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V-22 Testing Could Lead To Higher Takeoff Weights

V-22 Testing Could Lead To Higher Takeoff Weights

AeroBD | The AERO news Company…Dubai, UAE, Nov. 13, 2015 : Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has been working to widen the V-22 Osprey’s flight envelope by testing rolling landing and takeoffs, which could pave the way for higher takeoff weights. Speaking at the Dubai Airshow on Nov. 10, Col. Dan Robinson, V-22 program manager, said the tests would be applicable to the Osprey’s use as the Navy’s future carrier/vertical onboard delivery (COD/VOD) platform as well as amphibious assault ships.

The tests were carried out on one of the Navy’s aircraft carriers in October, and saw the Osprey perform 69 minimum roll-on landings using the angled deck for the landing and takeoff runs. Crews also performed 14 takeoffs at the MV-22’s maximum gross weight of 60,500 lb., some 3,500 lb. over the Osprey’s current maximum rolling takeoff weight of 57,000 lb. The current maximum vertical takeoff weight is 52,600 lb. The aim is to make Osprey’s maximum gross weight also the rolling maximum takeoff weight, industry officials told Aviation Week.

“This was done as a target of opportunity,” Robinson told reporters. “The same handling qualities can be used on the Marine amphibious assault ships.”

Development of the Navy’s COD/VOD capability is due to begin in fiscal 2016, with first deliveries expected in fiscal 2020 and an initial operating capability to be achieved in fiscal 2021. The aircraft will differ slightly from Marine Corps MV-22s featuring an increased size landing gear sponson, allowing the fitment of a larger fuel tank. A beyond line-of-sight communications system will also be fitted. Robinson also revealed that development of the Improved Inlet Solution (IIS), a filtration system for the air intake on the Osprey’s Rolls-Royce AE1107C using a Donaldson-produced barrier filter, was proceeding with the next major milestone in testing due to take place in the summer of 2016 with wind tunnel tests. The IIS is designed replace the engine air particle separator (EAPS) currently used to keep material from entering the engine.

But the IIS is currently only funded by the Air Force for fitment onto its CV-22s and not the Marine Corps MV-22s. Robinson said this was because the USAF conducted more regular restricted visibility landing (RVL) operations and needed the IIS to improve engine time on wing. This is in spite of documents, seen by Aviation Week, which state that reactive minerals managed to enter the engine of an MV-22 which crashed during RVL operations at Bellows Field, Hawaii in May.

Robinson said no decision would be made until the final report on the Bellows Field accident had been published. But if the report recommended fitment of the IIS, then it would be considered.

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Rajowan Syed

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