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V-22 Osprey

V-22 Osprey

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The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, military, tiltrotor
Tiltrotor
A tiltrotor is an aircraft which uses a pair or more of powered rotors mounted on rotating shafts or nacelles at the end of a fixed wing for lift and propulsion, and combines the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft...

 aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL
VTOL
A vertical take-off and landing aircraft is one that can hover, take off and land vertically. This classification includes fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclocopters and tiltrotors...

), and short takeoff and landing (STOL
STOL
STOL is an acronym for short take-off and landing, a term used to describe aircraft with very short runway requirements.-Definitions:There is no one accepted definition of STOL and many different definitions have been used by different authorities and nations at various times and for a myriad of...

) capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

 with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop
Turboprop
A turboprop engine is a type of turbine engine which drives an aircraft propeller using a reduction gear.The gas turbine is designed specifically for this application, with almost all of its output being used to drive the propeller...

 aircraft.

The V-22 originated from the United States Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. The team of Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopters was awarded a development contract in 1983 for the 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 intended for military service in the world led to many years of development.

The United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007; it is supplementing and will eventually replace their CH-46 Sea Knight
CH-46 Sea Knight
The Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight is a medium-lift tandem rotor transport helicopter, used by the United States Marine Corps to provide all-weather, day-or-night assault transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment. Assault Support is its primary function, and the movement of supplies and...

s. The Osprey's other operator, the U.S. Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

, 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 both combat and rescue operations over Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

Early development


The failure of the Iran hostage rescue mission
Operation Eagle Claw
Operation Eagle Claw was an American military operation ordered by President Jimmy Carter to attempt to put an end to the Iran hostage crisis by rescuing 52 Americans held captive at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran on 24 April 1980...

 in 1980 demonstrated to the United States military a need for "a new type of aircraft, that could not only take off and land vertically but also could carry combat troops, and do so at speed." The U.S. Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 began the Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program in 1981, under U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 leadership. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps were given the lead in 1983. The JVX combined requirements from the U.S. Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, and Navy. A request for proposals (RFP) was issued in December 1982 for JVX preliminary design work. Interest in the program was expressed by Aérospatiale
Aérospatiale
Aérospatiale was a French aerospace manufacturer that built both civilian and military aircraft, rockets and satellites. It was originally known as Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale...

, Bell Helicopter, Boeing Vertol, Grumman, Lockheed
Lockheed Corporation
The Lockheed Corporation was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1912 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995.-Origins:...

, and Westland
Westland Helicopters
Westland Helicopters was a British aerospace company. Originally Westland Aircraft, the company focused on helicopters after the Second World War. It merged with several other British firms in 1961...

. The DoD pushed for contractors to form teams. Bell partnered with Boeing Vertol. The Bell Boeing team submitted a proposal for a enlarged version of the Bell XV-15
Bell XV-15
The Bell XV-15 was an American tiltrotor VTOL aircraft. It was the second successful experimental tiltrotor aircraft and the first to demonstrate the concept's high speed performance relative to conventional helicopters.-Early VTOL rotor aircraft:...

 prototype on 17 February 1983. This was the only proposal received and a preliminary design contract was awarded on 26 April 1983.

The JVX aircraft was designated V-22 Osprey on 15 January 1985; by that March the first six prototypes were being produced, and Boeing Vertol was expanded to deal with the project workload. Work has been split evenly between Bell and Boeing. Bell Helicopter manufactures and integrates the wing, nacelles, rotors, drive system, tail surfaces, and aft ramp, as well as integrates the Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce plc
Rolls-Royce Group plc is a global power systems company headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines , and also has major businesses in the marine propulsion and energy sectors. Through its defence-related activities...

 engines and performs final assembly. Boeing Helicopters manufactures and integrates the fuselage, cockpit, avionics, and flight controls. The USMC variant of the Osprey received the MV-22 designation and the U.S. Air Force variant received CV-22; this was reversed from normal procedure to prevent Marine Corps Ospreys from having a conflicting designation with aircraft carriers (CV). Full-scale development of the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft began in 1986. On 3 May 1986 the Bell Boeing partnership was awarded a $1.714 billion contract for V-22 aircraft by the Navy. At this point all four U.S. military services had acquisition plans for V-22 versions.

The first V-22 was rolled out with significant media attention in May 1988. The project suffered several blows. That year, the U.S. Army left the program, citing a need to focus its budget on more immediate aviation programs. The project faced opposition in the Senate in 1989, surviving two votes that both could have resulted in cancellation. Despite the Senate's decision, the Department of Defense instructed the U.S. Navy not to spend more money on the Osprey. When the V-22's projected development budget greatly increased in 1988, then-Defense Secretary
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 tried to remove funding from 1989 to 1992 in an effort to cancel it. He was eventually overruled by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

, which provided unrequested funding for the program. Multiple studies of alternative aircraft found the V-22 provided more capability and combat effectiveness with similar operating costs as the alternatives. The Clinton Administration
Presidency of Bill Clinton
The United States Presidency of Bill Clinton, also known as the Clinton Administration, was the executive branch of the federal government of the United States from January 20, 1993 to January 20, 2001. Clinton was the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second full term...

 was supportive of the V-22 and helped the program attain funding.

Flight testing and design changes


The first of six MV-22 prototypes first flew on 19 March 1989 in the helicopter mode, and on 14 September 1989 as a fixed-wing plane. The third and fourth prototypes successfully completed the Osprey's first sea trials on the in December 1990. The fourth and fifth prototypes crashed in 1991–92. From October 1992 until April 1993, Bell and Boeing redesigned the V-22 to reduce empty weight, simplify manufacture and reduce production costs. This redesigned version became the V-22B model. V-22 flights resumed in June 1993 after safety improvements were incorporated in the prototypes. Bell Boeing was awarded a contract for the engineering manufacturing development (EMD) phase in June 1994. The prototypes also received changes to better match the B-model configuration. Flight testing at the stage focused on expanding the flight envelope, measuring flight loads, and supporting the EMD redesign. This and further flight testing with the early V-22s continued into 1997.

Flight testing of four full-scale development V-22s began in early 1997 when the first pre-production V-22 was delivered to the Naval Air Warfare Test Center, Naval Air Station Patuxent River
Naval Air Station Patuxent River
"Pax River" redirects here. For the river, see Patuxent River.Naval Air Station Patuxent River , also known as NAS Pax River, is a United States Naval Air Station located in St. Mary's County, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Patuxent River. It is home to the U.S...

, Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

. The first EMD flight took place on 5 February 1997. Testing fell behind schedule. The first of four low rate initial production
Low rate initial production
Low rate initial production is a term commonly used in military weapon projects/programs to designate the phase of initial, small-quantity production of a weapons systems...

 aircraft, ordered on 28 April 1997, was delivered on 27 May 1999. Osprey number 10 completed the program's second sea trials, this time from the USS Saipan
USS Saipan (LHA-2)
USS Saipan is a , the second United States Navy ship named in honor of the World War II Battle of Saipan.-History:Saipan was laid down on July 21, 1972 by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, Litton Industries, Pascagoula, Mississippi; launched on July 20, 1974; sponsored by Mrs. J...

 in January 1999. During external load testing in April 1999, Boeing used a V-22 to lift and transport the M777 howitzer
M777 howitzer
The M777 howitzer is a towed 155 mm artillery piece, successor to the M198 howitzer in the United States Marine Corps and United States Army. The M777 is also used by the Canadian Army, and has been in action in Afghanistan since February 2006 along with the associated GPS-guided Excalibur...

.

In 2000, Boeing announced that the V-22 would be fitted with a nose-mounted GAU-19
GAU-19
The GECAL 50, officially designated by the United States military as the GAU-19/A, is an electrically driven Gatling gun that fires the .50 BMG cartridge...

 gatling gun
Gatling gun
The Gatling gun is one of the best known early rapid-fire weapons and a forerunner of the modern machine gun. It is well known for its use by the Union forces during the American Civil War in the 1860s, which was the first time it was employed in combat...

. The gun was to provide defensive firepower in high threat environments. The nose gun project was canceled, leading to criticism by retired Commandant
Commandant of the Marine Corps
The Commandant of the Marine Corps is normally the highest ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff...

 James L. Jones
James L. Jones
James Logan Jones, Jr. is the former United States National Security Advisor and a retired United States Marine Corps General....

, who was not satisfied with the V-22 armament. A remote-controlled, belly-mounted, Minigun
Minigun
The Minigun is a 7.62 mm, multi-barrel heavy machine gun with a high rate of fire , employing Gatling-style rotating barrels with an external power source...

 turret was later installed on some of the first V-22s sent to the War in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 in 2009.

In 2000, there were two further fatal crashes, killing a total of 19 marines, and the aircraft was again grounded while the cause of these crashes was investigated and various parts were redesigned. The V-22 completed its final operational evaluation in June 2005. The evaluation was deemed successful; events included long range deployments, high altitude, desert and shipboard operations. The problems identified in various accidents had been addressed.


Controversy


The V-22's development process has been long and controversial, partly due to its large cost increases. The V-22's development budget was first planned for $2.5 billion in 1986, then increased to a projected $30 billion in 1988. As of 2008, $27 billion had been spent on the Osprey program and another $27.2 billion will be required to complete planned production numbers by the end of the program.
The V-22 squadron's former commander at Marine Corps Air Station New River
Marine Corps Air Station New River
Marine Corps Air Station New River is a United States Marine Corps helicopter base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, in the eastern part of the state. In 1972, the airfield was named McCutcheon Field for Brigadier General Keith B. McCutcheon, one of the fathers of Marine Corps helicopter aviation...

, Lieutenant Colonel Odin Lieberman, was relieved of duty in 2001 after allegations that he instructed his unit that they needed to falsify maintenance records to make the plane appear more reliable. Three officers were later implicated in the falsification scandal.

The aircraft is incapable of autorotation
Autorotation (helicopter)
Autorotation is the state of flight where the main rotor system of a helicopter is being turned by the action of air moving up through the rotor rather than engine power driving the rotor...

 to make a safe landing in helicopter mode if both engines fail. A director of the Pentagon's testing office in 2005 said that if the Osprey loses power while flying like a helicopter below 1600 feet (487.7 m), emergency landings "are not likely to be survivable". But Captain Justin "Moon" McKinney, a V-22 pilot, says there is an alternative, "We can turn it into a plane and glide it down, just like a C-130". A complete loss of power would require the failure of both engines, as one engine can power both proprotors via interconnected drive shafts. While vortex ring state (VRS) contributed to a deadly V-22 accident, the aircraft is less susceptible to the condition than conventional helicopters based on flight testing. But a GAO report stated the V-22 to be "less forgiving than conventional helicopters" during this phenomenon. In addition, several test flights to explore the V-22's VRS characteristics in greater detail were canceled. The Marines now train new pilots in the recognition of and recovery from VRS and have instituted operational envelope limits and instrumentation to help pilots avoid VRS conditions.

With the first combat deployment of the MV-22 in October 2007, Time Magazine
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

ran an article condemning the aircraft as unsafe, overpriced, and completely inadequate. The Marine Corps responded by arguing that much of the article's data were dated, obsolete, inaccurate, and reflected expectations that ran too high for any new field of aircraft.

Recent developments


On 28 September 2005, the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 formally approved full-rate production for the V-22. The plan is to boost production from 11 a year to between 24 and 48 a year by 2012. Of the 458 total planned, 360 are for the Marine Corps, 48 for the Navy, and 50 for the Air Force at an average cost of $110 million per aircraft, including development costs. The V-22 had an incremental flyaway cost of $67 million per aircraft in 2008, but the Navy hopes to shave about $10 million off that cost after a five-year production contract in 2013.

On 15 April 2010, the Naval Air Systems Command
Naval Air Systems Command
The Naval Air Systems Command provides material support for aircraft and airborne weapon systems for the United States Navy. NAVAIR was established in 1966 as the successor to the Navy's Bureau of Naval Weapons . Current Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, is Vice Adm. David Architzel since May...

 awarded Bell Boeing a $42.1 million contract to design a new integrated avionics processor to resolve electronics obsolescence issues and add new network capabilities. By 2014 Raytheon
Raytheon
Raytheon Company is a major American defense contractor and industrial corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics. It was previously involved in corporate and special-mission aircraft until early 2007...

 will provide an avionics upgrade that includes Situational awareness and Blue Force Tracking
Blue Force Tracking
Blue Force Tracking is a United States military term used to denote a GPS-enabled system that provides military commanders and forces with location information about friendly military forces....

.

Mission improvements have been developed for the "Block C" version. A contract for the Block C upgrade and other improvements was awarded to Bell Boeing in late 2009. Deliveries of Block C upgrades are ongoing in 2010.

U.S. Naval Air Systems Command is working on software upgrades to increase the maximum speed from 250 kn (490 km/h; 304.4 mph) to 270 kn (529.2 km/h; 328.8 mph), increase helicopter mode altitude limit from 10000 feet (3,048 m) to 12000 feet (3,657.6 m) or 14000 feet (4,267.2 m), and increase lift performance. Implementation of these upgrades began in September 2011.

As part of a cost-cutting measure, the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is a Presidential Commission created in 2010 by President Barack Obama to identify "…policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run."...

 suggested ending procurement of the V-22 and instead procure the MH-60.

On 18 February 2011, Marine Commandant General James Amos indicated Marine MV-22s deployed to Afghanistan surpassed 100,000 flight hours and were noted as having become "the safest airplane, or close to the safest airplane” in the Marine Corps inventory. The average V-22 mishap rate based on flight hours over the past 10 years, has been approximately half the accident rate for the USMC aircraft fleet. The V-22's accident rate is the lowest of any Marine rotorcraft. Wired Magazine has reported that the recent safety record has been achieved only by excluding V-22 ground incidents; one such incident claimed the life of one crew member. The Marines responded that MV-22 reporting is done by the same standards as all other aircraft in the Department of the Navy.

Design


The Osprey is the world's first production tiltrotor aircraft, with one three-bladed proprotor
Proprotor
A proprotor is a spinning airfoil that is used as both an airplane-style propeller and a helicopter-style rotor during the same flight. Proprotors are typically used on vertical takeoff and landing aircraft....

, turboprop engine, and transmission nacelle
Nacelle
The nacelle is a cover housing that holds engines, fuel, or equipment on an aircraft. In some cases—for instance in the typical "Farman" type "pusher" aircraft, or the World War II-era P-38 Lightning—an aircraft's cockpit may also be housed in a nacelle, which essentially fills the...

 mounted on each wingtip. It is classified as a powered lift
Powered lift
Powered lift or powered-lift refers to a type of aircraft that can take off and land vertically and functions differently from a rotorcraft in horizontal flight....

 aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

. For takeoff and landing, it typically operates as a helicopter with the nacelles vertical and rotors horizontal. Once airborne, the nacelles rotate forward 90° in as little as 12 seconds for horizontal flight, converting the V-22 to a more fuel-efficient, higher-speed turboprop airplane. STOL
STOL
STOL is an acronym for short take-off and landing, a term used to describe aircraft with very short runway requirements.-Definitions:There is no one accepted definition of STOL and many different definitions have been used by different authorities and nations at various times and for a myriad of...

 rolling-takeoff and landing capability is achieved by having the nacelles tilted forward up to 45°. For compact storage and transport, the V-22's wing rotates to align, front-to-back, with the fuselage. The proprotors can also fold in a sequence taking 90 seconds. Composite materials make up 43% of the V-22's airframe. The proprotors blades also use composites.

The V-22's two Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines are connected by drive shafts to a common center gearbox so that one engine can power both proprotors if an engine failure occurs. Most Osprey missions will use fixed wing flight 75 percent or more of the time, reducing wear and tear on the aircraft and reducing operational costs. This fixed wing flight is higher than typical helicopter missions allowing longer range line-of-sight communications and so improved command and control. Boeing has stated the V-22 design loses 10% of its vertical lift over a Tiltwing
Tiltwing
A tiltwing aircraft features a wing that is horizontal for conventional forward flight and rotates up for vertical takeoff and landing. It is similar to the tiltrotor design where only the propeller and engine rotate. Tiltwing aircraft are typically fully capable of VTOL operations.The tiltwing...

 design when operating in helicopter mode because of airflow resistance due to the wings, but that the Tiltrotor
Tiltrotor
A tiltrotor is an aircraft which uses a pair or more of powered rotors mounted on rotating shafts or nacelles at the end of a fixed wing for lift and propulsion, and combines the vertical lift capability of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft...

 design has better short takeoff and landing performance.
The V-22 is equipped with a glass cockpit
Glass cockpit
A glass cockpit is an aircraft cockpit that features electronic instrument displays, typically large LCD screens, as opposed to the traditional style of analog dials and gauges...

, which incorporates four Multi-function display
Multi-function display
A Multi-function display is a small screen in an aircraft surrounded by multiple buttons that can be used to display information to the pilot in numerous configurable ways. Often an MFD will be used in concert with a Primary Flight Display. MFDs are part of the digital era of modern planes or...

s (MFDs) and one shared Central Display Unit (CDU), allowing the pilots to display a variety of images including: digimaps centered or decentered on current position, FLIR
Forward looking infrared
Forward looking infrared cameras, typically used on military aircraft, use an imaging technology that senses infrared radiation.The sensors installed in forward looking infrared cameras, as well as those of other thermal imaging cameras, use detection of infrared radiation, typically emitted from a...

 imagery, primary flight instruments, navigation (TACAN, VOR
VHF omnidirectional range
VOR, short for VHF omnidirectional radio range, is a type of radio navigation system for aircraft. A VOR ground station broadcasts a VHF radio composite signal including the station's identifier, voice , and navigation signal. The identifier is typically a two- or three-letter string in Morse code...

, ILS
Instrument Landing System
An instrument landing system is a ground-based instrument approach system that provides precision guidance to an aircraft approaching and landing on a runway, using a combination of radio signals and, in many cases, high-intensity lighting arrays to enable a safe landing during instrument...

, GPS
Global Positioning System
The Global Positioning System is a space-based global navigation satellite system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites...

, INS
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

), and system status. The flight director panel of the Cockpit Management System (CMS) allows for fully coupled (autopilot) functions which will take the aircraft from forward flight into a 50 ft (15.2 m) hover with no pilot interaction other than programming the system. The glass cockpit of the canceled CH-46X was derived from the V-22.

The V-22 is a fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 aircraft with triple-redundant flight control systems. With the nacelles pointing straight up in conversion mode at 90° the flight computers command the aircraft to fly like a helicopter, with cyclic forces being applied to a conventional swashplate
Swashplate
A swashplate is a device used in mechanical engineering to translate the motion of a rotating shaft into reciprocating motion, or to translate a reciprocating motion into a rotating one to replace the crankshaft in engine designs.- Construction :...

 at the rotor hub. With the nacelles in airplane mode (0°) the flaperons, rudder, and elevator fly the aircraft like an airplane. This is a gradual transition and occurs over the rotation range of the nacelles. The lower the nacelles, the greater effect of the airplane-mode control surfaces. The nacelles can rotate past vertical to 97.5° for rearward flight.

The Osprey can be armed with one 7.62x51mm NATO (.308
.308 Winchester
The .308 Winchester is a rifle cartridge and is the commercial cartridge upon which the military 7.62x51mm NATO centerfire cartridge is based. The .308 Winchester was introduced in 1952, two years prior to the NATO adoption of the 7.62x51mm NATO T65...

 in caliber
Caliber
In guns including firearms, caliber or calibre is the approximate internal diameter of the barrel in relation to the diameter of the projectile used in it....

) M240 machine gun or .50 in caliber
.50 BMG
The .50 Browning Machine Gun or 12.7×99mm NATO is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s. Entering service officially in 1921, the round is based on a greatly scaled-up .30-06 cartridge...

 (12.7 mm) M2  machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

 on the loading ramp, that can be fired rearward when the ramp is lowered. A .50 in GAU-19
GAU-19
The GECAL 50, officially designated by the United States military as the GAU-19/A, is an electrically driven Gatling gun that fires the .50 BMG cartridge...

 three-barrel gatling gun mounted below the V-22's nose was studied for future upgrade. BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 developed a belly-mounted, remotely operated gun turret
Gun turret
A gun turret is a weapon mount that protects the crew or mechanism of a projectile-firing weapon and at the same time lets the weapon be aimed and fired in many directions.The turret is also a rotating weapon platform...

 system for the V-22, named the Interim Defense Weapon System. This system is remotely operated by a gunner inside the aircraft, who acquires targets with a separate pod using color television and forward looking infrared
Forward looking infrared
Forward looking infrared cameras, typically used on military aircraft, use an imaging technology that senses infrared radiation.The sensors installed in forward looking infrared cameras, as well as those of other thermal imaging cameras, use detection of infrared radiation, typically emitted from a...

 imagery. The belly gun system was installed on half of the first V-22s deployed to Afghanistan in 2009, but found limited use due to its 800 lb (362.9 kg) weight and restrictive rules of engagement
Rules of engagement
Rules of Engagement refers to those responses that are permitted in the employment of military personnel during operations or in the course of their duties. These rules of engagement are determined by the legal framework within which these duties are being carried out...

.

U.S. Marine Corps


Marine Corps crew training on the Osprey has been conducted by VMMT-204
VMMT-204
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 is the MV-22 Osprey training squadron of the United States Marine Corps. Known as the "Raptors", the squadron was originally designated Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 204 to train new CH-46E pilots and was officially redesignated as...

 since March 2000. On 3 June 2005, the Marine Corps helicopter squadron
Squadron (aviation)
A squadron in air force, army aviation or naval aviation is mainly a unit comprising a number of military aircraft, usually of the same type, typically with 12 to 24 aircraft, sometimes divided into three or four flights, depending on aircraft type and air force...

 Marine Medium Helicopter 263
VMM-263
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 is a United States Marine Corps tiltrotor squadron consisting of MV-22B Osprey transport aircraft...

 (HMM-263) stood down to begin the process of transitioning to the MV-22 Osprey. On 8 December 2005, Lieutenant General James Amos
James F. Amos
James F. Amos is a four-star general in the United States Marine Corps and the 35th and current Commandant of the Marine Corps. A naval aviator by trade, Amos commanded the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2004. He served as the 31st Assistant Commandant of the...

, commander of II Marine Expeditionary Force, accepted the delivery of the first fleet of MV-22s, delivered to HMM-263. The unit reactivated on 3 March 2006 as the first MV-22 squadron and was redesignated VMM-263
VMM-263
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 is a United States Marine Corps tiltrotor squadron consisting of MV-22B Osprey transport aircraft...

. On 31 August 2006, VMM-162 (the former HMM-162) followed suit. On 23 March 2007, HMM-266 became Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (VMM-266) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

.

The Osprey has been replacing the CH-46 Sea Knight on a squadron-by-squadron basis since 2007, a process which is to be completed by 2019 when remaining Sea Knight helicopters will be retired. The MV-22 reached initial operational capability (IOC) with the U.S. Marine Corps on 13 June 2007. On 10 July 2007 an MV-22 Osprey landed aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious
HMS Illustrious (R06)
HMS Illustrious is the second of three Invincible-class light aircraft carriers built for the Royal Navy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She is the fifth warship and second aircraft carrier to bear the name Illustrious, and is affectionately known as "Lusty" to her crew...

 in the Atlantic Ocean. This marked the first time a V-22 had landed on any non-U.S. vessel.

On 13 April 2007, the U.S. Marine Corps announced that it would be sending ten V-22 aircraft to Iraq, the Osprey's first combat deployment. Commandant of the Marine Corps
Commandant of the Marine Corps
The Commandant of the Marine Corps is normally the highest ranking officer in the United States Marine Corps and is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff...

 James T. Conway
James T. Conway
James Terry Conway is a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general who was the 34th Commandant of the Marine Corps...

 indicated that over 150 Marines would accompany the Osprey set for September deployment to Al Asad Airbase. On 17 September 2007, 10 MV-22Bs of VMM-263
VMM-263
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 is a United States Marine Corps tiltrotor squadron consisting of MV-22B Osprey transport aircraft...

 left for Iraq aboard the USS Wasp. The decision to use a ship rather than use the Osprey's self-deployment capability was made because of concerns over icing during the North Atlantic portion of the trip, lack of available KC-130s for mid-air refueling
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....

, and the availability of the USS Wasp.

The Osprey has provided support in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, logging 2,000 flight hours over three months with a mission capable rate
Availability
In telecommunications and reliability theory, the term availability has the following meanings:* The degree to which a system, subsystem, or equipment is in a specified operable and committable state at the start of a mission, when the mission is called for at an unknown, i.e., a random, time...

 of 68.1% as of late-January 2008. They are primarily used in Iraq's western Anbar province for routine cargo and troop movements, and also for riskier "aero-scout" missions. General David Petraeus
David Petraeus
David Howell Petraeus is the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sworn in on September 6, 2011. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a four-star general serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander...

, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, used one to fly around Iraq on Christmas Day 2007 to visit troops. Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 also flew in Ospreys during his high profile 2008 tour of Iraq.
The only major problem has been obtaining spare parts to maintain the aircraft. The V-22 had flown 3,000 sorties totaling 5,200 hours in Iraq as of July 2008. General George J. Trautman, III
George J. Trautman, III
Lieutenant General George J. Trautman III served as the Deputy Commandant for Aviation of the United States Marine Corps from 2007 to 2011. He retired from active duty military service on April 1, 2011.-Marine Corps career:...

 praised the V-22's increased speed and range over the legacy helicopters in Iraq and said that "it turned his battle space from the size of Texas into the size of Rhode Island."

Naval Air Systems Command
Naval Air Systems Command
The Naval Air Systems Command provides material support for aircraft and airborne weapon systems for the United States Navy. NAVAIR was established in 1966 as the successor to the Navy's Bureau of Naval Weapons . Current Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, is Vice Adm. David Architzel since May...

 has devised a temporary fix for sailors to place portable heat shields under Osprey engines to prevent damage to the decks of some of the Navy's smaller amphibious ships. They determined that a long-term solution to the problem would require the decks be redesigned with heat resistant coatings, passive thermal barriers, and changes in ship structure in order to operate V-22s and F-35Bs.

A Government Accountability Office
Government Accountability Office
The Government Accountability Office is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress. It is located in the legislative branch of the United States government.-History:...

 study reported that by January 2009 the Marines had 12 MV-22s operating in Iraq and they completed all assigned missions. The same report found that the V-22 deployments had mission capable rates averaging 57% to 68% and an overall full mission capable rate of only 6%. It also stated that the aircraft had shown weakness in situational awareness, maintenance, shipboard operations and the ability to transport troops and external cargo. That study also concluded that the "deployments confirmed that the V-22’s enhanced speed and range enable personnel and internal cargo to be transported faster and farther than is possible with the legacy helicopters it is replacing". Naval Air Systems Command
Naval Air Systems Command
The Naval Air Systems Command provides material support for aircraft and airborne weapon systems for the United States Navy. NAVAIR was established in 1966 as the successor to the Navy's Bureau of Naval Weapons . Current Commander, Naval Air Systems Command, is Vice Adm. David Architzel since May...

 hopes to reach a 85% reliability rate by 2018.
The MV-22 was deployed to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 in November 2009 with VMM-261, and saw its first offensive combat mission, Operation Cobra's Anger
Operation Cobra's Anger
Operation Cobra's Anger was a US-led offensive in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan. About 1,000 Marines as well as 150 Afghan troops were involved. The operation began in the early hours of 4 December 2009...

, on 4 December 2009. Ospreys assisted in inserting 1,000 Marines and 150 Afghan troops into the Now Zad Valley of Helmand Province
Helmand Province
Helmand is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the southwest of the country. Its capital is Lashkar Gah. The Helmand River flows through the mainly desert region, providing water for irrigation....

 in southern Afghanistan to disrupt communication and supply lines of the Taliban. In January 2010 the MV-22 Osprey was sent to Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response
Operation Unified Response
Operation Unified Response is the United States military's response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. It is being conducted by Joint Task Force Haiti and commanded by United States Southern Command Military Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Ken Keen, although the overall U.S...

 relief efforts after the earthquake there, the aircraft's first humanitarian mission
Humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid is material or logistical assistance provided for humanitarian purposes, typically in response to humanitarian crises including natural disaster and man-made disaster. The primary objective of humanitarian aid is to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain human dignity...

.

The Marines have found that the V-22's speed and range make it a good operational match for fast jets. The service has therefore split Marine Expeditionary Unit
Marine Expeditionary Unit
A Marine expeditionary unit , formerly called Marine amphibious unit , is the smallest Marine air-ground task force in the United States Fleet Marine Force...

 operations into two groups with fast jets and V-22s in one group and helicopters in the other.

In March 2011, two MV-22s from the USS Kearsarge
USS Kearsarge
Five ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Kearsarge. The first was named for Mount Kearsarge and the later ones were named in honor of the first....

 participated in a mission to rescue a downed USAF F-15E crew member during Operation Odyssey Dawn
Operation Odyssey Dawn
Operation Odyssey Dawn was the U.S. code name for the US part of the international military operation in Libya to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. during the initial period of 19–31 March 2011, which continued afterwards under NATO command as Operation Unified Protector...

. This was one of the first times that a USMC Osprey was used in a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP).

U.S. Air Force



The Air Force's first operational CV-22 Osprey was delivered to the 58th Special Operations Wing
58th Special Operations Wing
The 58th Special Operations Wing is a combat unit of the United States Air Force stationed at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 58 SOW is part of the Air Education and Training Command Nineteenth Air Force....

 (58th SOW) at Kirtland Air Force Base
Kirtland Air Force Base
Kirtland Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in the southeast quadrant of the Albuquerque, New Mexico urban area, adjacent to the Albuquerque International Sunport. The base was named for the early Army aviator Col. Roy C. Kirtland...

, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

 on 20 March 2006. This and subsequent aircraft will become part of the 58th SOW's fleet of aircraft used for training pilots and crew members for special operations use. On 16 November 2006, the Air Force officially accepted the CV-22 in a ceremony conducted at Hurlburt Field
Hurlburt Field
Hurlburt Field is a U.S. Air Force installation located in Okaloosa County, Florida, immediately west of the Town of Mary Esther. It is part of the greater Eglin Air Force Base reservation, and is home to Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command , the 1st Special Operations Wing , the...

, Florida.

The Air Force first used the Osprey on a non-training mission to perform search and rescue from Kirtland Air Force Base
Kirtland Air Force Base
Kirtland Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in the southeast quadrant of the Albuquerque, New Mexico urban area, adjacent to the Albuquerque International Sunport. The base was named for the early Army aviator Col. Roy C. Kirtland...

 on 4 October 2007.

The US Air Force's first operational deployment of the Osprey sent four CV-22s to Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

 in November 2008 in support of Exercise Flintlock. The CV-22s flew nonstop from Hurlburt Field, Florida with in-flight refueling. AFSOC declared that the 8th Special Operations Squadron
8th Special Operations Squadron
The 8th Special Operations Squadron is part of the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida. It operates CV-22 Osprey in support of special operations.-Mission:...

 reached Initial Operational Capability on 16 March 2009, with six of its planned nine CV-22s operational.

In June 2009, CV-22s of the 8th Special Operations Squadron delivered 43000 pounds (19,504.5 kg) of humanitarian supplies to remote villages in Honduras that were not accessible by conventional vehicles. In November 2009, the 8th SO Squadron and its six CV-22s returned from a three-month deployment in Iraq.

Potential operators


In 1999 the V-22 was studied for use in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, and multiple times has been a candidate for its Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control (MASC) project to replace Sea King
Westland Sea King
The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines , British made anti-submarine warfare systems and a...

s. Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 had shown interest in the purchase of MV-22s, but no order was placed. Flightglobal.com
Flightglobal.com
Flightglobal.com is an online news and information website related to the aviation and aerospace industries. It also provides a community area for numerous distinct communities within the aviation and aerospace industry....

 reported in late 2009 that Israel has decided to wait for the CH-53K instead. However, in 2011 Israel was again expressing interest in purchasing V-22s to bolster its special operations and search & rescue capabilities.

The V-22 Osprey is a candidate for the Norwegian All Weather Search and Rescue Helicopter (NAWSARH) that is planned to replace the Westland Sea King Mk.43B
Westland Sea King
The Westland WS-61 Sea King is a British licence-built version of the American Sikorsky S-61 helicopter of the same name, built by Westland Helicopters. The aircraft differs considerably from the American version, with Rolls-Royce Gnome engines , British made anti-submarine warfare systems and a...

 of the Royal Norwegian Air Force
Royal Norwegian Air Force
The Royal Norwegian Air Force is the air force of Norway. It was established as a separate arm of the Norwegian armed forces on 10 November 1944. The RNoAF's peace force is approximately 1,430 employees . 600 personnel also serve their draft period in the RNoAF...

 in 2015. The other candidates for the NAWSARH contract of 10-12 helicopters are AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin, Eurocopter EC225, NHIndustries NH90 and Sikorsky S-92
Sikorsky S-92
The Sikorsky S-92 is a four-bladed twin-engine medium-lift helicopter built by Sikorsky Aircraft for the civil and military helicopter market. The S-92 was developed from the Sikorsky S-70 helicopter and has similar parts such as flight control and rotor systems.The H-92 Superhawk is a military...

.

Bell Boeing has made an unsolicited offer of the V-22 for US Army medical evacuation needs. The Joint Personnel Recovery Agency issued a report that said that a common helicopter design would be needed for both combat recovery and medical evacuation and that the V-22 would not be suitable for recovery missions because of the difficulty of hoist operations and lack of self-defense capabilities.

The US Navy remains a potential user of the V-22, but its role and mission with the service remain unclear. The latest proposal is to replace the C-2 Greyhound with the V-22 for Carrier Onboard Delivery
Carrier onboard delivery
Carrier Onboard Delivery is a military term used to describe type of aircraft which are able to ferry personnel, mail, and high-priority cargo on and off a naval ship .-History:...

. The V-22 would have the advantage of being able to land on and support non-carriers with rapid delivery of supplies and people between ships beyond helicopter range. Loren B. Thompson of the Lexington Institute
Lexington Institute
The Lexington Institute is a non-profit public-policy think tank headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, that focuses on national security, education reform, postal service management, space policy, and U.S...

 has suggested V-22s for use by the Air Force in combat search and rescue
Combat search and rescue
Combat search and rescue are search and rescue operations that are carried out during war that are within or near combat zones.A CSAR mission may be carried out by a task force of helicopters, ground-attack aircraft, tankers and an airborne command post...

 and for the USMC's Marine One
Marine One
Marine One is the call sign of any United States Marine Corps aircraft carrying the President of the United States. It usually denotes a helicopter operated by the HMX-1 "Nighthawks" squadron, either the large VH-3D Sea King or the newer, smaller VH-60N "WhiteHawk", both due to be replaced by the...

 presidential transport, which both need replacement aircraft. Boeing announced on 5 May 2010, that it would submit the V-22 to the DoD's VXX
VXX
VXX is a procurement program to replace aging Marine One helicopters that transport the President of the United States. The current VH-3 helicopters have aging airframes, having entered service with U.S. Marine Corps Marine Helicopter Squadron One in 1963. The VH-3D replaced the VH-3A by 1976...

 Marine One helicopter replacement program. V-22s are already planned to support the Marine One mission starting in 2013, because of the urgent need for CH-53E helicopters in Afghanistan.

Variants



V-22A : Pre-production full-scale development aircraft used for flight testing. These are unofficially considered A-variants after the 1993 redesign.

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 still lists the HV-22 for the Navy with the USAF and USMC variants.

SV-22 : The proposed anti-submarine warfare variant. The U.S. Navy studied the SV-22 in the 1980s to replace S-3 and SH-2 aircraft.

MV-22B : Basic U.S. Marine Corps transport; original requirement for 552 (now 360). The Marine Corps is the lead service in the development of the V-22 Osprey. The Marine Corps variant is an assault transport for troops, equipment and supplies, capable of operating from ships or from expeditionary airfields ashore. It is replacing the Marine Corps' CH-46E and CH-53D.

CV-22B : The U.S. Air Force variant for the U.S. Special Operations Command
United States Special Operations Command
The United States Special Operations Command is the Unified Combatant Command charged with overseeing the various Special Operations Commands of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps of the United States Armed Forces. The command is part of the Department of Defense...

 (USSOCOM). It conducts long-range, special operations missions, and is equipped with extra fuel tanks and terrain-following radar. It replaced the MH-53 Pave Low.

Operators



The U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force have a combined 112 V-22s in service . Most are used by the Marine Corps.

  • United States Air Force
    United States Air Force
    The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

     had 12 CV-22s in service .
    • 8th Special Operations Squadron
      8th Special Operations Squadron
      The 8th Special Operations Squadron is part of the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida. It operates CV-22 Osprey in support of special operations.-Mission:...

       (8 SOS) at Hurlburt Field
      Hurlburt Field
      Hurlburt Field is a U.S. Air Force installation located in Okaloosa County, Florida, immediately west of the Town of Mary Esther. It is part of the greater Eglin Air Force Base reservation, and is home to Headquarters Air Force Special Operations Command , the 1st Special Operations Wing , the...

      , Florida
      Florida
      Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

    • 71st Special Operations Squadron
      71st Special Operations Squadron
      The 71st Special Operations Squadron is part of the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. It operates CV-22 Osprey conducting special operations flying training.-History:...

       (71 SOS) at Kirtland Air Force Base
      Kirtland Air Force Base
      Kirtland Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in the southeast quadrant of the Albuquerque, New Mexico urban area, adjacent to the Albuquerque International Sunport. The base was named for the early Army aviator Col. Roy C. Kirtland...

      , New Mexico
      New Mexico
      New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

    • 20th Special Operations Squadron
      20th Special Operations Squadron
      The 20th Special Operations Squadron is part of the 27th Special Operations Wing at Cannon AFB, New Mexico. It operates CV-22 Osprey aircraft in support of special operations.-Mission:...

       (20 SOS) at Cannon Air Force Base
      Cannon Air Force Base
      Cannon Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately southwest of Clovis, New Mexico. It is under the jurisdiction of Air Force Special Operations Command ....

      , New Mexico
      New Mexico
      New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...


  • United States Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

     had 83 MV-22s in operation .
    • VMM-161
    • VMM-162
    • VMM-261
    • VMM-263
      VMM-263
      Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 is a United States Marine Corps tiltrotor squadron consisting of MV-22B Osprey transport aircraft...

    • VMM-264
    • VMM-266
    • VMM-365
    • VMM-561
    • VMMT-204
      VMMT-204
      Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 is the MV-22 Osprey training squadron of the United States Marine Corps. Known as the "Raptors", the squadron was originally designated Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron 204 to train new CH-46E pilots and was officially redesignated as...

       - Training squadron
    • VMX-22
      VMX-22
      Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron Twenty-Two is a United States Marine Corps tiltrotor squadron consisting of MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft. The squadron, known as the "Argonauts", is based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina...

       - Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron

Notable accidents




During testing from 1991 to 2000 there were four significant crashes resulting in 30 fatalities. Since becoming operational in 2007, the V-22 has had one loss due to accident
Aviation accidents and incidents
An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a...

, and seven other notable, but minor, aviation incidents
Aviation accidents and incidents
An aviation accident is defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation Annex 13 as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, in which a...

.
  • On 11 June 1991, the left nacelle of a pre-production Osprey struck the ground while the aircraft was hovering 15 feet (4.6 m) in the air, causing it to bounce and catch fire; subsequent investigation found miswired flight control system
    Aircraft flight control systems
    A conventional fixed-wing aircraft flight control system consists of flight control surfaces, the respective cockpit controls, connecting linkages, and the necessary operating mechanisms to control an aircraft's direction in flight...

     to be responsible. The pilot, Grady Wilson, suspected that he may have accidentally set the throttle lever the opposite direction to that intended, exacerbating the crash if not causing it.

  • On 20 July 1992, a leaking gearbox led to a fire in the right nacelle of a pre-production V-22, causing the aircraft to drop into the Potomac River
    Potomac River
    The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

     in front of an audience of congressmen and other government officials at Quantico
    Marine Corps Base Quantico
    Marine Corps Base Quantico, sometimes abbreviated MCB Quantico, is a major United States Marine Corps training base located near Triangle, Virginia, covering nearly in southern Prince William County, northern Stafford County, and southeastern Fauquier County...

    , killing all seven on board and grounding the aircraft for 11 months. Boeing later denied speculation that pressure to perform had been a factor in the accident.

  • On 8 April 2000, a V-22, loaded with Marines to simulate a rescue, attempted to land at Marana Northwest Regional Airport in Arizona
    Arizona
    Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

    ; it stalled when its right rotor entered vortex ring state, rolled over, crashed, and exploded, killing all 19 on board.

  • On 11 December 2000, after a catastrophic hydraulic leak and subsequent software instrument failure, a V-22 fell 1600 feet (487.7 m) into a forest in Jacksonville, North Carolina, killing all four aboard. This caused the Marine Corps to ground their fleet of eight V-22s, the second grounding that year.

  • On 9 April 2010, a CV-22 crashed near Qalat, Zabul Province, Afghanistan, killing four. The USAF investigation ruled out Brownout
    Brownout (aviation)
    In aviation, a brownout is an in-flight visibility restriction due to dust or sand in the air.In a brownout, the pilot cannot see nearby objects which provide the outside visual references necessary to control the aircraft near the ground. This can cause spatial disorientation and loss of...

     conditions, enemy fire, and vortex ring state as causes. The investigation found several factors that significantly contributed to the crash; these include low visibility, a poorly executed approach, loss of situational awareness, and a high descent rate.


Specifications (MV-22B)



See also


External links