The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
The V-22 Osprey aircraft was created as a response to the needs of the United States (US) military for a mode of air transportation that is flexible, capable of moving quickly, and has long range.
In 1980, the failure of Operation Eagle Claw (during the Iran hostage crisis) underscored that there were military roles for which neither conventional helicopters nor fixed-wing transport aircraft were well-suited. The United States Department of Defense (DoD) initiated a program to develop an innovative transport aircraft with long-range, high-speed, and vertical-takeoff capabilities, and the Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) program officially commenced in 1981. A partnership between Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopters was awarded a development contract in 1983 for the V-22 tiltrotor aircraft. The Bell Boeing team jointly produces the aircraft. The V-22 first flew in 1989 and began flight testing and design alterations; the complexity and difficulties of being the first tiltrotor for military service led to many years of development.
After the failure of the US hostage rescue operation in Iran during the Eagle Claw mission in 1980, due to the ineffectiveness of helicopters in long-range military missions at that time, US military officials began to think about aircraft capable of filling the “gap” that could overcome the shortage of a helicopter and combine the advantages of flexibility owned by a fixed wing aircraft. This thought gave birth to the concept of the V-22 Osprey aircraft.
After going through the twists and turns of funding problems and a long testing process, the V-22 aircraft was finally realized. In general, the V-22 combines the flexibility of a helicopter that is able to take off and land vertically with the speed, altitude and range of a fixed wing turboprop aircraft. Want to know more about the V-22 Osprey? Here’s the review 5 Facts about the V-22 Osprey Aircraft, a Unique Combination Between Helicopters and Turboprop Planes:
1. Manufactured by Boeing and Bell manufacturers
As written on Boeing’s official website, the V-22 program is a strategic collaboration between two aviation companies whose capabilities are beyond doubt, namely: Boeing and Bell Helicopter Textron.
Bell Helicopter is making a rotor system known as a tiltrotor which will enable the aircraft to take off and land like a helicopter and after the plane is airborne it will turn into a fixed wing turboprop aircraft. Boeing makes the fuselage, all aircraft systems and digital avionics systems as well as a fly-by-wire logging control system.
Reported by the air force-technology page, the V-22 aircraft received approval for full-scale production in September 2005 to meet the needs of the US military. In general, there are currently 3 variants of the V-22 model for different troops, namely:
- MV-22 for the US Marines, planned for about 360 aircraft
- CV-22 for the US air force, about 50 aircraft planned
- CMV-22 for the US Navy, planned for about 48 aircraft
2. Different types of aircraft compared to other aircraft.
Quoting information from Boeing’s official website, it is stated that the V-22 is a different type of aircraft from other existing aircraft. The V-22 was the first multi-role fighter to use tiltrotor technology
The US Navy’s YouTube account above shows the technical capabilities of the MV-22 Osprey, which is a variant of the V-22 aircraft used by the US Marines. With the propeller rotors in a vertical position, it can take off, land, and hover like a helicopter.
When airborne, the aircraft can change the rotor position to the front and transform itself into a turboprop aircraft capable of flying at higher speeds and altitudes compared to helicopters.
3. Reliable for fast and long duration air mobility.
The V-22 can be relied upon for fast and long-duration air mobility. As information written on Boeing’s official website, technically the speed of the V-22 can reach 500 km/hour, much faster than helicopters and has a range of more than 950 km because it is capable of refueling in the air.
Compared to other units in the US armed forces, the US Marines are the main users of the V-22 variant, namely the MV-22 and make the aircraft a workhorse for carrying out air mobilization both to carry its personnel and military cargo quickly on the battlefield. For US Marines, the V-22 is an important instrument for demonstrating their strength from the seas to the battlefield in their assigned landing areas.
In addition to military combat transport operations, due to its unique design and technical characteristics, the V-22 is also effective for other missions such as: SAR search operations, humanitarian aid transport operations in disaster areas, to spy and anti-submarine aircraft operations.
4. Not a replacement for helicopters
Even though it has the ability to take off, land and fly statically (hover) like a helicopter, as previously explained that the V-22 Osprey aircraft is not a substitute for helicopters because this aircraft is made to fill the complementary “gap” between the capabilities of a helicopter and a fixed aircraft. turboprop wing. Technically the V-22’s speed, altitude and range are much higher than the capabilities of other transport helicopters.
For information, when compared to the famous CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter, the V-22 can reach speeds of up to 500 km/h compared to the Chinook which has a cruising speed of around 290 km/h. In terms of range, the V-22 is capable of reaching around 950 km compared to the Chinook which is only 370 km. However, the Chinook is capable of transporting twice as many troops as the V-22, namely around 55 personnel.
More capabilities than the V-22 must be redeemed at a price and operating costs which are much more expensive when compared to the prices and operational costs of Chinook helicopters. As reported by the ukdefencejournal page, the estimated cost per hour of operation of the V-22 is around USD 11,000 compared to the hourly cost of the Chinook which is only USD 4,600 Suitability of needs is a major consideration when a country will choose to buy a V-22 or other heavy transport helicopters.
5. Countries outside the US using the V-22 Osprey
Outside of the US, currently only Japan uses the V-22 Osprey aircraft. Reported by the bellflight page, the first V-22 was handed over by the US government to Japan in July 2020. The aircraft will be used by the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces.
A number of countries such as Britain, Israel, France and the United Arab Emirates have also reportedly shown interest in this aircraft. Last year a number of Indonesian mass media also reported that the US Department of State had approved the sale of 8 V-22 Osprey aircraft to Indonesia, but it is not certain whether these aircraft will be purchased by Indonesia or Indonesia will be more interested in the CH-47 Chinook heavy transport helicopter. which is currently being used by the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) for disaster management.
Over time, the progress of aircraft technology has increased rapidly with innovations that manufacturers continue to develop to attract the interest of potential user operators. It remains only for prospective buying countries to consider which aircraft will suit their needs.