A new chapter in Air Force aviation opened March 20 as the first operational
CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft arrived here. The aircraft was flown from
the test wing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, by Lt. Gen. Michael W.
Wooley, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, to the 58th Special
Operations Wing at Kirtland. The 58th provides advanced training to special
operations pilots and aircrews.
The CV-22 Osprey is a special operations variant of the MV-22, currently used by
the Marines. The aircraft has the unique ability to takeoff, land and hover like
a helicopter, and it can tilt its propellers to fly like a conventional,
This dual capability gives the CV-22 extended range, speed and versatility over
any other AFSOC aircraft. The extended range and speed will allow the Air Force
to conduct long-range infiltration and exfiltration missions. The CV-22 and
MV-22 are very similar, with differences existing mainly in the avionics needed
for special operations missions.
The 58th SOW is scheduled to receive four CV-22s by the end of June. The first
operational CV-22 unit will operate out of Hurlburt Field, Florida, starting in
The initial pilot training includes 400 hours of interactive computer-based
training, 60 simulator hours and 40 flying hours in the MV-22 version of the
Osprey. This will be followed by CV-22 mission-specific training for AFSOC
pilots and flight engineers at Kirtland.
Through the use of live-fire testing, the Osprey has proven to be four to eight
times less vulnerable to enemy fire than current aircraft. It is 75 percent
quieter, can fly higher and has one-tenth the infrared signature compared to
most rotary aircraft.
The CV-22 currently costs $89.1 million. However, cost reduction initiatives and
a multi-year procurement contract is expected to significantly reduce that
price. The Air Force plans on buying 50 CV-22s from now until 2017.
Copyright © 2003-2017 deagel.com website. All rights reserved.