As of 11 Jun 99
WORK BEGINS ON CV-22 OSPREY
By 1st Lt. Dave Huxsoll
ASC Public Affairs
AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio, June 11, 1999 -- An MV-22 Osprey was delivered to
Bell Helicopter Textron’s Arlington, Texas, facility June 7 to be remanufactured
into the CV-22, the Air Force version of the tiltrotor aircraft.
This aircraft, a representative of future production models, will be used
as a flight test vehicle.
MV-22 No. 9 is one of four engineering,
manufacturing and development (EMD) Marine Corps Ospreys that have been
undergoing flight tests at the Naval Air Weapons Center - Aircraft Division
(NAWC-AD) at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. There are currently
10 Air Force managers from Aeronautical Systems Center assigned to the
Navy facility, where the aircraft is being procured. These managers
are supporting the procurement of 50 CV-22s for the Air Force.
“They’re basically going to strip it (the MV-22)
down and rebuild it to the CV-22 specifications,” said Maj. Scott LeMay,
CV-22 deputy program manager. “It’s going to have CV-22 production wiring
and all CV-22-unique systems.” The Air Force is acquiring the Ospreys
to replace its fleet of MH-53J Pave Low helicopters used to insert and
extract special operations forces covertly from hostile areas.
The Air Force version of the Osprey will have a Suite of Integrated Radio
Frequency Countermeasures (SIRFC), which includes an active jammer.
SIRFC can geo-locate threats using its missile warning receivers, as well
as incorporate real-time intelligence from a multi-mission advanced tactical
terminal (MATT). “All of this information is shown to the pilot on
a digital map,” LeMay said.
idea is to get in and out undetected, but if the aircraft is detected it
is very survivable. All of the critical areas will be hardened against
ballistic attack, and there will be a chaff-and-flare dispense capability.”
Other differences between the CV-22 and its Marine
counterpart include terrain following/terrain avoidance radar (TF/TA),
an additional 900 gallons of fuel capacity, rope ladders, a survivor locator
system, and additional radios and upgraded computers.
The remanufacture of aircraft No. 9 is scheduled
for completion in May 2000. Later that summer it will enter a period
of developmental testing. After completion of developmental testing
in spring 2002, it will begin initial operational test and evaluation at
Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.
put it through its paces by basically doing a mock deployment,” LeMay explained.
“This is to make sure that it meets what’s required in the Operational
Requirements Document (ORD), and that it is operationally effective and
EMD MV-22, No. 7, will begin being modified to the CV-22 configuration
on July 1. The modification is less extensive than the remanufacturing
process, and will mainly involve the addition of auxiliary fuel tanks and
TF/TA radar. That aircraft is scheduled for its first flight at Bell
Helicopter Textron Flight Research Center, Arlington, Texas, in December.
In May 2000 it will be turned over to the Air Force for developmental testing
of the TF/TA radar system.
of the CV-22 is scheduled to begin in 2001, with first deliveries in 2003.
The first four aircraft will go to the 58th Training Squadron at Kirtland
where they will be used for CV-22 advanced aircrew training. Initial
operational capability is expected in September 2004, with a squadron of
six aircraft stationed at Hurlburt Field, Fla. All 50
CV-22s are scheduled to be in service by 2009.
CV-22 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.
It takes off vertically and, once airborne, the nacelles (engine and prop-rotor
group) on each wing can rotate into a forward position.
Osprey can cruise at 230 knots, and has a range three times greater than
the MH-53J. It is also much quieter, thereby avoiding enemy threats.
The standard CV-22 crew will consist of two pilots and a flight engineer.
Current plans call for initial aircrew training to be conducted jointly
at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C.
Boeing Company and Bell Helicopter Textron manufacture the Osprey.
Boeing will produce the fuselage and all subsystems, digital avionics,
and fly-by-wire flight-control systems at its Philadelphia facility.
The aircraft then will be transported by C-17 to Bell Helicopter Textron’s
new Amarillo, Texas, facility for the wing, transmissions, tail section,
rotor systems, and engine installation.