Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

1st Flight 1989

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.

Variants

V-22A

Pre-production full-scale development aircraft used for flight testing.

These are unofficially considered A-variants after the 1993 redesign.

CV-22B

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.

MV-22B

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.

CMV-22B

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.

Specifications

Crew

3–4

Capacity

24 troops (seated), 32 troops (floor loaded),

or

20,000 lb (9,070 kg) of internal cargo, or up to 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of external cargo (dual hook)

1× M1161 Growler light internally transportable ground vehicle

Length

57 ft 4 in (17.48 m)

Length folded

62 ft 7.6 in (19.091 m)

Wingspan

45 ft 10 in (13.97 m)

Width

84 ft 6.8 in (25.776 m) including rotors

Width folded

18 ft 5 in (5.61 m)

Height

22 ft 1 in (6.73 m) engine nacelles vertical

17 ft 7.8 in (5 m) to top of tailfins

Height folded

18 ft 1 in (5.51 m)

Wing area

301.4 sq ft (28.00 m2)

Empty weight

31,818 lb (14,432 kg)

Operating weight

Empty 32,623 lb (14,798 kg)

Gross weight

39,500 lb (17,917 kg)

Combat weight

42,712 lb (19,374 kg)

Maximum take-off weight VTO

47,500 lb (21,546 kg)

Maximum take-off weight STO

55,000 lb (24,948 kg)

Maximum take-off weight STO, ferry

60,500 lb (27,442 kg)

Fuel capacity

Ferry maximum 4,451 US gal (3,706 imp gal; 16,850 L) of JP-4 / JP-5 / JP-8 to MIL-T-5624

2,436 US gal (2,028 imp gal; 9,220 L) in optional cabin auxiliary tank

1,228 US gal (1,023 imp gal; 4,650 L) in three sponson partial self-sealing tanks

787 US gal (655 imp gal; 2,980 L) in ten wing self-sealing tanks

1.93 US gal (1.61 imp gal; 7.3 L) engine oil

25.375 US gal (21.129 imp gal; 96.05 L) transmission oil

Powerplant

2 × Rolls-Royce T406-AD-400 turboprop/turbo shaft engines, 6,150 hp (4,590 kW) each maximum at 15,000 rpm at sea level, 59 °F (15 °C)

5,890 hp (4,392 kW) maximum continuous at 15,000 rpm at sea level, 59 °F (15 °C)

Main rotor diameter

2 × 38 ft (12 m)

Main rotor area

2,268 sq ft (210.7 m2) 3-bladed

Performance

Maximum speed

275 kn (316 mph, 509 km/h)

305 kn (565 km/h; 351 mph) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)

Stall speed

110 kn (130 mph, 200 km/h)

Range: 879 nmi (1,012 mi, 1,628 km)

Combat range

390 nmi (450 mi, 720 km)

Ferry range

2,230 nmi (2,570 mi, 4,130 km)

Service ceiling

25,000 ft (7,600 m)

G limits

Helicopter mode

+3 −0.5 at 39,500 lb (17,917 kg)

+2.77 −0.46 at 42,712 lb (19,374 kg)

+2.5 −0.42 at 47,500 lb (21,546 kg)

G limits

Airplane mode

+4 −1 at 39,500 lb (17,917 kg)

+3.7 −0.92 at 42,712 lb (19,374 kg)

+3.3 −0.84 at 47,500 lb (21,546 kg)

+2.87 −0.72 at 55,000 lb (24,948 kg)

+2.61 −0.65 at 60,500 lb (27,442 kg)

Maximum glide ratio

4.5:1

Rate of climb

2,320–4,000 ft/min (11.8–20.3 m/s)

Wing loading

20.9 lb/sq ft (102 kg/m2) at 47,500 lb (21,546 kg)

Power/mass

0.259 hp/lb (0.426 kW/kg)

Armament

1× 7.62 mm (.308 in) M240 machine gun or .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine gun on ramp, removable

1× 7.62 mm (.308 in) GAU-17 mini-gun, belly-mounted, retractable, video remote control in the Remote Guardian System [optional]

Avionics

AN/ARC-182 VHF/UHF radio

KY-58 VHF/UHF encryption

ANDVT HF encryption

AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System

AN/AYK-14 Mission Computers

APQ-168 Multifunction radar

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