|V-22 Program Sets Pace for Evaluation Since Return to Fligh|
V-22 Program Sets Pace for Evaluation Since Return to Flight
Patuxent River, Maryland -- (Boeing) August 29, 2002 - Since returning to flight on May 29, 2002, V-22 Osprey No. 10 has performed beyond expectations and has established a firm foundation for an extensive flight test that will involve additional aircraft and demonstrate the Osprey's mission safety and reliability, according to Michael J. Tkach, vice president and director of the Bell [NYSE:TXT] Boeing [NYSE:BA] Joint Program Office.
"We have enjoyed a productive summer with the Osprey test program," Tkach remarked, "The system modifications we've made in the aircraft are performing well, and we expect to remain on schedule as we return other aircraft to flight in the next several weeks."
Technicians and engineers from Bell Boeing, the Naval Air Systems Command and the U.S. Marine Corps are currently completing a scheduled inspection and evaluation of Osprey No. 10's hydraulic system and other components at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station before the aircraft resumes flying in September. Since its return to flight last May, the aircraft has added 13 flight events and 38.4 hours to its log book, enabling program test pilots to complete proficiency training throughout the aircraft's flight envelope. Next month, No. 10 will fly to evaluate low airspeed systems and shipboard roll-on-deck performance.
Osprey No. 8, also based at Patuxent River, will join aircraft No. 10 to focus on tiltrotor performance during high rates of descent and evaluation of aircraft behavior in settling with power conditions, also known as vortex ring state. Flight tests intended to verify tiltrotor performance within the boundaries of this phenomenon will continue for several months, Tkach said. "This evaluation will be exhaustive. When we complete this series of flight tests, we expect to reassess aircraft performance on the basis of actual flight data instead of theoretical models and computer simulations," he added.
A third tiltrotor, aircraft No. 21, a low-rate initial production aircraft with similar system modifications, may begin flight at Patuxent River in late October or early November. Program officials say the aircraft will be used for pilot training, paratrooper and cargo air delivery flight tests, and evaluations of new mission computer software. Two more production Ospreys are scheduled to join the flight test program in early 2003.
At Edwards Air Force Base in California, aircraft No. 7, one of two prototypes configured as CV-22 Special Operations tiltrotors, also will resume flight in September. Aircraft No. 9, the second CV-22 prototype, is currently being used to conduct electronic warfare testing of the Suite of Integrated Radio-Frequency Countermeasures in the Bennefield Anechoic Facility at Edwards.
Finally, Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron (VMMT) - 204, the Marine Corps squadron designated as the MV-22 training unit, is scheduled to resume Osprey training operations in December 2003 to prepare for an extensive operational evaluation of the aircraft in 2004.
The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is a joint service aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and U.S. Special Operations Forces in development and production by Bell Helicopter, a Textron company, of Arlington, Texas, and The Boeing Company in Philadelphia.
Contact the V-22 Integrated Product Team: