AMARILLO, Texas — The first CMV-22B Osprey, built by Boeing and Bell Textron Inc., completed first flight operations at Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center, Boeing said in a Jan. 21 release. The CMV-22B is the latest variant of the tilt-rotor fleet, joining the MV-22 and CV-22 used by the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force.
The U.S. Navy will use the CMV-22B to replace the C-2A Greyhound for transporting personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo from shore bases to aircraft carriers at sea. Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant specifically for carrier fleet operations by providing increased fuel capacity for the extended range requirement. The mission flexibility of the Osprey will increase operational capabilities and readiness, in addition to ferrying major components of the F-35 engine.
“With the ability to travel up to 1,150 nautical miles, the CMV-22B will be a lifeline for our servicemen and women out at sea,” said Kristin Houston, vice president of Boeing’s tilt-rotor programs and director of Bell Boeing’s V-22 program. “The quality and safety built into this aircraft will revolutionize the way the U.S. Navy fulfills its critical carrier onboard delivery mission.”
Bell Boeing will deliver the first CMV-22B to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 in early 2020 for developmental testing.