7/24/2007 - PATUXENT RIVER, Md. -- A CV-22 Osprey
tiltrotor aircraft from Edwards Air Force Base,
Calif., is operating out of Winchester Regional
Airport in Virginia until late August. The Osprey,
which can take off like a helicopter then rotate its
proprotors forward to cruise like a conventional
airplane, will be flying in the mornings using
approved military flight routes over the Allegheny
Crews from the 418th Flight Test Squadron are taking
advantage of foggy early-morning conditions in the
mountainous terrain to exercise the CV-22's advanced
terrain-following radar. In combat, Air Force Special
Operations Command crews will use the CV-22 and its
radar to fly low-level insertion and extraction
missions for U.S. Special Operations troops in any
weather, day or night.
"The V-22 gives us the speed and range we need to
conduct our missions in a single period of darkness,
where it's safest for us and most dangerous for our
enemies," said Army Gen. Doug Brown, commander of U.S.
Special Operations Command.
Its ability to take off and land vertically in rough
terrain gives the Osprey the operational flexibility
of a helicopter, but with twice the speed, four times
the range and more than twice the altitude. When
flying in airplane mode, the Osprey is also 75 percent
quieter than conventional helicopters.
The Marine Corps variant of the Osprey, the MV-22,
will deploy to Iraq for its combat debut in September.
The Air Force version will be ready for combat in
2009. The V-22 operating today is a significant
redesign over previous versions, boasting improvements
in safety, reliability and mission effectiveness. The
Osprey completed a very successful operational
evaluation in summer 2005, and was approved for
full-rate production that September.
Source: USAF/Edwards AFB Press Release by James