The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is the first aircraft designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the Defense Department's four U.S. armed services. The tiltrotor aircraft takes off and lands like a helicopter. Once airborne, its engine nacelles can be rotated to convert the aircraft to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.
The V-22 Osprey provides unique capabilities offering:
- increased speed because it's twice as fast as a helicopter.
- much longer range resulting in greater mission versatility than a helicopter.
- multi-mission capability: amphibious assault, combat support, long-range special ops infiltration and exfiltration, transport, search and rescue, medevac, and, in the future, tanker capability.
The V-22 Osprey aircraft:
- can transport 24 combat troops, 20,000 pounds of internal or up to 15,000 pounds of external cargo using its medium lift and vertical takeoff and landing capabilities
- meets U.S. Navy requirements for combat search and rescue, fleet logistics support, and special warfare support
- matches the U.S. Special Operations Command's requirement for a high-speed, long-range, vertical lift aircraft
- can be stored aboard an aircraft carrier or assault ship because the rotors can fold and the wings rotate
- has air-to-air refueling capability, the cornerstone of the ability to self-deploy
Boeing is responsible for the fuselage and all subsystems, digital avionics, and fly-by-wire flight-control systems. Boeing partner Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., is responsible for the wing, transmissions, empennage, rotor systems and engine installation.
The V-22 provides a significant increase in operational range over the legacy systems it will replace and is the only vertical platform capable of rapid self-deployment to any theater of operation worldwide.
For more information, read the V-22 Osprey (PDF) overview.
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