Bell Boeing V-22 'Osprey', RIAT 2015 ©Nigel Key
Military Transport Aircraft.
19 March 1989.
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is a multi-mission, tilt-rotor military aircraft which has both vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), and short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities.
The Osprey is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
The rotors are 38 feet in diameter (11.6m) and are designed to fold for storage along with the wings which rotate in line with the fuselage.
The two Rolls Royce engines are both connected to a common gear box so that should one engine fail both rotors are still powered to enable an emergency landing.
For take-off and landing the nacelles are typically rotated by 90 degrees making the rotors horizontal, acting like a helicopter.
Once the Osprey is airborne, the nacelles can be rotated up to 90 degrees forward so that it operates as a more conventional aircraft. The nacelles can rotate from vertical to horizontal in around 12 seconds.
The Osprey can be operated as a Short Take-off and Landing aircraft (STOL) by tilting the nacelles at typically 45 degrees to produce both lift and propulsion.
The first of four initial production aircraft were delivered 27 May 1999 and the second sea trials were completed in January 1999 on board USS Saipan.
In 2000 there were two fatal crashes which killed a total of 23 marines resulting in the Osprey being grounded.
In June 2005, after having its identified problems resolved, the V-22 completed its final operational evaluation.
By 2012, modifications had been made to hardware, software and procedural which improved its reliability.
The Osprey V-22 was produced from 1988, with 400 built.
2 x Rolls Royce T406-AD-400 turboprop engines, producing 12,300 shp.
Press play to hear the V-22
1 x Browning 0.5” M2 machine gun on ramp
1 x GAU-17 7.62mm miniguns, belly mounted.
By early October 2019, the fleet of 375 Ospreys in service in the US Air Force, the US Marine Corps and the US Navy surpassed the 500,000 flight hour mark.
On 3 June 2005, squadron Marine Medium Helicopter (MHH) 263 stood down to transition to the MV-22. D. The unit reactivated on 3 March 2006 as the first MV-22 squadron and were re-designated as VMM-263.
The USAF’s first operational CV-22 was issued to 58th Special Operations Wing on 20 March 2006.
The MV-22 reached initial operating capacity on 13 June 2007 and started replacing the CH-46 Sea Knight (which was eventually retired in October 2014).
In February 2012 the USMC received their first V-22C which had a new radar and additional electronic warfare equipment installed.
In 2013 the USMC formed an intercontinental response force using V-22’s supplied with specialised communications gear.
The US Navy ordered 39 CMV-22B’s in June 2018 with first orders anticipated to be completed by 2021 and issues to the fleet by mid the 2020’s.
|Crew - Up to 4|
|Troops - up to 32|
|Length - 57ft 4in (17.48m)|
|Rotor Dia. - 38ft 0in (11.58m)|
|Height - 21ft 1in (6.73m)|
|Empty Weight - 31,818lb (14,432kg)|
|Max. Weight - 55,000lb (24,948kg)|
|Max. Speed - 316 mph (509 km/h)|
|Range - 1,012 miles (1,628 km)|