The program was threatened with closure several times. For example, US Secretary of Defense Cheney R. four times gave orders to stop funding the V-22 program, but each time the decisions of the minister were revised. In all cases, the decision of the head of the Ministry of Defense protested the congress. The main argument in favor of continuing the work was the desire to save jobs, since enterprises in 63 percent of the federal districts of the United States are involved in the production of VTOL aircraft in one way or another. There were also cases of indirect bribery of congressmen and senators by Boeing and Bell companies. At the same time, even today there is a powerful opposition V-22, which believes that the Sikorsky CH-53K helicopter, which is planned to be put into service in 2013, is able to more effectively carry out all the tasks assigned to the Osprey converters. However, the flight speed of the V-22 is twice as fast as that of other helicopters, and it can carry three times the payload compared to the CH-46. "Osprey" in flight range is 5 times the helicopter CH-46, which he should replace. The tactical radius of the V-22 "Osprey" is 648 km, which makes it possible to eliminate the basing of the convertoplane in the immediate vicinity of the hot spots or the front line.
The US Department of Defense in the late 1970s developed preliminary requirements for a multi-purpose vertical take-off and landing aircraft with rotary propellers for the army, the air force, aviation naval forces and marine corps. In 1982, the Boeing Helicopter and Bell companies were selected as the main developers of this aircraft under the JVX (Joint-service Vertical take-off / landing Experimental aircraft) program. In January 1985, VTOL assigned the designation V-22 “Osprey”. At this stage, the cost of the program was estimated at 2,5 billion dollars, and the entire program (including the purchase of 913 devices) - at 35,6 billion dollars. In the future, the number of VTOL aircraft purchased was gradually reduced, at the beginning - to 657 units, and in May 1994 the number of planned VTOL aircraft production was reduced to 458 serial convertible plans.
In 1986, full-scale design began. The project was based on the Bell XV-15, which, in 1977, performed the first flight.
The construction of the first prototype V-22 vertical take-off / landing aircraft Osprey was completed at the end of May 1988, March 19, 1989, the first flight took place with a delay of almost 8 months relative to the target date. In 1990, the third and fourth copies successfully passed the 1 th stage of sea trials, which was carried out at the “Wasp” - the landing ship-dock.
Design images of the convertiplane MV-22A
In connection with the 20 disaster of July 1992, the flight tests of the prototypes were suspended until August 1993. In 1997, flight tests for the 4's pre-production V-22 began. In October 1999, operational tests began. After two crashes that occurred during the 8 and 14 April 2000 operational testing program, all flights were stopped for 1,5 and resumed only in May 2002.
V-22 tests to study the regime of "vortex ring" in large volumes, compared with any other known rotary-wing aircraft. The effect of the "vortex ring" has been described many times and is not a new, unexplored phenomenon. The effect of the "vortex ring" is manifested in helicopters that fly at low translational speed, but descending at high vertical speed. In this case, the rotor blades begin to fall into the vortex flow, which was created before by the rotor itself, so the lifting force of the blades was sharply reduced.
During the tests, “extreme points” were revealed, at which the machine fell into the “vortex ring” mode. The first sign of the “vortex ring” was noted at the vertical speed of descent at 488 meters per minute, and at the speed of 610 meters per minute, the effect of the “vortex ring” was fully manifested. The Marone crash happened at a vertical speed of 670 meters per minute. During additional studies, it was found that the convertoplane had a “vortex ring” mode in a wider range of speeds and heights than helicopters. At the same time, the “vortex ring” mode starts and develops much faster.
Since the VTOL aircraft cannot perform landing in "airplane" mode, the requirement that was put forward by the Marine Corps to land in the autorotation mode with mechanical problems or failure of both engines seemed quite logical. The Marine Corps in 2002 year removed the requirement. The unnamed United States Department of Defense consultant, in his confidential report on 2003, called his refusal to perform an autorotation landing “unacceptable” because “autorotation allows pilots to save their lives and the lives of passengers” and “is often used in a combat situation”.
After the disasters, the program of development and testing of the convertoplane was subjected to thorough analysis. The conclusion was that developing a new machine, instead of V-22, would take several years and many millions of financial costs, so it’s preferable to leave the V-22 program, but pay extra attention to studying the “vortex ring” mode and the effect of the earth. Theoretical studies conducted by NASA. The space agency experts in November 2002 recommended that the add. study the problem of the “vortex ring” and exclude the autorotation landing from the requirements for Osprey. In addition to scientific and technical problems, the analysis of the program showed the negative impact of the “administrative resource” on the tiltrotor work — various structures interested in the V-22 program, for various reasons, put pressure on the program's management in order to speed up the work.
Despite the suspension of the flight test program, the small-scale production of the Osprey V-22 continued, primarily for the development of technical processes. At the same time, the design of the device was improved taking into account the recommendations of NASA, developed when studying the causes of 2000 accidents of the year. The design has made several hundred changes, relating mainly to the engine nacelles and software improvements. The changes were taken into account when building devices "block B", and devices "block A" were finalized.
29.05.2002 resumed flight tests when the tiltrometer number XXUMX flew to Patuxen River. The flights of the device №10 began 8.
The initial testing program, which began in 1992, utilized the 5 converter maps - No. 21, 22, 23, 24 and 34. No.21 is the first serial convertoplane modified to the level of “Block A”, No.34 is the first MV-22B “Block A”. At MV-22B No.34 (the building was completed in August 2003), the weight of the structure was reduced, and the nacelle and software were seriously changed.
A park of convertiplanes in 2003, according to the test program, flew 1000 hours without flying accidents. During the tests, the possibility of the convertoplan was again tested for combat maneuvering, the take-off / landing modes were studied, and the refueling method was developed during the flight. Devices №№21 and 22 carried out in the dark flying systems. Also, the unit №21 flew to Fort Bragg to study the possibility of landing people and cargo weighing up to 900 a kilogram in parachute. Conversion Plan No. 24 from December 2003 to April 2004 simulated ice reconnaissance in Nova Scotia.
On the ships passed two test cycles. The main goal is to develop a method of landing on the ship. In January, 2003 flew from the landing helicopter carrier "Iwo Jima" carried out the vehicle No. XXUMX, and in November of the same year - from the ship Bataan carried out the vehicle No. XXUMX. The initial test phase IVB (ship and convertoplane compatibility) was completed in June 10 of the year. Tests for 22 days were conducted near the coast of Maryland on the ship "Iwo Jima." During tests on the possibility of basing on ships that were conducted in the 2004 year, a spontaneous heeling of the apparatus was detected during the hovering over the deck. The roll-out of the MV-8B device was eliminated due to the reprogramming of the control system. The final stage of the ship tests, called the “Phase IVC”, was conducted from November 1999 22 of the year for 12 days on the “Wasp” helicopter carrier. During this stage convertible plans №№2004, 10 and 10 were involved. During the tests, the possibility of taking off / landing on the ship at night was checked, and the effect of the take-off machine on the machine that was preparing for take-off; tested the possibility of repair and maintenance of convertoplanes on board the ship. Flight tests reached their peak in the 21 year. Machine test number 23, upgraded to version CV-2004B, joined the test program. In China Lake, on CV-9B in March 22, the compatibility of the avionics was checked. In April of the same year, for the first time after the resumption of V-22 Osprey flights, air refueling was practiced: the crew of the V-2004 ITT (Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Gross and Steve Grobsmeyer, test pilot of the Boeing company) in the Pattaxen River area 22 made “dry” contact with the tanker. Apparatus No. 22 was equipped with a non-removable fuel receiver bar (5 length is a meter), and apparatus No. 22 was equipped with a telescopic bar (length in the extended position 3,35 meter). In April, the 21 of the year at Shirvater Air Base (Nova Scotia, Canada) were tested for icing: the tiltrotor №2,74 flew 2004 hours, of which 24 hours in icing conditions. Park of convertiplanes by August 67 of the year since the resumption of flights in 37, 2004 has flown in thousands of hours. In August of that year, according to flight test programs, flights of 2002 vehicles were made: 3 vehicles (No. 9 and 2) at Edward Air Base, 7 - at Pataxen River Air Base. During the period from 9 to 7, 29.05.2002 was flown for a total duration of 31.12.2004 hours.
At the New River Marine Corps Air Base, in August 2004, the formation of the VMX-22 squadron began, the main purpose of which was to conduct operational tests, called "Phase II". The number of convertiplanes by squadron staff was supposed to be 11 machines. 7-13 December 2004 of the year the flight crew of the squadron flew from the landing ship dock Kirsarge, training continued at the beginning of 2005 of the year, but then suspended due to bearing problems. Several tilt-rotors showed overheating of transmission bearings, so the crews made forced landings. After the chrome bearings were replaced with bearings that did not have chrome plating, the alarm trips stopped; flights resumed 7 February.
Initial operational tests (Operation Evaluation, OPEVAL) of the V-22 convertible were carried out in various locations, including China Lake and Pataxen River airbases, marine corps bases in Arizona and North Carolina, and Air Force bases in New Mexico and Florida. The sea stages of the test program were carried out on a variety of landing craft on the west and east coast of the United States. The suitability of the convertoplane to be based on ships, the ability to perform combat missions in the interests of the navy, to fly at low altitudes (including flights with night-vision goggles), to refuel during the flight from the aircraft NS-130, to transport cargo in the cabin and external suspension. In addition, practiced flying systems. The main purpose of the test was to verify the ability of the convertoplan to perform tasks in conditions close to combat. Even despite the irregular financing of operational tests, the first stage was completed in full, although the tiltrotor was found to satisfy only 23 of 243 operating parameters to be assessed.
The “new” stage (OPEVAL II) of operational tests took place from March 28 to June 29 2005. 8 MV-22B Block A participated in them. The Nellis, Bridgeport, New River airbases, test sites in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California were used for testing. The sea stage was carried out in the waters of the Western Atlantic from the landing ship dock “Bataan”. Convertible, based on the ship, performed tasks at landfills in Mississippi, Virginia and North Carolina.
According to the test results, MV-22B Block A was recognized as serviceable and satisfying all the basic flight and tactical requirements. In the literature, it is noted that the tweeter "Osprey", which completed operational tests in the 2005 year, is significantly different from the V-22, which participated in the initial phase of OPEVAL. The total time of the VMX-22 squadron raid was 750 hours, including the flight time in less than 3 a month was 196 hours. 204 flights were completed, including 89 flights (starting from takeoff and ending with landing) that completely simulated combat missions.
During the tests, the work of the combat mission planning system was checked. This system allows you to enter the job parameters into the onboard control system using a laptop and reprogram them during the job. Night flights performed less than planned. Crews used night-vision goggles at just 6 percent flight time; from 29 flights using night vision goggles scheduled by the test program performed 12 (33 hours instead of 133).
The report on the second stage of operational tests noted that the tiltrotor V-22 has significant advantages over the CH-46 (53) helicopters which it is intended to replace. The advantages are greater speed and range, a large payload mass, more advanced on-board systems, less preparation time for the mission, better navigation equipment, less crew load during the flight, less vulnerability to air defense assets. It was also noted that 4 had resolved the main safety problems that had led to the loss of X-NUMX converters in the 2000 year. Two of these problems are directly related to the “vortex ring” effect. When performing tasks, squadron crews of VMX-2 did not enter the modes that are close to the occurrence of this effect. It was succeeded to exclude hit in the given modes thanks to revision of tactics of use of the devices V-22 and modification of the piloting technique. At the same time, the report indicated the need to finalize the winch for lifting people, meteorological radar system and airborne defense complex.
The suitability of the convertoplanes for flight was assessed by 4 parameters: the number of flight hours before failure, which led to the cancellation of the flight (25 hours with the requirement of 17 hours); mean time to failure (1,4 hours at the request of 0,9 hours); the number of man-hours spent on preparatory work for 1 flight time (7,2 hours if 20 hours are required); fleet health (from 78 to 88% with 82%). During 751,6 raid time, 30 failures were recorded that were incompatible with the execution of the task, as well as 552 medium and minor failures.
Testing the refueling in the air of the CV-22 tiltrotor from the 8 Squadron of special purpose US Air Force from tanker MS-130Р, 2008 g
The disadvantages attributed insufficient power of the air conditioning system, and therefore in the cabin at high temperatures of atmospheric air is very hot. It is also indicated that the tiltrotor cannot land in autorotation mode in case of failure of both engines at altitudes less than 500 meters. A number of experts, at the same time, do not consider this drawback to be critical, because, as experience shows, even the landing of a regular helicopter, especially a load carrier, in this mode does not often succeed. Despite this, most experts consider the requirement of landing in the autorotation regime a prerequisite for all rotary-wing aircraft.
The tiltrover's survival was estimated based on the threat of machine guns of caliber up to 12,7 millimeters, automatic guns of the caliber 23 millimeter, as well as various types of MANPADS. On the China Lake test site, the 15 missions performed a survival assessment program, during which they evaluated the ability of on-board laser and radar systems to detect and identify targets that pose a threat to Osprey. According to the test results, they made a conclusion about the adequacy of the V-22 defense complex and issued a recommendation to install the Block-B 7,62 mm240 defensive machine gun on the rear ramp.
The completion of the V-2005 Osprey performance test in the summer of 22 promoted the adoption of a X-ray convertible production program by 29.09.2005. According to the adopted program, in the fiscal year 2006 was set to create 11 machines, 2007 - 16, 2008 - 24, and 2012 production had to reach the speed of 48 devices per year. In total, it was planned to purchase X-NUMX converters “Osprey”: 458 CV-50 and 22 MV-360, besides it was planned to build 22 MV-48 for the US Navy. At the Bell plant in Amarillo, Texas, 22, a solemn ceremony was held to hand over the first MV-08.12.2005 Block B (22) to the Marine Corps. This convertiplane became the 166491, built in 19, and the first MV-2005В, which was intended for the armed forces.
Three CV-22A from the 58 th wing of the special operations force of the United States Air Force take off from the Kirtland airbase, May 2007 g
Convertible MV-22 on the deck of the landing ship doosp "Wasp". Performance Testing, 2006 g
The company "Boeing" is engaged in the manufacture of the fuselage, chassis, hydraulic and electrical systems, as well as responsible for the integration of electronic equipment. Bell Helicopter Tech-Stron is responsible for the production of the wing, engine nacelles, tail assembly, dynamic systems, wing fairing, ramp.
The first 4 of MV-22 LRIP converters (low-volume initial production, Low-Rate Initial Production) were assembled in August 2000. After the disaster that occurred in December 2000, many changes were made to the design, including a change in the wiring of cables and hydraulic lines in the nacelles, the refinement of the flight control system software.
The following 11 units of this series (9 MV-22 and 2 CV-22) ordered 2003 of the year in May, another 11 (8 MV-22 and 3 CV-22) - in February 2004 of the year and 11 (9 MV-22 and 2 CV-22) - in February 2005 of the year and 2005 (22 MV-2008 and XNUMX CV-XNUMX) - in February XNUMX of the year and XNUMX (XNUMX MV-XNUMX and XNUMX CV-XNUMX) - in February XNUMX of the year and XNUMX (XNUMX MV-XNUMX and XNUMX CV-XNUMX) - in February XNUMX and XNUMX (XNUMX MV-XNUMX and XNUMX CV-XNUMX and XNUMX) -XNUMX) - in January XNUMX of the year. In September, XNUMX, it was decided to start full-scale mass production. The 100th tiltrojector V-XNUMX was handed over to the customer in March XNUMX.
In March, 2008 signed a contract for the construction of 26 vertical take-off / landing aircraft CV-22 and 141 MV-22 for 5 years.
Accidents and Disasters
Due to an error in the wiring installation of 2-x from 3-x gyroscopes of the control system channel roll during the first flight, the fifth prototype was lost. Vertical takeoff / landing aircraft at an altitude of 4,6 meters touched the left nacelle; a fire broke out and the convertoplane burned out. Two people suffered.
During the horizontal flight in the right engine nacelle due to leakage of the hydraulic system of the transmission accumulated working fluid. During the transition of the tiltrotor from horizontal flight to vertical descent mode, the working fluid of the hydraulic system got into the engine, which caused the fire. The fourth prototype of the VTOL aircraft fell into the Potomac River. The fall was observed by members of the US Congress, for whom they organized this demonstration flight. 11 people aboard died, flights V-22 "Osprey" banned for 11 months. The V-22 VTOL is in theory capable of performing vertical take-off / landing when a single engine is running, but in this case the fire damaged the synchronizing propellers of the shafts. Critics of the program say that for all 17 years of flight tests, takeoffs / landings with one engine running have never been carried out.
Two "Osprey" with the landing of the marines simulated the execution of the task of evacuation in the dark. V-22 in a single formation landed in Marone, the regional airport of Arizona. The pilot of the driven machine reduced the forward speed, fearing to collide with the lead helicopter, to 72 km / h, while the leading convertoplan was reduced at a great vertical speed (about 610 meters per minute). At an altitude of 75 meters, the lift force of the right screw decreased sharply, while the lift created by the left screw did not change. As a result, the tiltrover, rolling over, fell to the ground. Killed 19 people aboard. The official version of the catastrophe was called getting into the “vortex ring” mode due to the excess of the vertical speed of descent. There is a version that a crash jet created by the leading tiltrotor could become a catalyst for the accident, but this version was not studied in depth, since in this case the ability to perform landing by a group of tiltrotor was called into question. The vertical speed of descent “Osprey” after the crash was limited to 240 meters per minute at a speed of translational motion to 70 km / h (this restriction is typical for helicopters).
In a V-22 8 disaster on April 2000, 19 people died.
At the New River airbase (North Carolina) airfield, after landing from an overnight training flight at the moment of transition from flight to vertical descent mode on tiltrotor No.18, the integrity of the hydraulic line was disturbed due to friction and vibrations. Two of the three hydraulic systems failed. Immediately several warning lights caught fire in the cockpit. The pilot turned off / on the alarm system in order to make sure that it was triggered correctly. The flight control system, due to software errors, began to rock the car in a transverse channel. The crew made 8 attempts to regain control, but they were unsuccessful. Uncontrolled machine fell into the forest in Jacksonville, (North Carolina) with a height of 490 meters. Four people aboard died. According to the results of the catastrophe, the software was refined, the laying of hydraulic lines was changed in the engine nacelles.
In the south of Morocco, during a joint exercise, the Osprey disaster killed two marines who were on board. Two more were injured.
Due to a hydraulic failure, the vertical take-off and landing aircraft performed an emergency landing in the Washington area.
End of August 2003
On the V-22 "Osprey" No. 34, during a flight at an altitude of about 2 thousand m, the viewing hatch came off, which made a big hole in the right vertical tail.
At the Pataxen River airbase, during the take-off of Osprey No. XXUMX, a powerful whirlwind was formed, which picked up the garbage that broke the front glazing of the VTOL aircraft No. XXUMX parked nearby.
In VTVP V-22 during a flight over the state of North Carolina, a part of the blade was cut off at the left propeller, cutting the left plane of the wing. The crew made an emergency landing.
During the flight to “Osprey” No. XXUMX, fluctuations appeared due to a failure in the flight management system software. According to the results of the investigation of the incident, the maximum value of the angle of heel in helicopter flight was limited to 10 °.
Due to the failure of the V-22 oil system, Osprey No. XXUMX made an emergency landing.
A vertical take-off and landing aircraft made a premature landing on the landing ship Iwo Jima after the crew heard an unusual noise during the flight. The cause of the noise was the destruction of the oil cooler fan.
April 2004 — January 2005
During this period, 6 forced landings associated with an alarm were triggered. In all cases, the cause of the alarm triggering was the ingress of detached particles from the chrome plating of the bearings of the screw reducers into the oil system.
On V-22 #53, the engine caught fire due to a hydraulic leak.
During the flight on the CV-12, the anti-icing system failed, and during 10 — 15 minutes the flight went under icing conditions. The pieces of ice, detached from the surface of the airframe, damaged the tail, the engine and other structural elements. Osprey made an emergency landing in Prescott.
At the aviation base of the New River with ground gazovka there was a spontaneous increase in engine power. Convertoplan scored 1,8 meters, and then fell to the ground. One wing was damaged. The repair cost 1 a million dollars. The cause of the incident was an error in the installation of electrical wiring engine management system.
During the transatlantic flight from the United States to the UK (convertible planes were supposed to participate in the Farnborough air show), the right engine compressor stopped at one of two Osprey. V-22 sat down safely in Iceland. A week later, information appeared about problems in the engine compressors of the second V-22.
Flights of the V-22 tiltrotor Air Force and Marine Corps are temporarily suspended due to a detected software malfunction in the processor. This failure could lead to loss of control during the flight.
Hydraulic fluid leakage caused engine fire before takeoff. There is evidence that in December 2006 at the New River airbase there was a more serious MV-22 fire.
During the transfer to Iraq, one of the 10 converters of the MV-22B made an emergency landing in Jordan due to a malfunction whose nature was not reported. The device after the repair continued to perform the flight, but the crew interrupted the execution of the task and returned to Jordan for repeated repairs.
The MV-22 convertoplane, part of the VMMT-204 squadron, made an emergency landing at Camp Lune due to a fire caused during a training flight. Fire occurred in the engine nacelle of one of the engines. Osprey was seriously damaged, but no one on board was hurt. The cause of the incident began to flow in the hydraulic engine filter. The working fluid which caused the fire got into the screen-exhaust device. According to the results of the flight incident, they completed the modifications on all V-22 Block A, and the leakages of the hydraulic systems of filters on the Block B devices were excluded at the design stage.
Operation and combat use
Tests of the convertoplane in the Marine Corps began in the first half of the 1980-s based on the squadron VMM-263. 03.03.2006 decided that the VMM-263 squadron would be the first in the Marine Corps to be re-equipped with a convertiplane. The first V-22 Osprey (serial No. 73) squadron was transferred in April 2006 of the year. Until the end of 2008, the tiltrover was reequipped with the 3 tactical (VMM-162, VMM-263, VMM-266, New River, North Carolina Air Force Base), training (VMMT-204) and test (VMX-22) squadron. The training of the crews of the 71 Squadron of Special Forces of the US Air Force (Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico) was supposed to be carried out in the VMMT-204 squadron.
The VT-MVV-22 was the first in the Marine Corps to receive the Thunder Chickens VMM-263 squadron in 2006. In June 2007, she reached a state of initial combat readiness. Prior to that, the squadron was armed with CH-46, about a third of the aircrew had experience in the use of helicopters in Iraq. The squadron pilots include two women.
Convertible MV-22B squadron VMM-162 on the landing ship, the dock "Nassau", Atlantic, December 2009 g
The two MV-22 units included in the VMX-22 squadron (the tiltrotor was controlled by the crews of the Boeing and Bell companies) in July 2006 performed a non-stop flight across the Atlantic to take part in Farnborough in an aerospace show. VTOL, in preparation for the transatlantic flight, performed the flight from the New River Air Force Base (the location of the VMX-22 test squadron) to the Miramar Air Force Base in California. 3990 hours were spent to overcome the 9 km route. The return trip took 8 hours. The flights took place at an altitude of 4,3-4,9 km with speeds from 440 to 550 km / h. The convertoplanes immediately before the flight to London were relocated to Goose Bay, Newfoundland. During the flight across the Atlantic, the V-22 Osprey was accompanied by two KC-130J refueling aircraft.
10 MV-22B from the VMM-263 squadron of the Marine Corps in October 2007 of the year was transferred to Iraq. A squadron “Wasp” landed to the Persian Gulf from Norfolk by a squadron, and the tiltrotor overcame the last section of the route by “own course”. Before the transfer to Iraq, intensive exercises were conducted in the desert in the area of the air base of Yuma, Arizona.
In Iraq, the squadron was stationed at the Al-Assad air base. Initially, 10 MV-22 was sent to Al-Asad, later 2 machines were added to them. Squadron VMM-263 introduced into the Third Wing of the Marine Corps. In Al-Assad was the headquarters of the wing. In October-December, 2007 squadron crews of VMM-263, under conditions equivalent to combat, flew 1650 hours, transported 315 tons of cargo and 6800 people. In total, during the time the squadron was in Iraq, 2,5 thousand tasks were completed and over 700 tons of cargo were transported. The suitability of the convertoplanes for flights ranged from 50 to 100%, however, according to Lieutenant Colonel Doom, the squadron commander, only once or twice the tasks could not be completed due to the absence of suitable flight crews. Usually 7 from 12 MV-22 was airworthy. The average maintenance time on an 1 flight hour was 9,5 hours. The average monthly flight time per convertoplane was 62 hours (this figure before the transfer to Iraq was 50 hours).
For 6 weeks in constant 30-minute readiness for departure, three crews and two converters were supported around the clock. A convertible on the night of 24 on 25 December 2007 took off after receiving an order in 15 minutes. The purpose of the assignment was to deliver the marine to the hospital (the soldier had an acute attack of appendicitis). The crew (co-pilot - Sarah Fabrisoff, a woman) task was completed safely. The marine was taken to Al-Asad from a point that was located south of the base in 125 km. The flight was carried out at an altitude of about 2,7 km using an infrared system for viewing the front hemisphere and an indicator with a moving terrain map. On the flight, from the moment of takeoff to the moment of landing, 56 minutes were spent.
In addition to performing transport tasks, the crews worked out combat training tasks for the transportation of infantrymen of the Iraqi army, while in flight the converting planes were accompanied by Bell UH-1N and Bell AH-1W helicopters that are part of the US Marine Corps HMLA-773 squadron. Under attack of the opponent convertible planes from VMM-263 got only two times. Once the car was fired from small-caliber small weapons, the second time - from the RPG-7 grenade launcher.
After the VMM-263 squadron in Iraq, they sent X-ray converters MV-12B from VMM-22 and VMM-162 to 266. Squadrons were based on a rotational base in Al-Asad. Convertoplanes were used to transport goods and people, as well as to carry out "armed reconnaissance" when the enemy was detected from the air, and its destruction was carried out by the forces stationed in the convertiplane.
In May, the VMN-2007 squadron 263 returned to the United States at a permanent deployment site at the New River Air Base.
In April 2009, after the 18 months of stay in Iraq, the MV-22B convertible planes were withdrawn. Squadron "Fighting Griffin" VMM-266 left Iraq last. For half a year in Iraq, VMM-266 flew 3040 hours, transported 15800 passengers and 189 tons of cargo.
Takeoff of two MV-22 from the advanced base Cofferato. Afghanistan, May 2010 g
According to Colonel Matthew Mulhern, manager of the V-22 program for the command of the US Navy air systems, the success of converting plans in Iraq has exceeded all expectations. The convertible planes came under fire from the ground sporadically, not a single machine sustained combat damage, however, 24 March 2009, the entire fleet of convertible planes stopped flying after VMM-266 squadron technicians on one of the machines discovered loosening of the bolt fastening in the right-hand swashplate plate engine nacelle. The inspection was performed after the pilots noted a "sharp" noise and an increased level of vibrations during normal flight. Inspection of 84 "Osprey", all devices in use, allowed to detect such defects on 4 converters, which were located in Iraq, as well as on one that passes the regulations at the Cherry Point Corps aviation base. The flights were resumed after the inspection was completed, however, the daily inspection time was increased by an hour.
The use of convertiplanes in Iraq has caused increased wear of some elements of the structure. It was assumed that the propeller blades would be subject to wear first, but the sand of the Iraqi deserts is so fine that it has almost no negative effect on the blades, but it is packed into the units of the electrical control system and other electronic equipment, causing short circuits or triggering false alarms . According to Mulhern, these refusals came as a surprise. The Liberty AE1107C Rolls-Royce engines installed on the MV-22B were equipped with Engine Air Particle Separator (EAPS) hydraulic filters, which sucked foreign particles from the air inlets. The convertoplanes sent to Iraq were refined, during which the filters were fitted with sensors that turned off the filters when a leakage of working fluid occurred, since such leaks had already caused several fires at the air base in New River. But the software in some cases turned off the filters during takeoff due to the false alarms of the emergency sensors from the powerful vertical air flow. As a result, the AE1107C Liberty engines did not work reliably due to the ingress of sand. In order to prevent hydraulic leaks, it was proposed to transfer the hydraulic lines to places that are less susceptible to heating from running engines.
The lack of power and low reliability of engines in hot conditions did not come as a surprise. In less than 7 months of operation in Iraq, no less than 22 engines were replaced on the vertical takeoff and landing aircraft MV-6. Colonel Mulhern during a meeting with industry representatives did not rule out the possibility of further replacing existing engines with engines designed for CH-53K helicopters. Rolls-Royce has been criticized many times due to the low reliability of the engines installed on the V-22. However, some experts believe that low reliability is not associated with the design of engines, but with the peculiarities of operation of a power plant on a convertoplane. The T406-AD-400 engine was developed on the basis of turboprop engines installed on C-27J and C-130J aircraft, and well-proven in operation. Experts say that the cause of low reliability is the ingress of foreign particles into the engines during take-off / landing modes, which are characterized by increased dust generation in converters. Dust formation of a helicopter during takeoff or landing is the norm, but for a convertoplan this effect is enhanced. The main rotor of the helicopter rejects the air flow backwards, while the screws of the tiltrotor create two flows, one of which is rejected back and the other is rejected towards the fuselage. The flow directed towards the fuselage, leads to an increase in the "dustiness" of the engines and twists the load placed on the external sling. In this regard, the tiltrotor MV-22 carry loads on the external load only in exceptional cases.
Concerns were caused by relatively weak defensive armament — one 7,62 mm machine gun mounted on a ramp. These concerns, as it turned out, were in vain. The crews of the MV-22B from the fire from the ground left due to a sharp increase in speed and climb. The commander of one of the convertoplans noted: “I can increase the speed from 0 to 320 km / h in just 10 seconds.” Survival also contributes to lower acoustic visibility V-22 "Osprey": if the helicopter is heard from the ground at a distance of 16 km, then the tiltrotor is 3 km.
The operating experience of the V-22 Osprey in Iraq was generally considered successful. But despite this, critics note the following facts:
- Vertical take-off and landing aircraft were used in areas where there was minimal enemy activity, in particular, converters did not fly to Baghdad;
- most of the takeoffs and landings carried out on the runways with a hard surface;
- the vast majority of tasks - transport flights between the aviation bases;
- The Iraqi expedition can not be equated with "testing in combat conditions";
- relatively low reliability, which is inherent in all devices, for the V-22 "Osprey" is an excuse, because this tiltrojector is not a "new" device: the first flight was carried out in 1989 year, and mass production was established in 1999 year - V-22 "Older" military transport aircraft C-17;
- low reliability of aggregates, assemblies and structural elements made of composite materials was predicted in advance, because before deploying MV-22 in Iraq, 100 millions of dollars were sent there to spare parts, and to assist VMM-263 squadron in maintenance of the material part, 10 experienced company specialists sent "Boeing";
- To avoid hitting the vortex ring modes, a new landing method was developed: a vertical take-off and landing plane approached an aircraft landing and switched to a hover mode in close proximity to the ground, just before it touched; this technique is suitable only in flat areas (such as the deserts of Iraq), but it is unlikely that this technique will be implemented in urbanized or mountainous areas, where the review is severely limited;
- there is no offensive armament on these convertible planes, although the Boeing company still in the 1999 year announced successful tests of the ventral machine-gun turret. However, its installation on serial devices was abandoned due to the weightedness of the design of the entire apparatus - the rejection of these weapons saved about 450 kg. Placement of machine guns in the cargo and passenger cabin is impossible due to the small area of the windows of the cabin and screws at the ends of the wing;
- the machine gun mounted on the ramp has a small sector of fire and insufficient caliber; it is uncomfortable to maintain it during the flight;
- due to the weakness of the onboard armament, fire cover of one convertiplane by another is not possible, for example, during evacuation of people under enemy fire, according to the tactics used by CH-53 helicopters armed with onboard 12,7-mm machine guns;
- due to the probability of occurrence of the vortex ring mode, simultaneous landing of two V-22 "Osprey" is excluded, if the distance between the tilt-turns does not exceed 75 meters;
- vertical take-off and landing aircraft are vulnerable to shelling even from rifle-caliber weapons, since the arteries of all 3 hydraulic systems are parallel to each other;
- winch for lifting people missing.
Reliability of the anti-icing system raises concerns. It is not designed to work in conditions of significant negative temperatures (which are typical for high mountain areas of Afghanistan in the winter). The anti-icing system, which consists of more than 200 elements, is designed to operate the aircraft in conditions close to the formation of ice on the elements of the structure, but not in conditions where it is inevitable. As Colonel Mulhren noted, the anti-icing system never functioned properly, and system failures are regular, in particular due to water entering the electrical system of the anti-icing system or mechanical damage caused by high centrifugal loads created by rotating screws. Mulhern summed up: "The system itself is good, but its individual elements are unsatisfactory."
According to the results of the operation of the V-22 "Osprey" in Iraq, the Government Accountability Office (GAO, the Accounts Chamber of the United States Government) in its report noted that the tiltrotor demonstrated the required versatility from it, but the cost of the flight hour was twice as high as the calculated hour check the ability of the machine to perform some combat missions. In this light, the participation of V-22 in the fighting in Helmland province is generally considered critical for the program. It is noted that in conditions of high mountains and heat, tilt-rotor show good flight qualities.
MV-22B Osprey 04.12.2009 converters took direct part in the hostilities in Afghanistan. 2 tiltrotor MV-22B included in the squadron VMM-261 operated in group combat Marine "Reyderz", providing landing units Third Fourth battalion Marine shelf with CH-53 Sikorsky helicopters in 3-x landing points in Helmand. The landing was carried out without fire opposition from the enemy. In total, 150 soldiers of the Afghan army and 1000 of American marines landed. Later MV-22B attracted to transport in the interests of the landing, to perform the same tasks as for medium-lift helicopters.
In November, the 2009 of the 10 convertible planes from the VMM-261, stationed at the New River air base (North Caledonia), was redeployed to Afghanistan. Osprey’s fleet readiness, on average, is 82 percent, but the combat readiness in Afghanistan was gradually managed to reach 80 percent, the task was set to bring it to 90 percent.
The MV-22 convertoplane from VMM-162 squadron makes landing on the island of Crete, February 2010. In the summer of 2011, MV-22 converting planes were used in military operations against Libya.
US Air Force
The air force planned to purchase 55 CV-22 vertical take-off and landing aircraft, but later the number of units purchased was reduced to 50 units. It was assumed that the first 4 CV-22, intended for training crews, will go into service with the 58 training squadron (Kirtland Air Base) in 2004, and in September of that year 6 8 squadron vehicles (Halbart Field) reach initial combat readiness; The delivery of the entire batch should have been completed in the 2009 year. In 1998, the program was revised to speed up deliveries — all the machines under the new plan were to be handed over to the customer in the 2007 fiscal year. The arrival of the CV-22 into service with the US air force was greatly delayed due to the 3 catastrophes, as well as the delayed flight test program.
In March 2006, the Air Force received the first CV-22 designed to perform combat missions. In 2007, convertoplanes entered service with the Eighth Squadron of special operations forces. The 06.03.2009 command of the special operations forces of the United States Air Forces also reported that the Eighth Squadron of the special operations forces was in the state of initial combat readiness, armed with the X-VUMX VTVP CV-6B. The initial state of combat readiness was declared after 22 CV-4 adopted the exercises in the joint US exercise and 22 allied to the United States of Africa in Bamako, Mali. V-15 "Osprey" performed a non-stop flight to Africa and back, using air refueling. Thus, the ability of operational self-transfer to any regions of the world was demonstrated. Four CV-22 on the African continent were for a month. During the exercises, konvertoplans threw special forces fighters from Senegal and Mali.
MV-22 "Osprey" is a multi-purpose vertical take-off and landing aircraft, which at the design stage was supposed to be used in the army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Later, the United States Army for the VTOL V-22 lost interest. The main customers of the convertoplane are the air force and the aviation of the Marine Corps. VTOL variants that are designed for the Marine Corps and the Air Force, are almost identical. The basis for all subsequent modifications is the MV-22B Block B. The CV-22B, a modification for the Air Force, differs from the MV-22B mainly by its onboard equipment. MV-22B and CV-22B are identical in design to the 90 percent, on the power plant - on 100 percent, and on electronic equipment - on 40 percent.
VTOL "Osprey" performs the take-off and landing by helicopter, and the flight in the horizontal plane is like an airplane. The transition between the "helicopter" and "aircraft" modes is carried out by turning the nacelle equipped with three-blade propellers of large diameter and mounted on the ends of the wing. Vertical take-off / landing are carried out when the engine nacelles are at an angle of more than 85 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the machine. Forward flight is possible if the engine nacelles are located within 0-85 degrees. The flight “by aircraft” is carried out at a zero angle of installation of the engine nacelles. "Osprey" is designed for takeoff and landing with one engine running. VTOL is not able to perform these operations on the aircraft.
"Osprey" has a high wing, which has a small backward sweep angle and two-fin plumage. At the ends of the wings are mounted rotary nacelles having three-bladed propellers.
The wing of the caisson type with a constant chord (2,54 m) and two spars. The wing is almost entirely made of graphite-epoxy composite materials. The lower and upper trim panels have a monolithic construction. The three-section socks of the wing consoles are made of aluminum alloy and have a honeycomb filling “Nomex”. The wing is mounted on the top of the fuselage on an 2,31-meter circular support made of stainless steel. The support is provided by the turn of the wing along the fuselage in the case of placing the aircraft vertical takeoff and landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier.
The semi-monocoque fuselage has a rectangular cross-section. The length of the fuselage V-22 - 17,47 meters. The fuselage is almost entirely made of composite materials, the mass of the fuselage V-22 - 1800 kg. The sides are made fairing, serving to remove the main landing gear; also in the fairing equipment of the air conditioning system and fuel tanks. Triple crew cabin is located in the bow of the apparatus. Armored seats are installed in the cab, which are able to withstand hits of 12,7-mm bullets, as well as overload up to 14,5 g in the vertical direction and to 30 g in the longitudinal direction.
A full-laid 24 soldier can be transported in the cargo and passenger cabin. In the front part of the fuselage on the starboard side, an entrance two-piece door is made (the lower section leans down to the outside, the top one - to the inside). On the lower section there is a built-in ladder. At the rear of the cab is a lowered ramp.
The two-fin plumage is made entirely from the Hercules AS4 graphite-epoxy material. A stabilizer (area 8,22 m2, span 5,61 m) is installed above the tail fairing. The total area of the 2's vertical keels is 12,45 m2.
Chassis - retractable, tricycle, with nose support. Chassis supports have twin wheels. Nose support is removed in the front fuselage compartment by turning back. The main support is removed in the side fuses of the fuselage. The chassis has a design that is designed for landing at a speed of 4,5 meters per second. The wheels of the main supports were supplied with disc brakes. The gauge size is 4,62 meters.
Construction materials: the share of composite materials in the airframe design is 59 percent.
MV-22 from VMM-162 squadron delivered marines to Nassau amphibious assault ship, January 2010
At the ends of the wing, turbo-shaft gas turbine engines T406-AD-400 (АЕ1107С) from Rolls-Royce are installed in the rotary nacelles. The maximum continuous power of each engine 6150 HP (4400 kW). Motor-nacelles rotate in the range of 0-97 degrees. The AE1107C has an annular combustion chamber, an 14-stage axial compressor, a two-stage power turbine and a two-stage gas generator turbine. The engines are equipped with a Lucas Aerospace FADEC digital control system and an analog (backup) electronic control system.
To reduce the visibility of the V-22 in the infrared region of the spectrum, the nozzles of the engines are equipped with screen-exhaust devices from AiResearch.
Motors are equipped with three-bladed screws. Their blades are made of composite materials based on fiberglass and graphite. The diameter of the screw is 11,6 meters.
The screws are interconnected by a synchronizing shaft, which is laid inside the wing. Motor nacelles are rotated by a hydraulic motor with a screw drive.
There are 13 fuel tank compartments. In the front parts of both fuselage fairings there is a tank compartment (the total mass of fuel placed in these 2860 tanks is a kilogram), in the rear part of the right fuselage fairing there is one tank compartment (925 kilograms of fuel). 10 tanks-compartments are located in wing caissons: 2 external are used as consumables (305 kilograms), 8 kilograms of fuel are placed in each of the remaining 227 tanks. The fitting of the centralized refueling under pressure is placed on the tip of the right wing of the wing, the upper surface of each wing of the wing has one fuel filler. In the nose of the fuselage on the starboard side is mounted the booster refueling system during the flight. To carry out a 3 ferry flight, additional fuel tanks can be installed in the cargo compartment.
MV-22 Osprey - Night Refuel
For control during helicopter flight mode, control systems of cyclic and common propeller pitch are used. Cross-cruise control in cruise flight is due to the deviation of two external elevons. For longitudinal control, a single-section elevator (4,79 square meter) is used; for the track, the 2 elevator is located on vertical keels. The control system for the control surfaces is electro-remote, the drives are hydraulic.
The wing mechanization consists of 4-x sections of elevons (total area - 4,12 м2), the outer pair of which is used for roll control.
The control is carried out using cyclic step handles (control knobs) installed in front of the pilot's seats, as well as engine control levers installed to the right of the pilot's seats. On the control levers of the engines there is a flywheel changing the angle of the engine nacelles.
On vertical take-off and landing aircraft, there are 2-e main independent and 1 reserve hydraulic systems (operating pressure 350 kgf / cm2). The electrical system consists of two alternators (40 kVA power), two alternators (50 / 80 kVA power), rectifiers, converters, and a battery. The soles of the keels and wings are equipped with inflatable de-icing protectors. The front edges of the air intakes of engines, coca screws, blades and frontal glazing of the cabin are equipped with electric heating.
Radio electronic equipment
Modifications of CV-22B and MV-22B have identical main onboard radio-electronic systems. The flight management system has triple redundancy. Radio communication equipment consists of radio communication system ARC-210 (V) having satellite channels (SATCOM), UHF and VHF communication. UHF channel has an automatic frequency control. The navigation equipment includes the instrumental landing system VOR, GPS satellite navigation system receivers and the TACAN tactical navigation system, a radio altimeter and an inertial navigation system that has a triple redundancy.
The 6 is equipped with multi-functional color indicators, which are compatible with night-vision goggles. The infrared front hemisphere AAQ-27 Mid-Wave-length Infra Red (MWIR) is installed in the lower nose of the fuselage.
Takeoff MV-22 from VMM-162 squadron from the supply ship “Mesa Verde”, March 2010 g
Utility cabin and cockpit have a system of protection against weapons of mass destruction (atmospheric air is filtered, in the cockpit creates excessive pressure).
The airborne defense complex consists of the APR-39A (V) - electromagnetic radiation warning receiver, the AVR-2A - laser radiation warning receiver, and the AAR-47 - missile launch warning device. The sensors of the AVR-2A and AAR-47 receivers are installed in the 4-sectors of the vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The devices of the dipole reflectors of the ALE-47 system and the ejection of heat traps are located in the lateral sponsons of the fuselage; manual or 1 from 6 programmed automatic modes is used for shooting.
In the nose of the CV-22B fuselage is a multifunctional radar APQ-186, which provides piloting at different times of the day in different weather conditions. The station scan sector of an antenna is ± 40 ° in azimuth, from -40 to + 23 ° in elevation. Also on the CV-22B installed two additional radio stations ARC-210 (V) and the multi-purpose tactical terminal (Multi-mission Advanced tactical Terminal, MATT). The CV-22B airborne defense complex is reinforced by the 4-I with additional trap shooting blocks, which are mounted on the sides of the fuselage behind the landing gear compartment, as well as behind the side sponsons. On the CV-22B, the electromagnetic radiation warning receiver APR-39 has been replaced by an integrated response kit in the SIRFC radio band, which is capable of automatically finding, classifying, and displaying radio emission sources (functioning radars) in the automatic mode. VTOLV CV-22B to counter missiles equipped with thermal seeker has a system for setting the direction of infrared interference AN / AAQ-24.
Basing on aircraft carriers
To reduce the space occupied by the VTOL aircraft on the vessel, the propeller blades are folded along the wing, and the wing is turned clockwise along the fuselage. It takes 90 seconds to fold the propeller blades and turn the wing.
Installed on the ramp mounted machine gun M240 7,62 caliber mm. In perspective, the convertoplan can be armed with an 12,7-mm machine gun of caliber on a turret mount.
BAE Systems in January 2008 entered into an agreement with the command of the special operations forces of the US Air Force to integrate the Remote-Controlled Defensive Remote Guardian System (RGS, circular attack system) into the V-22 Osprey. The RGS system with a GAU-17 Minigun machine gun of the 7,62 caliber mm is installed under the tweeter's fuselage on an external sling instead of a load securing unit. After takeoff, the turret is extended from under the fuselage and removed before landing, 2 minutes are required for release / cleaning. A joystick is used to control the turret, aiming is carried out through the camera and the screen. The RGS flight and ground test system was first installed at Osprey in February 2008.
- length in the folded position - 19,23 meters;
- width in the folded position - 5,64 meters;
- fuselage length - 17,48 meters;
- wing span and rotating screws - 25,78 meters;
- diameter of screws - 11,6 meters;
- height with engine nacelles mounted vertically - 6,74 meters.
- maximum take-off during vertical take-off - 23860 kilogram;
- maximum take-off during take-off and take-off - 25855 kilogram;
- payload - 8460 kilogram;
- on the external suspension - 4540 kilogram (in case of using the double suspension system - 8150 kilogram).
The reserves of fuel located in the internal tanks:
- CV-22 - 7710 liters;
- MV-22 - 6513 liters;
- in the cab in three additional tanks - for 1630 liters.
- maximum rate of climb at sea level - 975 meters per minute;
- maximum speed - 463 meters per minute;
- practical ceiling - 7,62 km;
- practical ceiling with one engine running - 3140 meters;
- range with 24 paratroopers on board without refueling - 720 kilometers;
- ferry flight range with refueling - 3,9 thousand. Km.
The crew of the convertoplane - 3 — 4 man.
- control cabin - human 2 — 3;
- cargo cabin - 24 paratrooper and flight engineer (12 injured placed on a stretcher).
Two radio stations and an integral counter-response kit in the SIRFC radio band with a noise transmitter.
KMP US aircraft in a demonstration flight over the New River airbase, 18 March 2008. From right to left: MV-22B Osprey, CH-53 Super Starion, CH-46 Xi Knight, AN-1 Cobra
Modifications of the convertoplane
Modification of the CV-22 tiltrotor is intended to replace the MN-53J Pave Low helicopters, and parts of the MS-130P Combat Shadow MS-130E Combat Talon refueling aircraft in the US special operations forces. In their requirements for this modification, the United States Air Force specifically stipulated the tiltrotor's ability to carry out a long flight in the dark and in the conditions of meteorological minimum at low altitudes with high accuracy of navigation while maintaining the flight route and the time to reach the set points. CV-22 can deliver evacuate from a given area or into it 18 fighters of special operations forces with full display. It is noted that most of the assignments tiltroofs CV-22 will perform at night or / and in difficult meteorological conditions.
In addition to the main composition of the on-board equipment, there are a radar station following the terrain and two blocks for shooting heat traps.
The US Navy has developed its own requirements for the Osprey V-22 modification, which was designated HV-22. Convertoplane is designed to provide ships and ships at sea, as well as to perform search and rescue operations. VTOL HV-22 should replace the search and rescue helicopter HH-3. The US Navy in April 2004 changed the designation of its “own” version of the convertoplane to MV-22, as in the marine corps aviation.
For the naval forces, the SV-22 variant was worked out, which was intended for anti-submarine defense of ships in the far and middle zones.
The US Navy and the Marine Corps presented stringent requirements for the deployment of these aircraft on aircraft carriers (amphibious assault ships, amphibious assault carriers). In particular, these requirements concerned the size of the apparatus (accommodation in underdeck hangars and on aircraft lifts). So, the propeller diameter and wingspan of the V-22 was selected based on the requirement that the minimum clearance between the island superstructure and the propeller disk on one side (32,5 cm) and the deck section and the propeller disk on the other side (12,7 cm) be in the takeoff configuration on the flight deck.
The US Army has been studying the possibility of acquiring the 231 convertible UV-22 intended for electronic warfare, transportation, search and rescue operations in the context of enemy opposition. Convertible UV-22 also had to replace the aircraft RC-12, RU-21, OV-1 and some others.
The Army agreed on the ability of the device to lift cargoes weighing 4600 pounds (2086 kg) and to fly for 4-s hours at a height of 30 thousand feet (9144 m) at a speed of 400 km / h. These requirements assumed the creation of a larger aircraft than about the Air Force and Navy, weighing about 18 thousand kg, equipped with more powerful engines. The US Army in the spring of 1983 revised its requirements and exited the program.
There is information that the Israeli air force is showing interest in MV-22, and they plan to use converters to perform search and rescue missions and in the interests of special operations forces.