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Osprey “Feet Dry”

3 February 2014

Osprey “Feet Dry”

Bell Boeing’s V-22 Osprey is remarkable with its ability be fly either as a helicopter as well as a conventional airplane (VTOL/STOL). Taking nine years to fly since design-start and almost as long again before first entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) as the MV-22 Osprey. The USMC  likely was more than happy to be the first to field Ospreys (designated MV-22) for the U.S. Armed Forces so that they could replace the aged CH-46 Sea Knight.

And why not?

The Osprey can carry 24 seated troops (up to 32 if only on the floor) which is the same as the Sea Knight but flies a speedy 316 mph as compared to 166 mph and for 1011 miles to the Sea Knight’s 633. Additionally, the Osprey can carry a maximum load of 20,000 lbs which is 15,000 more than the Sea Knight.

MV-22 Osprey going "feet dry" over the Florida coast near Hurlburt Field — US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Andy M. Kin MV-22 Osprey going "feet dry" over the Florida coast near Hurlburt Field — US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Andy M. Kin

MV-22 Osprey going “feet dry” over the Florida coast near Hurlburt Field, the “proprotors” are absolutely unmistakable — US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Andy M. Kin

Any helicopter is complicated, some say that a helicopter is an assemblage of parts flying in loose formation and inherently does not wish to fly compared to fixed wing aircraft. The Osprey, too, is complicated with powerful engines delivering power through a cross-linked transfer system so that single engine flight is possible without adverse yaw or roll. Then there is the matter of tilting the engines (2 x Rolls-Royce Allison Liberty turboshaft) through an arc of 90º taking 12 seconds. STOL operations are accomplished at rotation of 45º.

The USMC will prove the worth of the Osprey, whether flying greater cargo loads into disaster areas, insertions of troops with fewer lifts or deep special forces missions — one way or the other.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Allan Damp permalink
    4 February 2014 11:00

    I worked briefly at Boeing helicopters as a flight simulation engineer (before they found out I couldn’t renew an old SECRET clearance). An interesting issue was which way the thrust levers should work. I didn’t see the issue resolved, but assume it was.

    The problem was that airplane thrust levers go forwards to increase thrust. In a helicopter, the collective pitch levers go upwards. Since the same levers in the Osprey do both forward flight thrust and hovering flight collective pitch, there was a great deal of discussion among the Human Factors folks as to which flight regime would be “normal” and how emergencies would be handled.

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      10 February 2014 11:50

      Allan, thanks for the deeper insight. It seems when a pardigm is changed it forces others to change as well.

  2. 6 February 2014 15:33

    Wow that is amazing! Where did you see this?

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