Military Aviation

CMV-22B “COD” Osprey First Flight Officially Announced

Bell Boeing will deliver the first CMV-22B to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 in early 2020 for developmental test.

The first CMV-22B Osprey, built by Bell company, and Boeing, completed first flight operations at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center. The CMV-22B is the latest variant of the tiltrotor fleet, joining the MV-22 and CV-22 used by the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and U.S. Air Force (USAF).

The U.S. Navy will use the CMV-22B to replace the C-2A Greyhound COD (carrier onboard delivery) aircraft for transporting personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea. Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant specifically for carrier fleet operations by providing increased fuel capacity for the extended range requirement. The mission flexibility of the Osprey will increase operational capabilities and readiness, in addition to ferrying major components of the F-35 engine.

The COD mission has played a pivotal role for carriers since the first TBM Avenger in World War II, and the C-2 Greyhound has filled that role admirably since 1965.

“The first flight of the Navy’s CMV-22B marks a significant milestone for the V-22 program and for Naval Aviation,” said Chris Gehler, Bell V-22 Vice President and Bell Boeing deputy program director. “The Osprey has always been a revolutionary aircraft, and we look forward to continuing to support the evolving needs of the Navy with advanced tiltrotor capabilities.”

Bell Boeing will deliver the first CMV-22B to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 in early 2020 for developmental test.

The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft that can take off and land as a helicopter but transit as a turboprop aircraft, and the airframe recently surpassed the threshold of 500,000 flight hours.

Osprey, with its increased range, speed and payload capabilities will provide the Navy with significant increases in capability and operational flexibility over the C-2A, which has served the fleet since 1965. CMV-22B operations can be either shore-based, expeditionary or sea-based.

Photo credit: Bell

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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