A CV-22 Osprey assigned to the 71st Special Operations Squadron, 58th Special Operations Wing, Kirtland Air Force, Base New Mexico, prepares to land as part of a training mission in Northern New Mexico.
The third CV-22 Osprey test aircraft arrived at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Feb. 26, 2005. The aircraft can take off like a helicopter and fly like an airplane. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matt Dillier)
The Air Force's first operational CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft hovers upon arrival at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., Monday, March 20, 2006. The aircraft will be flown by Airmen with the 58th Special Operations Wing to train future Osprey pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Markus Maier)
Mission The CV-22 Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff, hover and vertical landing qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft. Its mission is to conduct long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply missions for special operations forces.
Features This versatile, self-deployable aircraft offers increased speed and range over other rotary-wing aircraft, enabling Air Force Special Operations Command aircrews to execute long-range special operations missions. The CV-22 can perform missions that normally would require both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. The CV-22 takes off vertically and, once airborne, the nacelles (engine and prop-rotor group) on each wing can rotate into a forward position.
The CV-22 is equipped with integrated threat countermeasures, terrain-following radar, forward-looking infrared sensor and other advanced avionics systems that allow it to operate at low altitude in adverse weather conditions and medium- to high-threat environments.
Background The CV-22 is the Special Operation Forces variant of the U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey. The first two test aircraft were delivered to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in September 2000. The 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland AFB, N.M., began CV-22 aircrew training with the first two production aircraft in August 2006.
The first operational CV-22 was delivered to Air Force Special Operations Command's 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Fla., in January 2007. Initial operational capability was achieved in 2009. The 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, NM, received its first CV-22 in May 2010. A total of 50 CV-22 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered by 2016.
General Characteristics Primary Function: Special operations forces long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply Power Plant: Two Rolls Royce-Allison AE1107C turbo shaft engines Thrust: More than 6,200 shaft horsepower per engine Wingspan: 84 feet, 7 inches (25.8 meters) Length: 57 feet, 4 inches (17.4 meters) Height: 22 feet, 1 inch (6.73 meters) Rotary Diameter: 38 feet (11.6 meters) Speed: 277 miles per hour (241 knots) (cruising speed) Ceiling: 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) Maximum Vertical Takeoff Weight: 52,870 pounds (23,982 kilograms) Maximum Rolling Takeoff Weight: 60,500 pounds (27,443 kilograms) Armament: 1 x .50 Cal Machine gun on ramp Range: combat radius of 500 nautical miles with 1 internal auxiliary fuel tank ; unlimited range with aerial refueling Payload: 24 troops (seated), 32 troops (floor loaded) or 10,000 pounds of cargo Unit cost: $89 million (fiscal 2005 dollars) Crew: Four (pilot, copilot and two flight engineers) Builders: Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., Amarillo, Texas; Boeing Company, Defense and Space Group, Helicopter Division, Philadelphia Deployment Date: 2006 Inventory: Active duty, 17; Reserve, 0; ANG, 0