The V-22 Osprey fleet passes 500,000 flight hours
The V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft fleet has racked up over 500,000 flight hours. Built by Bell Textron and Boeing, the 375 Ospreys include the US Air Force CV-22 and US Marine Corps MV-22 variants and have been in service with US forces since 2007.
The only tilt-rotor aircraft currently in service, the Osprey first flew in 1989 and after decades of engineering problems now operates with US Air Force Special Operations Command and the US Marines with additional variant aircraft on order for the US Navy and the Japanese Self Defense Forces.
The Osprey is designed as a joint-service, multi-role combat aircraft that combines the operational vertical take-off, landing, and hover capabilities of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft by means of tiltable nacelles and rotors. It's powered by two Rolls-Royce Allison T406/AE 1107C-Liberty turboshafts generating 6,150 hp (4,590 kW), giving it a cruising speed of 275 knots (316 mph, 509 km/h) and a combat range of 879 nm (1,011 mi, 1,627 km).
With a crew of four, the Osprey can carry up to 32 troops, 20,000 lb (9,070 kg) of internal cargo, or a Growler ground vehicle. For armament, it can carry an M240 machine gun, M2 Browning machine gun, or a GAU-17 minigun.
According to Bell Boeing, the V-22 Osprey variants are now undergoing a modernization project to improve nacelle wiring and structure to boost mission readiness.
"V-22 is one of the highest demand platforms in the Department of Defense," says Chris Gehler, Bell V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing deputy program director. "This achievement is a great testament to the Marines and Air Commandos operating this platform in all environments. We are committed to providing unparalleled support to our partners by steadily improving Osprey readiness and capabilities now and in the future."