Archive for the ‘CV-22 Osprey’ Category
Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey V/STOL Transport United States
The manufacturer of the V-22 Osprey is Bell Helicopter Boeing Rotorcraft Systems. Its first flight occurred in March of 1989 and the current status is in service and still in production. The primary users are the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force.
The roll of the V-22 covers multi-mission capability for the military. It is a tilt-rotor aircraft capable of both short takeoff and landing and VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing). The Osprey combines the functionality of a standard helicopter with the range and speed of a turboprop airplane.
The United States DOD in 1981 began a Joint-service Vertical take-off and landing aircraft program. Both Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopter were awarded a joint contract to develop the tilt-rotor aircraft in 1983. The first version of the new aircraft flew in 1989. But the new tilt-rotor aircraft was so complicated that many years of design alterations and development followed making the aircraft ready for military service.
The United States Marine Corps were the first to start training their crews for the Osprey. The V-22 Osprey went into service in 2007 but the Air Force did not field theirs until 2009. The new tilt-rotor VTOL aircraft has been deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya for both the Air Force and Marine Corps in combat.
To date the V-22 Osprey supplements the CH-46 Sea Knights with the primary goal of eventually replacing it.
The militaries need for a new aircraft became clear after the failure of the rescue mission in Iran back in 1980. The new aircraft had to take off and land vertically and be able to carry loads (troops and supplies) at speeds for a fast in and out of combat situations.
The prototype aircraft designated JVX was changed in January 1985 to the V-22 Osprey. By March of 1985 the first of 6 prototypes were introduced. The construction was divided between Bell and Boeing. The final assembly was performed by Bell Helicopter who manufactures the wing, nacelles, aft ramp, drive system, rotors, tail surfaces as well as the integration of the Rolls-Royce engines. The flight controls, avionics, cockpit and fuselage were manufactured by Boeing Helicopter.
The Air Force and Marine Corps variants designation was reversed to avoid conflicting designation with Marine Corps and aircraft carrier CV designations. The United States Marine Corp Ospreys were changed to MV-22 and the Air Force to CV-22 Osprey’s.
Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Flight Testing and Design
The first 6 of the Ospreys were for the Marines and as prototypes first flew in helicopter mode in March of 1989. Then later in September the MV-22s flew as fixed wing aircraft. Prototypes 3 and 4 performed sea trials on the USS Wasp by December 0f 1990. Between 1991 and 1992 the prototypes 4 and 5 crashed. Boeing and Bell went on to a redesign the V-22 from 1992 to April 1993. The purpose was to reduce empty weight and simplify manufacturing and production costs. What came out of the redesign effort was the V-22B.
With many safety improvements incorporated into the new Prototypes flight testing resumed by June of 1993. The EMD (engineering manufacturing development) phase began in June of 1994 when Boeing and Bell were awarded the contract. The original prototypes were upgraded to the B-models so further flight testing could continue.
By 2000 there were two other Osprey crashes that killed 19 Marines. All of the tilt-rotor aircraft were grounded until the cause could be determined. The caused a number of parts to be redesigned and the V-22 passed its final operational evaluation by June of 2005.
On the negative side the Osprey is not capable of autorotation like a conventional helicopter. So if an Osprey loses power below 1,600’ an emergency landing is not survivable. One pilot states an alternative is to glide it down like a plane. The aircraft can land on one engine via an interconnected drive shaft that drives both prop-rotors.
Believing that the worst of the problems had been addressed full production has been approved. Full production is 11 aircraft a year but plans boost this rate to 24 a year and 48 by 2012. There are a total of 458 Ospreys planed with 360 for the Marines, 50 for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy getting 48 all at a planned cost of $110 million each.
In a new report from Marine Commandant General James Amos stated that the MV-22s in Afghanistan have built up over 100,000 hours of flight time. It was noted the Osprey has become one of the safest aircraft in the Marine Inventory. The accident rate for the V-22 Osprey is about half that of any aircraft in the USMC fleet of aircraft.
The FAA classifies the Osprey as a powered lift aircraft. It is the first tilt-rotor ever produced. It makes use of nacelle mounted engines on each wing tip with huge three bald prop-rotors. Nacelles tilt vertical making the rotors horizontal to operate as a helicopter. Once the aircraft is vertical the nacelles tilt horizontal by 90 degrees in 12 seconds to fly like a turbo-prop airplane. The most efficient method of take-off is the rolling take-off. The nacelles are tilted to 45 degrees for both take-off and landing. The V-22 Osprey can fold by rotating its wing to align with the fuselage for transport and storage.
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey power plant is two Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines connected by drive-shafts to a common gearbox. This allows one engine to power both prop-rotors in level flight if one engine fails.
With a fly-by-wire triple redundant control system with nacelles pointed up in helicopter mode it will fly like a helicopter with the traditional swashplate controlling the rotor hub. When the nacelles are transitioned to to the airplane mode the rudder, elevator and flaperons function like a normal airplane. For rearward flight the nacelles can tilt past the vertical to 97.5 degrees.
Limited armaments are included with M240 7.62x51 NATO machine gun mounted on the rear loading ramp which can be switched with the old reliable M2 50 caliber which can be fired to the rear when the ramp is opened.
Adding a model of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is a very unique addition to any model collection.
See Complete Listings of the CV-22 Osprey Here:
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