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V-22 Osprey Tiltrotor Aircraft Reaches 600,000 Flight-Hours Milestone

In 1989, Bell Helicopter and Boeing gave birth to the V-22 Osprey, a tiltrotor military aircraft that entered service much later, in 2007. Capable of both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short takeoff and landing (STOL), it quickly became a hardware of choice for American military branches, including the Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy.
Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey 12 photos
Photo: Bell
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For all intents and purposes, the V-22 is the only military aircraft of its kind in the world. There are around 400 of them in service at the moment (the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force also uses them), and this week the entire fleet reached an important milestone: 600,000 hours in the air.

“From its first flight over 30 years ago to achieving this significant flight-hour milestone, the V-22 has a demonstrated legacy of mission success,” said in a statement Shane Openshaw, Boeing V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing V-22 deputy program director.

“As we look at optimizing future sustainment and support, our customer partnerships and commitment to innovation, flexibility and agility will ensure we build on the aircraft’s ability to support whatever the mission demands.”

The aircraft is a multi-role machine used for anything from VIP transport and delivery to insertion of special ops teams and evacuation. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Liberty engine good for 6,150 shaft horsepower, the Osprey can take off weighing as much as 60,500 lbs (27,443 kg).

As far as performance goes, the machine's maximum speed is 306 mph (493 kph), and it can fly at a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters). Each of them is estimated to cost well over $73 million.

Presently, there are several Osprey variants, the most recent of which being the CMV-22B. Part of the Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 30, it was recently responsible for the first delivery of an F-35 engine to the USS Carl Vinson Nimitz-class supercarrier.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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