Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

In 1983, Bell, teamed with Boeing Vertol, was selected to develop their Tilt Rotor concept into the Army/Navy/Marine Corps/Air Force V-22. It is powered by two Allison T406-AD-400 engines which drive 38 ft three-blade rotors on a 45 ft wingspan. The cross-shafted engines are each rated at 6,150 shp for take-off with the maximum continuous rating of 5,890 shp; the transmission is rated at less than 5,000 shp for normal operations, but nearly 6,000 shp for emergencies. The Osprey made its first flight on 19 March 1989 and first transition on 14 September 1989. It is capable of transporting 24 troops or 864 cubic feet of cargo. A loading ramp is in the tail of the 57 ft fuselage. Normal vertical take-off weight is 47,500 lb, while maximum gross weight for a short take-off and landing can be as high as 60,000 lb, including up to 20,000 lb of internal or external payload. Combat range is about 600 miles, while maximum ferry range is 2,400 miles. Maximum speed is nearly 400 mph. By the end of 1996, over 1,100 hrs of flight testing had been conducted with five development aircraft; two aircraft crashed (1991 and 1992) the latter one killing seven people. The first of four "production representative" test aircraft began flying on 5 February 1997. A total of 523 aircraft will now be built for the Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force, with the first production V-22s delivered in 2000.


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