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The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor series

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor series
CV-22 Osprey???s with the 8th Special Operations Squadron from Hurlburt Field, Fla., fly along the Lake Michigan coast, Wis., Oct. 14, 2016. The 8th SOS visited the Milwaukee-Green Bay area for a flyover above Lambeau Field on Oct. 16 during the Green Bay versus Dallas NFL game.
The Osprey is a tiltrotor 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 aircraft.
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joseph Pick.

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor series has introduced capabilities never before seen in the military aircraft industry.

The development of new technology is central to the integration and transformation of military operations. Proven throughout history with examples like the speed and range of vehicles, the efficiency of production, or innovation of new ideas to solve previously unsolvable problems, technology has radically shaped national and global defense strategies. The most versatile and game-changing technologies have enabled operators to complete more tasks with less economic and physical resources.

One such revolutionary piece of technology is tiltrotor, exemplified by the V-22, the Osprey combines the vertical takeoff, hover, and vertical landing qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency, and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft.

The Osprey’s multi-mission advantage across a full range of military operations means fewer resources are required to complete more tasks, improving mission efficiency and reducing logistic costs. From 1984 through 2007 over twenty studies compared the V-22 to all currently available and proposed rotorcraft and showed the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey series as the most cost-effective solution.

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor series
A CV-22 Osprey prepares to take off Feb. 8, 2019 at U-Tapao airfield, Thailand.
U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Ltd. Renee Douglas.

“Bell was the first to successfully demonstrate tiltrotor technology. We broke barriers and challenged what was possible to redefine aviation,” said Kurt Fuller, Bell V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing program director. “The Osprey represents Bell Boeing’s incredible ability to reimagine the experience of flight and disrupt an entire industry.”

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is the world’s only military production tiltrotor aircraft.

With over 400 units from the different series of the V-22 Osprey, with 650,000 flight hours accumulated for the U.S. military alone, the unique military tiltrotor in production enhances versatility and interoperability throughout the world.

“The Osprey has a demonstrated legacy of mission success over its 30 years of operation,” said Shane Openshaw, Boeing V-22 vice-president and Bell Boeing V-22 deputy program director. “We are focused on a bright future ahead, built on customer partnerships and a commitment to innovation, agility, and readiness.”

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor series
V-22 Ospreys bound for Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) units arrive in Japan at Marine Corps Air Station, Iwakuni, May 8, 2020.
The V-22 off-load marked the first time JGSDF V-22s arrived on Japanese soil.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lauren Brune.

Initially developed as an aircraft for the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to conduct combat and assault support, the Osprey ensures that service members can conduct diverse missions throughout the world’s most demanding operating environments. The V-22 Osprey allows Marines to quickly deploy troops, equipment, and supplies from ships and land bases with the speed, range, and versatility not previously possible by any single platform. These characteristics offer the tactical flexibility to deploy with a smaller logistical footprint and without a runway to access unreachable areas with any other aircraft.

Being able to transport troops and equipment faster and with greater precision is just one benefit of the Osprey. The tiltrotor also enhances capabilities for other types of missions where response time is critical.

Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief, HADR, missions immediately benefit from the enhanced speed, range, and precision. One such mission was Operation Damayan. After Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Philippines in 2013, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade deployed the MV-22 Osprey to provide assistance. The V-22 stood out as the most capable aircraft to support over a long distance by traveling more than 1,100 miles and providing immediate support in the disaster area. The Osprey’s helped evacuate 1,200 people and delivered 20 tons of critical supplies to areas where planes and helicopters couldn’t reach alone.

The V-22 Osprey is also ideally suited for patients in need of critical care. In casevac and medevac missions the rapid and precise insertion and extraction of the V-22 combined with its greater speed and range front a conventional helicopter provide an expanded range for patients within the “golden hour’ of receiving urgent health treatment.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey variants

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor series
U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response – Central Command, are staged on the flight line in Kuwait, Sept 24, 2020.
The SPMAGTF-CR-CC is a crisis response force, prepared to deploy a variety of capabilities across the region.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Skiver.

Over time, additional service branches added the V-22 to their aircraft fleet with specific modifications to suit the needs of their forces.

Today the V-22 Osprey series serves the U.S. Marines, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and Japan Ground Self Defense Force, its first international customer.

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey continues to distinguish itself in an expanding number of roles as one of the most versatile aircraft in the world.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Series Milestones

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor series
Marines with Expeditionary Operations Training Group perform Helicopter Rope Suspension Techniques from a Japan Ground Self Defense Force V-22 Osprey at Stone Bay, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Feb. 12, 2020.
The JGSDF is working on receiving multiple flight qualifications to be able to expand mission capabilities and train more forces back home. EOTG is a part of II Marine Expeditionary Force.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ethan Pumphret.

The MV-22B Osprey provides rapid assault support transport for troops, supplies, and equipment throughout the world to expeditionary, joint and combined operations. Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX-1) MV-22 Ospreys also conduct VIP presidential support transport missions carrying presidential support staff and news media representatives traveling with the president.

On December 31st, 2019, the Marines used the MV-22 Osprey to quickly transport troops faster than any conventional helicopter to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and landed directly within the compound walls. The rapid insertion of troops bolstered the embassy’s defenses and helped protect those inside during a moment of increased tension where time was a critical strategic element.

The Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) CV-22 Osprey primary mission is to conduct long-range infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply missions for Air Commandos worldwide at a moment’s notice. In January 2020, the Air Force deployed three CV-22 Osprey to evacuate 194 special operations forces from an imminent missile attack.

The CMV-22B, the program’s most recent variant, is the replacement for the C-2A Greyhound for COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) missions and notably provides the U.S. Navy with significant increases in capability and operational flexibility. Key attributes of the CMV-22 in support of the COD mission are the Roll-on Roll-off resupply and ability to transport the Joint Strike Fighter Power Module, interacting with other ships within the carrier strike group, operating outside of fixed-wing launch and recovery operations, expanded sponsons and wing fuel tanks. The Navy has successfully demonstrated carrier landing, take-off, and refueling aboard USS Carl Vinson, leading to first deployment earlier this year.

The first international variant, The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) procured the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey in 2015 through the foreign military sales (FMS) process to modernize its transport fleet and support its defense and special mission needs. The V-22s enhance their humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities and support amphibious operations.

Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey modifications

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor series
A U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey, with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, conducts maneuvers over Yokota Air Force Base, Honshu, Japan, Aug. 31, 2014.
The flight was to demonstrate the capabilities of the MV-22B in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities to the Japanese community and improve the relationship between the Marine Corps and Japan.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by MCIPAC Combat Camera Lance Cpl. Sergio Ramirez Romero.

As the V-22 began operating across more missions, Bell Boeing worked with the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to improve the entire V-22 Osprey fleet with initiatives focused on increasing reliability and availability while reducing maintenance downtime. The Nacelle Improvement (NI) helps reduce maintenance cost drivers while improving readiness.

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded Bell Boeing a contract to deliver and install kits which include new nacelle wiring, conversion area harnesses, and structural enhancements to improve the reliability and maintainability of CV-22 nacelles. Nacelles house the Osprey’s engine and critical wiring components and approximately 60% of maintenance man-hours are spent in the nacelles. This improvements in the wiring and structure will help reduce repair time and increase mission readiness and reliability rates.

The first CV-22 nacelle improvement kit completed installation in December 2021 at Bell Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas. Following the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps is also looking to incorporate the benefits of improved nacelles and wiring improvements into the MV-22B Osprey.

For more than 30 years, the V-22 Osprey has advanced single aircraft capabilities and radically enhanced mission capabilities. Benefiting from a foundation of versatility, today the V-22 remains ideally situated to respond with speed and agility in a way that only a tiltrotor can.

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The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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