Bell Boeing’s first CMV-22B Osprey long-range tiltrotor aircraft has successfully completed its maiden flight operations.
The flight was carried out at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas, US.
This Bell Textron-built aircraft is the latest variant of the tiltrotor fleet and is part of a multi-year contract awarded to the company.
The other variants include MV-22 and CV-22, which are operated by US Air Force and US Marine Corps, respectively.
The CMV-22B, which will replace the existing C-2A Greyhound, will be used to transport personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to the aircraft carrier at sea.
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Demonstration of the aircraft was conducted ahead of its delivery to the US Navy.
Bell V-22 vice-president and Bell Boeing deputy programme director Chris Gehler said: “The first flight of the navy’s CMV-22B marks a significant milestone for the V-22 programme and for naval aviation.
“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.”
The CMV-22B features increased fuel capacity for extended range delivery requirements.
Additionally, the transportation of major components of the F-35 engine is expected to be done by the Osprey aircraft.
In August last year, Boeing opened a factory outside Philadelphia to build fuselages for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. The facility also modernises the MV-22 fleet for US marines.
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 will take delivery of the first CMV-22B this year ahead of developmental tests.
The aircraft is expected to achieve initial operational capability in 2021 and full operational capability in 2022.