MV-22B Osprey: By the Numbers

An MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (VMM-166) and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in the San Diego area, is on the ground at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Oceanside before flying personnel to remote training ranges at Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center on Thursday, January 31, 2013. Crystal Chatham, The Desert Sun

In today’s edition of The Desert Sun, we explored the Marine Corps’ MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the Transformers-esque aircraft that makes vertical take-offs like a helicopter and shits its proprotors downward for longer range faster flight capabilities more akin to a C-130.

  • Quantity: 360 MV-22s. 50 more are designated as CV-22 for use by U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and another 48 are designated HV-22 for use by the Navy. “M” denotes the Marine Corps variant.
  • Predecessor: The Osprey is replacing the Marine Corps’ CH-46E helicopter. Squadrons, including Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (VMM-166) are redesignated from HMM to VMM as the transition takes place and CH-46 pilots are being retrained for the tiltrotor.
  • Transition time: 18 months between when an HMM stand-down to VMM pre-deployment training
  • Crew: 4 – Pilot, Co-Pilot, 2 enlisted crew chiefs
  • Passengers: 24 troop seats
  • Engines: 2 Rolls-Royce Liberty AE1107C
  • Speed: 280 knots
  • Altitude ceiling: 24,700 feet
  • Fuel Capacity: 1,721 gallons
  • Length: 57 feet 4 inches, nose-to-tail
  • Proprotor rotation diameter: 38 feet 1 inch
  • Wingspan/rotation width: About 46 feet wingtip-to-wingtip; 84 feet 7 inches clearance with proprotor rotation
  • Body width: 15 feet
  • Height: 22 feet 1 inch wheels-to-rotor
  • Size when stowed for shipboard compatibility: 18 feet 11 inches width, 63 feet length, 18 feet 3 inches height
  • Flight radius: With 24 passengers, the Osprey reaches 325nm unrefueled; 600nm with 1 refueling. The CH-46E radius in 75nm.
  • Lift capability: 20,000 lbs
  • Cargo hooks: 2 external cargo hooks
  • June 2007: the MV-22B reached initial operational capability
  • 100,000: V-22 program flight hours exceeded in Feb. 2011

Sources: V-22 Osprey Guidebook 2011/2012 (NAVAIR PMA-275, Control Number 11-607), III MEF MV-22 Osprey Factsheet 120926

For more on the MV-22B Osprey, check out our online components:

Welcome back, pilots

Working across the street from the Palm Springs International Airport, getting a glimpse of airplanes coming and going is a perk – especially the Navy’s F-18s screaming past.
In 2011, when Rep. Mary Bono Mack brokered a deal with the Department of Defense to take the training elsewhere, I was a little disappointed. But I also understood the concerns of those who lived under the flight path. The jets did interrupt editorial board meetings on occasion, but nobody here complained.
I moderated one of our online debates on the issue, and it was a persistent source of letters to the editor.
In fact, the issue surfaced in a letter to the editor, when a tourist wrote that she was interrupted while trying to relax by her hotel pool. This brought a flood of outraged responses from patriots who described the jets as “the sound of freedom.”
On Friday, when news broke that training would resume, it was like flipping a switch for letter writers who miss the jets. You can read some of those on Tuesday’s Opinion page. One even uses that lovely cliché.
You can also read a Valley Voice column by Bill Borden, an occasional contributor from Rancho Mirage, who says the jets expected to arrive here son, T-45 Goshawk (photo), aren’t nearly as loud as the F-18s, “a supersonic, 1,305-mph, carrier capable, attack fighter/bomber with a maximum takeoff weight of 56,000 pounds, two GE engines with a range of 2,000 miles.”
He calls the T-45 the F-18’s baby brother. It is a trainer that flies at 645 mph, weighs a mere 13,000 pounds, and has a range of only 805 miles.
Maybe it’s the best of both worlds – not so loud that it will chase your poodle under the bed, but useful tools to keep our pilots sharp. It’s good news for Atlantic Aviation where they can refuel. Bringing back pilots to our cozy desert is great news. I hope to see them on Palm Canyon Drive at get a chance to thank them for their service.