhall said that due to operational security, specific information and details such as what the aircraft was doing in South Wales cannot be revealed.

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