A U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft successfully tested rolling landing and takeoffs in excess of 57,000 pounds on the flight deck of U.S Navy aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) earlier this month.
This key capability allows the Osprey to haul more weight than the C-2A Greyhound, which is limited to landing at 49,000 pounds. The CMV-22 Osprey, the U.S. Navy’s MV-22 variant, will replace Greyhound as the carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft deployed on the Navy aircraft carriers.
GHWB’s onboard testing included integrating the MV-22 into flight deck operations, and heavy gross weight rolling landings and takeoffs.
“I started off flying Greyhound carrier onboard delivery (COD) aircraft and I love the platform,” said Lt. Cmdr. Steven Tschanz, from Libertyville, Illinois, a test pilot assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21. “With that said, nothing lasts forever and the Navy came up with a solution to move us into the future with the CMV-22 Osprey.”
The CMV-22 Osprey combines fixed-wing aircraft speed and range with the vertical lift capabilities of rotary wing platforms, making it the ideal carrier strike group COD and vertical on board delivery (VOD) platform in support of aerial resupply and logistics. The Navy COD crews piloting CMV-22 aircraft will land and take off with forward airspeed, which allows flight at a much higher weight.
The Osprey has already proven its capabilities in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), amphibious assault and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) missions. Its next evolution will use those capabilities to accomplish traditional COD missions.
Lt. Gavin Kurey, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and also assigned to HX-21, is the first Navy pilot to land an MV-22 on an aircraft carrier.
“This underway is a historic event for the Navy,” said Kurey. “I never thought I’d be part of something like this as a COD guy. There’s a lot of reluctance to join new platforms that are so different initially, but to be part of the first wave that can help to make that transition happen is an amazing experience.”
Kurey had another first aboard GHWB in 2012 when he made his first arrested landing in a T-45 Goshawk.
The main advantage of the Osprey is its capability to take off and land vertically as a helicopter does, while requiring a much shorter runway than a Greyhound. For Osprey pilots, the chance to fly new aircraft that is on the frontline of expanding the Navy’s logistics mission is a point of pride.
“To be one of the first Osprey pilots to fly aboard a carrier is just awesome,” said Tschanz. “I deployed previously aboard the George H.W. Bush for the maiden deployment in 2011, while flying the C-2 for COD missions. To come back on a totally different platform and do vertical landings is just great.”
The CMV-22 Osprey is expected to achieve Initial Operational Capability (IOC) by 2021. As compared to the MV-22B, the Navy variant has extended operational range, a beyond line-of-sight HF radio, improved fuel dump capability, a public address system for passengers, and an improved lighting system for cargo loading.