The V-22 Osprey was the first aircraft designed from the ground up to meet the needs of all four U.S. Armed services. In partnership with Bell Helicopter Textron, Boeing Helicopters built the revolutionary new tiltrotor aircraft that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter.
Once airborne, its blades can be rotated to convert the aircraft to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. Boeing was assigned responsibility for the fuselage, all subsystems, digital avionics and fly-by-wire flight-control systems.
The 30-ton aircraft can transport assault troops and cargo, undertake combat search and rescue and fleet logistic support, and provide long-range transportation for special operations.
By 1997, requirements called for production of 523 Ospreys, with the first to enter service during 1999. The first V-22 built to production standards made its first flight in February 1997 and was delivered March 15, 1997, to the V-22 Integrated Test Team at the Patuxent River Naval Air Warfare Center in Maryland. Eleven were produced by the end of 2000.
After the crash of a V-22 on Dec. 11, 2000, the aircraft did not return to flight until May 29, 2002. Five were flying by the end of 2002. The first passenger to fly aboard a V-22 after it returned to flight was Lt. Gen. Michael W. Hagee, incoming commandant of the Marine Corps, who in January 2003 flew in the cockpit of MV-22 Osprey aircraft No. 21 at Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md. The flight lasted about 15 minutes.
V-22 Osprey home page
||March 19, 1989
||Tiltrotor transport helicopter
||83 feet 10 inches (rotor included)
||57 feet 4 inches
||Short takeoff, 55,000 pounds; vertical takeoff, 47,500 pounds
||Two 6,150-shaft-horsepower Allison gas turbine T406-AD-400 engines
||3 crew, 24 passengers