Chinook News

Osprey Trainer Delivered to Marines Faster and Cheaper Than Plan

By Alison Sheridan


Boeing Photo by David Sullivan

Training Systems and Services has delivered the first Osprey Containerized Flight Training Device to the U.S. Marines.

The first MV-22 Containerized Flight Training Device was delivered to the U.S. Marines at Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, Calif., in October 2009. The production team, led by Bell-Boeing, delivered the device to the customer with a 20 percent reduction in cycle time and the lowest cost to date for a V-22 flight simulator.

After winning the contract in September 2008, the Bell-Boeing team committed to early delivery of the first of five flight simulators ordered. Working together with its teammates, who were spread from Southern California to the United Kingdom, Bell-Boeing overcame many obstacles along the way to produce the first device three months early with the second one scheduled to be complete two months early.

“The feedback from the pilots who have flown the device already has been outstanding, and all involved deserve praise and should feel an enormous sense of accomplishment,” said Maj. Glen Lindstrom, Naval Air Systems Command assistant program manager for training systems.

Boeing Photo by David Sullivan

The CFTD delivered the device early and ahead of budget

“Government, industry and the warfighter worked together to plan, schedule and ensure the early delivery,” said David Sullivan, Bell-Boeing Training Systems manager in the V-22 Program Office. “Our suppliers stepped up to provide price quotes and parts or even revised their manufacturing practices to accelerate production for us.”

Warfighters lent their expertise by participating in both pre-acceptance testing “flyability” trials as well as providing around-the-clock availability for the acceptance testing. 

Not only did the team reduce the flight simulator production cycle time from 24 to 13 months, but costs for the five devices on this contract have been reduced from $20 million to $8.8 million each. While the cost and cycle time have been lowered, the quality of the simulators has continued to increase. The projectors are sharper and clearer than previous simulators and future CFTDs will further improve these qualities; the work followed a meticulously planned, detailed schedule in which all major risks were identified and mitigated.

Before the delivery to Miramar, Marines would have to spend months at a time in North Carolina for training. This trainer changes all that.

“Most importantly, the trainer allows Marines returning from combat to stay home with their families on the West Coast, while they learn to fly the V-22,” said Sullivan. “As the entire team was fond of saying, ‘Failure was not an option.’”