Bell Helicopter is exploring new markets and missions for its Bell-Boeing Osprey V-22 military tiltrotor.
The company recently demonstrated the V-22’s search-and-rescue (SAR) capabilities to the Canadian Forces. The V-22 is ideally suited to the SAR mission in Canada, with its vast distances and harsh environments, and could do the work of several aircraft on a typical mission, according to a Bell spokesman.
The spokesman said a Canadian civil/military SAR mission to a remote location currently involves the use of fixed-wing aircraft for identification and emergency supply drop and then a helicopter or a ground unit for rescue. “With the V-22 you can get there, land, pick up the people and come home, thereby eliminating a bunch of different steps,” he said. the Canadian Forces fixed-wing search and rescue (FWSAR) program.
The FWSAR aircraft would replace both the Buffalo and the C-130 Hercules now used in search and rescue. At one point the project envisioned purchasing 17 aircraft but the Defence Department has not detailed how many planes it currently wants to acquire. It is currently looking for whatever can meet the capability.
The delays in the FWSAR project have allowed Boeing-Bell to at least contemplate bidding on the project with the V-22 Osprey.
Although some analysts have suggested the V-22 would be too costly for the FWSAR’s budget, Anthony noted that because of the aircraft’s capabilities, it might be able to meet Canadian search-and-rescue requirements with fewer platforms.
It should be interesting to see how this plays out…..
David Pugliese Ottawa Citizen, Mark Huber Aviation International news,Flyvertosset
Gravity always wins!