Osprey V-22 fleet reaches 250,000 hours
Dec. 16, 2014, Fort Worth, Tx. - Bell Helicopter has announced that the revolutionary Bell Boeing V-22 fleet of tiltrotor aircraft has recently passed the 250,000 flight hour milestone.
By Carey Fredericks
The V-22 Osprey has been continuously deployed since entering service in 2007 with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The aircraft has seen extensive action in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and as part of a U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) Special Marine Air Ground Task Force (SP-MAGTF) supporting a long-range rapid reaction/crisis response force covering the Mediterranean and parts of the African continent.
"Although impressive, a quarter of a million flight hours is just the beginning," said Marine Col. Dan Robinson. "As the V-22 Osprey Program (PMA-275) manager, I am focused on where the program is headed. We are just scratching the surface of the V-22's mission capabilities."
Since entering service the V-22 tiltrotor has been deployed in numerous missions around the world, including Casualty Evacuation, Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel, Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief, resupply, VIP transport, and theater security cooperation. It is one of the safest rotorcraft aircraft operated by the United States Marine Corps.
“This 250,000 flight hour landmark is an incredible testament to the V-22’s revolutionary design and is a tribute to the men and women of Bell Helicopter who build and support tiltrotor aircraft,” said Mitch Snyder, executive vice president of Military Programs at Bell Helicopter. “The Osprey is designed to allow operators to engage this revolutionary technology on a wide range of different missions. It comes in fast, executes resupply or support, and then takes off and exits quickly. The unique flight envelope helps the Marines and AFSOC do things which are not be possible with any other aircraft.”
The recently-announced Marine Aviation Plan 2015 says, “The Osprey will remain the nation’s crisis response platform of choice in support of the ‘new normal.’ The V-22 has without question proven its worth by transforming rotorcraft operations around the globe. The operational reach and versatility of this remarkable platform has created tactical and strategic options where there previously were none.”
In 2014 the V-22 was deployed in HMX-1, a unit tasked with supporting Presidential and VIP transportation. The program set up international Osprey detachments and established a SP-MAGTF in Morón, Spain for long-range crisis response in the Mediterranean.