Almost five years after grounding the aircraft following two fatal crashes, the US Department of Defense has appoved the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor transport for full-rate production. Budgets permitting, production is expected to be increased from the current 11 aircraft a year to 48 by 2012. The go-ahead followed operational evaluation of the US Marine Corps’ MV-22B, which found the aircraft to be operationally suitable and effective. The USMC plans to buy 360 MV-22 assault transports, the US Air Force 50 special-operations CV-22s and the US Navy 48 search-and-rescue HV-22s.

Source: Flight International