In the case of machines such as the CV-22 Osprey, the maneuver has a special name, with airmen calling it tiltrotor air-to-air refueling, or TAAR, for short. It basically unfolds just like in the case of all other aircraft, with the flying, hungry beast chasing and catching up to an aerial tanker, hooking up to it, and allowing fuel to fill its empty tanks.
But when the Osprey does this, the people inside the tanker are enjoying a view they don't usually get when dealing with other aircraft.
And that’s owed solely to the massive, three-bladed rotors fitted to each side, which spin vertically when the aircraft is been fed. On paper, the diameter of each rotor is 38 feet (11.5 meters), but you can’t really put that into perspective until you see their blades next to something, for scale.
The image we have here, captured at the beginning of July and recently published by the USAF, does just that. It shows just how massive the blades are compared to a human sitting a few meters away from them, inside the MC-130J Commando II that was feeding fuel to the Osprey. The image was captured in the skies near Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, in Japan, and it's a perfect fit for our Photo of the Day feature, where you can now enjoy it as well.