V-22 Osprey surpasses 100,000 flight hours

An MV-22B Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365, the  / © U.S. Marines photo / GySgt. Steven Williams

An MV-22B Osprey with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365, the / © U.S. Marines photo / GySgt. Steven Williams

Posted By Frank Grealish

The V-22 Joint Program Office announced that the V-22 Osprey surpassed 100,000 flight hours in February while supporting combat operations in Afghanistan.

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264 (VMM-264), currently operating out of Camp Bastion in Helmand Province supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, was the squadron that took the V-22 over the 100,000-hour mark.

"The Osprey is giving combatant commanders unprecedented agility and operational reach," said Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps. "The revolutionary capability of the MV-22 will be a cornerstone of our Marine Air Ground Task Force. This aircraft is safe and survivable, and effective and efficient."

During the past decade, the MV-22 has the lowest Class A mishap rate of any currently fielded tactical Marine Corps rotorcraft, according to Naval Safety Center records. The aircraft’s reduced susceptibility, lower vulnerability and advanced crashworthiness have made it the most survivable rotorcraft ever introduced.

"The V-22 is proven and forward deployed supporting combat operations and responding to contingency operations around the world," said Marine Corps Col. Greg Masiello, head of the V-22 Joint Program Office at the Naval Air Systems Command.

MV-22 and CV-22 Ospreys amassed the flight hours performing combat operations, humanitarian assistance, training, and test and evaluation missions. Almost half of the total hours were flown during the last two years. The milestone marks the latest significant achievement for a program that has had 14 successful combat and humanitarian deployments in theater and aboard ship since the Osprey was first declared operational in 2007.

The revolutionary V-22 Osprey is a joint service, multi-role combat aircraft using tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed wing aircraft. With its nacelles and rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, its nacelles can be rotated to transition the aircraft to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.

"We are only beginning to use Ospreys, bringing unprecedented range, speed and survivability to the warfighter," Masiello said. "V-22s will continue to excel in combat, and remain ready, effective and survivable."

The V-22 Osprey is produced under a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter and Boeing. The current V-22 Osprey program of record calls for 360 aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps, 50 for the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, and 48 for the Navy. More than 130 aircraft are currently in operation.

"The entire Bell Boeing team congratulates our USMC and AFSOC customers on eclipsing 100,000 flight hours," said John Rader, executive director of the Bell Boeing V-22 Program. "The performance of the aircraft in combat and humanitarian missions has been truly remarkable and we continue to take great pride in providing our customers with this revolutionary capability."

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Source: US Navy

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