Tiltrotor Aircraft: The CMV-22B Osprey

Bell Textron Inc.
Fort Worth, TX

The first CMV-22B Osprey, built by Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, and Boeing, completed first flight operations at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center recently. The CMV-22B is the latest variant of the tiltrotor fleet, joining the MV-22 and CV-22 used by the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force.

The U.S. Navy will use the CMV-22B to replace the C-2A Greyhound for transporting personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea. It will provide the Navy with significant increases in capability and operational flexibility over the C-2A. CMV-22B operations can be either shore-based, “expeditionary”, or sea-based. The Osprey is a critical warfighting enabler, providing the time sensitive combat logistics needed to support combat operations.

As compared to the MV-22B, the Navy variant has extended operational range, a beyond line-of-sight HF radio, improved fuel dump capability, a public address system for passengers, and an improved lighting system for cargo loading. The CMV-22B will be capable of transporting up to 6,000 pounds of cargo/personnel to a 1,150 NM range. Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant specifically for carrier fleet operations by providing increased fuel capacity for the extended range requirement. The mission flexibility of the Osprey will increase operational capabilities and readiness, in addition to ferrying major components of the F-35 engine.

Propulsion for the CMV-22B will be provided by two Rolls-Royce Liberty AE1107C engines, each delivering 6,150 shaft horsepower. Maximum gross vertical take-off weight is 52,600 lbs. Short take-off weight is 57,000 lbs., although testing is currently in progress to increase this limit. The aircraft will cruise at 269 knots, have a ceiling of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters), and a range of 1,165 nautical miles. The CMV-22B normally has a crew of four with capacity for 23 passengers.

Plans call for Bell Boeing to deliver the first CMV-22B to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 in early 2020 for developmental test. The CMV-22B is expected to field with Initial Operational Capability (IOC) and deploy for the first time (projected) in 2021. While the Program of Record has 48 CMV-22 projected, the Navy currently plans to procure only 44 aircraft.

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