Defense News

CMV-22B Osprey completes first flight in Texas

By Christen McCurdy   |   Jan. 21, 2020 at 4:48 PM
The maiden flight of the first CMV-22B Osprey took place in Amarillo, Texas. Test pilots verified product requirements and airworthiness for the U.S. Navy. Photo courtesy of Bell Boeing

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The first CMV-22B Osprey aircraft has completed its first flight at Bell's Amarillo Assembly Center in Texas, Bell Boeing announced Tuesday.

The CMV-22B is the latest variant of the tiltrotor fleet, joining the MV-22 and the CV-22 used by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force.

It uses twin rotor engines for vertical take-off and landing that can be tilted forward for conventional turboprop flight for higher speeds.

The U.S. Navy plans to use the CMV-22B to replace the C-2A Greyhound for transporting personnel, mail, supplies and high-priority cargo to aircraft carriers at sea. It will also ferry 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," Kristin Houston, vice president of Bell Boeing V-22 Program, said in a statement. "The quality and safety built into this aircraft will revolutionize the way the U.S. Navy fulfills its critical carrier onboard delivery mission."

The Navy established a new wing in October to integrate the aircraft into fleet operations, which followed a December 2018 held a ceremony to establish its first squadron of the new Ospreys into fleet operations.