As of 1 Jun 99
MARINES GET FIRST PRODUCTION MV-22
By Gidge Dady
V-22 Public Affairs
Air Station PATUXENT RIVER, Md. –The first low rate initial production
MV-22 aircraft arrived here May 27 just a couple weeks after being rolled
off the assembly line in Arlington, Texas. This milestone marks a
new phase in the program that gets the Osprey one step closer to the fleet.
1200-mile ferry flight from Arlington included stops at Dobbins Air Force
Base, Marietta, GA and at Marine Corps Air Facility, Quantico, VA to refuel.
The landing at Quantico was historical because this site is the first Marine
base to see the new Osprey. Pilots Lt. Col. Keith Sweaney, Lt. Col. Jim
Shaffer, Maj. Mike Westman, Maj. Mike Murphy, and Maj. Jim Schafer are
the first V-22 operational test pilots to log in flight time in the new
“The flight was smooth and uneventful. We climbed to 15,500 feet
and reached 306 knots of ground speed and had a great flight. The
aircraft handled quite well,” said Westman who flew the aircraft from Arlington
to Quantico. Prior to this flight, the new MV-22 aircraft completed
25 hours of required acceptance flights at the Arlington contractor facility
before being turned over to the Marine Corps.
long wait for the Marine Corps to get their first production tiltrotor
culminated on May 14 during the MV-22 roll out and delivery ceremony at
the Bell Helicopter Textron Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas.
During the ceremony, General Terrance Dake, assistant commandant of the
Marine Corps said, “I wish the thousands of U.S. Marines who will be using
this revolutionary aircraft could be here today. I wish you could
look into the faces of those young men and women of America and they could
look into your faces, the artisans and craftsmen of the V-22. You would
be proud and they would be grateful, as I am grateful to you,” said Dake.
Osprey will carry the Marine Corps into the 21st Century. In future conflicts
around the world this and other V-22 aircraft will carry them into harm’s
way. Marines will fly this aircraft in an environment that only God
controls. They will depend on these aircraft to carry them over hostile
lands where there is no safe haven and into battles where defeat is not
an option. This V-22 can do the job more efficiently, more quickly,
and we can count on it to bring them home safely. It is a historic moment
in aviation history and for the Corps.”
first production MV-22, which is referred to as # 11 because it is the
eleventh aircraft produced, is one of four low rate initial production
aircraft that will be delivered to the Marine Corps in 1999. These aircraft
will be owned, operated and maintained by members of the V-22 Multi-Service
Operational Test Team who will begin training in preparation for the next
big test phase, Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL). These aircraft will be
used in OPEVAL which starts in October 1999 and continues through the spring
Aircraft #11 is the first of 360 production Ospreys that the Marine Corps
will procure over the next 20 years. The initial operational capability
date for the MV-22 is 2001.