Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
The failure of Operation Eagle Claw during the Iran hostage crisis in 1980 underscored the requirement for a new long-range, high-speed, vertical-takeoff aircraft for the United States Department of Defense. In response, the Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. A partnership between Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopters was awarded a development contract in 1983 for the V-22 tiltrotor aircraft. The Bell Boeing team jointly produce the aircraft. The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began flight testing and design alterations; the complexity and difficulties of being the first tiltrotor for military service led to many years of development.
The United States Marine Corps began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007; it supplemented and then replaced their Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knights. The Osprey's other operator, the U.S. Air Force, fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medevac operations over Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Variants[edit | edit source]
- V-22A: Pre-production full-scale development aircraft used for flight testing. These are unofficially considered A-variants after the 1993 redesign.
- CV-22B: U.S. Air Force variant for the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). It conducts long-range special operations missions, and is equipped with extra wing fuel tanks, an AN/APQ-186 terrain-following radar, and other equipment such as the AN/ALQ-211, and AN/AAQ-24 Nemesis Directional Infrared Counter Measures. The fuel capacity is increased by 588 gallons (2,230 L) with two inboard wing tanks; three auxiliary tanks (200 or 430 gal) can also be added in the cabin. The CV-22 replaced the MH-53 Pave Low.
- MV-22B: U.S. Marine Corps variant. The Marine Corps is the lead service in the V-22's development. The Marine Corps variant is an assault transport for troops, equipment and supplies, capable of operating from ships or expeditionary airfields ashore. It replaced the Marine Corps' CH-46E and CH-53D fleets.
- CMV-22B: U.S. Navy variant for the carrier onboard delivery (COD) role. Similar to the MV-22B but includes an extended-range fuel system, a high-frequency radio, and a public address system.
- EV-22: Proposed airborne early warning and control variant. The Royal Navy studied this AEW variant as a replacement for its current fleet of carrier-based Sea King ASaC.7 helicopters.
- HV-22: The U.S. Navy considered an HV-22 to provide combat search and rescue, delivery and retrieval of special warfare teams along with fleet logistic support transport. It chose the MH-60S for this role in 2001. Naval Air Systems Command's 2011/2012 V-22 Osprey Guidebook lists the HV-22 for the U.S. Navy with the USAF and USMC variants.
- SV-22: Proposed anti-submarine warfare variant. The U.S. Navy studied the SV-22 in the 1980s to replace S-3 and SH-2 aircraft.
Users[edit | edit source]
- Royal Canadian Air Force
- Royal Canadian Navy
- Marine Nationale
- Indian Army
- Indian Navy
- Indonesian Army
- Israeli Air Force
- Marina Militare
- Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
- Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
- Republic of Korea Army
- Republic of Korea Navy
- Spanish Navy
- United Kingdom
- Royal Navy
- United States
- United States Air Force
- United States Marine Corps
- United States Navy