in Defence

Bell Boeing enhance V-22 maintainability

Posted 28 January 2022 · Add Comment

Bell has completed the first Nacelle Improvements Modification on an Air Force CV-22 Osprey, as part of an ongoing upgrade by Bell and Boeing to improve the wiring components within the nacelles and to change the structure in order to improve maintainability.

Above: US Air Force Airmen assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron familiarise themselves with the new nacelle improvement modifications on a CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., on 7th January 2022. The improvements should increase aircraft availability and reduce required maintenance actions, leading to increased flying hours. The versatility of the CV-22 offers increased speed and range over other rotary-wing aircraft, which enables the 20 SOS to conduct long-range infiltration, exfiltration and personnel recovery missions deep into enemy territory.
USAF photo by Airman 1st Class Drew Cyburt / courtesy Boeing


The Osprey returned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base on 13th December 2021.



The V-22 nacelles house critical power components to the V-22’s vertical take-off and landing capabilities and transition to forward flight. This programme benefits the V-22 fleet maintainers and operators by reducing maintenance time and costs while simultaneously enhancing flying readiness rates.

Bell completed the modifications at the Amarillo Assembly Center (AAC), which actively produces new V-22s for the Department of Defense. The AAC employs more than 500 employees to manufacture new and modify existing military aircraft. Completing nacelle improvements at the AAC utilises Bell artisans with the most experience removing and replacing nacelles.

“Speed, range, and versatility have always been fundamental to the Osprey and that includes speed of maintenance,” said Kurt Fuller, V-22 programme director and Bell vice president. "The incorporated nacelle improvements help ensure the Osprey continues to outpace adversaries both operationally and sustainably.”

The V-22 Osprey regularly performs missions that would typically require both fixed-wing and rotary-wing, reducing the overall logistics and maintenance footprint for operations. The CV-22 is a special operation variant of the Osprey that regularly operates in high-demand environments, including long-range infiltration and exfiltration missions. The Marine Corps and Navy have also cited interest in nacelle improvements for the MV-22 and CMV-22B variants.

“The capabilities of the V-22 today are unmatched,” said Shane Openshaw, V-22 deputy director and Boeing vice president. “These nacelle upgrades help ensure the Osprey remains a highly capable and reliable aircraft supporting our customers’ missions for many years to come.”

Bell Boeing completed the first aircraft in December 2021 and is underway with the second CV-22.

The V-22 Osprey is powered by the Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engine, part of the AE engine line that began as a powerplant for the V-22 tiltrotor aircraft.

 

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