The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tilt-rotor military aircraft with both vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and short take-off and landing (STOL) capabilities.
It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
In 1980, the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, underscored that there were military roles for which neither conventional helicopters nor fixed-wing transport aircraft were well-suited.
The United States Department of Defence (DoD) initiated a program to develop an innovative transport aircraft, with long-range, high-speed, and vertical-take-off capabilities, the Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) program officially commenced in 1981.
A partnership between Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopters was awarded a development contract in 1983 for the V-22 tiltrotor aircraft.
The Bell Boeing team jointly produces the aircraft.
The V-22 first flew in 1989 and began flight testing and design alterations; the complexity and difficulties of being the first tilt-rotor for military service led to many years of development.
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) began crew training for the MV-22B Osprey in 2000 and fielded it in 2007, it supplemented and then replaced their Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knights.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) fielded their version of the tilt-rotor, the CV-22B, in 2009.
Since entering service with the Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medevac operations over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Kuwait.
The U.S. Navy started using these as the CMV-22B for carrier onboard delivery duties beginning 2021.
Pre-production full-scale development aircraft used for flight testing.
These are unofficially considered A-variants after the 1993 redesign.
U.S. Air Force variant for the U.S. Special Operations Command.
It conducts long-range special operations missions and is equipped with extra wing fuel tanks, an AN/APQ-186 terrain following radar, and other equipment such as the AN/ALQ-211, and AN/AAQ-24 Nemesis Directional Infrared Counter Measures.
The fuel capacity is increased by 588 gallons (2,230 L) with two inboard wing tanks, three auxiliary tanks (200 or 430 gal) can also be added in the cabin.
The CV-22 replaced the MH-53 Pave Low.
U.S. Marine Corps variant
The Marine Corps is the lead service in the V-22’s development.
The Marine Corps variant is an assault transport for troops, equipment and supplies, capable of operating from ships or expeditionary airfields ashore.
It replaced the Marine Corps’ CH-46E and CH-53D fleets.
U.S. Navy variant for the carrier onboard delivery role.
Similar to the MV-22B but includes an extended range fuel system, a high-frequency radio, and a public address system.
24 troops (seated),
32 troops (floor loaded)
20,000 lb (9,070 kg) of internal cargo,
Up to 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of external cargo (dual hook)