posted on Feb, 24 2004 @ 10:00 AM
Ok, I guess I'll stick my nose into this conversation.
(Date: Feb. 24, 2004 @ 10:20am ET) A quick call to a Boeing/DoD liason netted the following information:
Currently the V-22 Osprey is only
being delivered to the U.S.M.C. Helicopter Test and Evaluation Squadron 22 (VMX-22) based out of MCAS New
River, North Carolina and commanded by USMC Col. Glenn Walters.
VMX-22 is still doing test flights and will continue to do so throughout FY 2004 with Boeing and Bell engineers tweaking as they go along.
Test flights involve ship landings in adverse conditions/inclement weather (on the USS Bataan), icing tests in Nova Scotia and evaluating landing and
low flight characteristics in the close proximity/turbulence of other rotorcraft such as H-53's & H-46's.
This revised version of the Osprey is quite safe and has seen several US Senators taking rides in it over the DC area.
FY 2005 has been set for the official OPEVAL (operational evaluation) and if all goes well the Osprey may
begin entering the fleet officially
late in 2006.
The Osprey is due to replace the CH-46 Sea Knight & MH-53J Pave Low helicopters.
[Edited on 24-2-2004 by intelgurl]