Flight International online news 09:30GMT: The U.S. Air Force has taken delivery of the first production CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor at the Bell Helicopter production facility in Amarillo, Texas.

CV22 - BIG

Produced jointly by Bell Helicopter and  Boeing, the CV-22 is the U.S. Air Force special operations variant of the V-22 and will be used for long-range special operations missions, contingency operations, evacuations and maritime operations.

In addition to the standard communications and navigations suite found on all V-22s, the CV-22 has an advanced electronic warfare suite, a multi-mode radar which permits flight at very low altitude in zero visibility, a retractable aerial refueling probe, four radios and flight engineer seat/crew positions in the cockpit.

Boeing says the current programme calls for the U.S. Air Force special operations command to field 50 CV-22s to join the global war on terrorism and other special operations missions.

Prior to initial operational capability in 2009, the CV-22 will complete developmental testing at Edwards AFB, California, followed by initial operational testing and evaluation. The aircraft is diue to conduct an operational utility evaluation next year.



Source: Flight International