Thirty years of Til­tro­tor­ing

Pilot - - NOTES -

19 March marked the thir­ti­eth an­niver­sary of the maiden flight of the pro­to­type Bell-boe­ing V-22 Osprey Til­tro­tor, more than 375 ex­am­ples of which are in ser­vice with the US Marine Corps and US Air Force, jointly log­ging 450,000 flight hours in com­bat sup­port and hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port op­er­a­tions. From 2021 CMV22Bs will be­gin op­er­at­ing with the US Navy, the 39 CMV-22BS on or­der re­plac­ing Grum­man C-2A Grey­hound twin tur­bo­props for carrier on­board de­liv­ery (COD) mis­sions fer­ry­ing per­son­nel, cargo and mail to car­ri­ers off­shore, and for shore- or sea-based com­bat search-and-res­cue mis­sions.

“The V-22 has be­come one of the most in-de­mand and re­li­able air­craft in mil­i­tary ser­vice, with its unique ver­ti­cal ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity com­bined with the speed, range and fu­el­ef­fi­ciency of a fixed-wing air­plane,” says Colonel Matthew Kelly, USMC V-22 Joint Pro­gram Man­ager. “Since that first flight the V-22 has proven its worth on bat­tle­fields around the world… The US ser­vices and our al­lies look for­ward to the next thirty years of V-22s dom­i­nat­ing the bat­tle­field.”

The V-22 has been de­ployed in Afghanista­n, Iraq, and Kuwait, and participat­ed in hu­man­i­tar­ian op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing earth­quake re­lief in Haiti and Ja­pan and hur­ri­cane re­sponse in the USA. Other mis­sions in­clude air­borne com­mand and con­trol, air­borne fleet lo­gis­tics, com­bat search-and-res­cue and spe­cial op­er­a­tions sup­port. It is also op­er­ated by the US Marine Corps’ pres­ti­gious Marine He­li­copter Squadron One, HMX-1, which pro­vides he­li­copter trans­port for the US Pres­i­dent. Its fleet of Ospreys are not yet cleared to carry the Pres­i­dent, although the First Lady flew in one last De­cem­ber, vis­it­ing shore bases and land­ing on the deck of the air­craft carrier Ge­orge H W Bush. HMX-1’S MV-22S are used pri­mar­ily to carry Pres­i­den­tial sup­port per­son­nel and mem­bers of the me­dia.

The pro­to­type Bell-boe­ing V-22 Til­tro­tor

HMX-1'S MV-22 fleet is not yet cleared to carry the Pres­i­dent

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