Clearly visible in the photo is the structural modification to the CMV-22B, the enlarged fuel tank extensions to the forward portion of the sponson.
Taken by aviation photographer Brady Kendrick at Bell’s Amarillo facility (TX) and published on his site Yellowshoephotos.com, the interesting photo in this post is the first image of a CMV-22B Osprey for the US Navy.
This CMV-22B (BuNo 169435) is the first of 39 on ordered by the US Navy to replace the ageing fleet of C-2A Greyhounds in the Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) mission. It is expected that first deliveries will take place in 2020, with a first deployment in 2021. Instead the complete transition from the venerable Greyhound to the newer and more modern CMV-22B Osprey is expected by 2028.
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 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.
Clearly visible in the photo is the structural modification to the CMV-22B, the enlarged fuel tank extensions to the forward portion of the sponson. This modification, which is obviously on both sides of the Osprey, is done to enlarge the range of the tiltrotor.
According to Scramble Magazine, the Osprey will eventually be delivered to the Fleet Logistics Multi Mission Wing (COMVRMWING) and its first squadron, Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30, at NAS North Island (CA). The wing will get two additional CMV-22B squadrons under its command: VRM-40 and VRM-50.
On Oct. 10, 2019, Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing (COMVRMWING) 1 was established at NAS North Island (CA).
The CMV-22B “is a game-changer to combat logistics in our carrier strike groups,” said Capt. Dewon Chaney, a career helicopter pilot with extensive experience piloting four different Navy aircraft: SH-60B, CH-46D, MH-60S, and MV-22, during COMVRMWING 1 establishing ceremony last October. “We will uphold the high standards of Naval Aviation as premier warfighter enablers.”
“The CMV-22 Osprey is not only part of our future,” emphasized Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander, Naval Air Forces. “It’s part of our ‘now’ that’s going to be provided in every subsequent squadron that transitions.”
Photo credit: Brady Kendrick