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V-22 Surpasses 2,000 Flight Hours

Navy Newsstand

Story Number: NNS040504-02

Release Date: 5/4/2004 8:07:00 AM

By Ward Carroll, Naval Air Systems Command Public Affairs

PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (NNS) -- April 22, during a flight by one of Tilt-Rotor Operational Test Squadron (VMX) 22's Block A (newest model) MV-22s, the V-22 fleet surpassed the 2,000-flight hour milestone since the program's return to flight in May of 2002.

The mark includes hours flown by the MV-22 Integrated Test Team (ITT) based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., the CV-22 ITT based at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and VMX-22, the Osprey Test and Evaluation squadron based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C.

"This is a great milestone," said Kevin Morgan, V-22 flight test director, from his Patuxent River office. "This achievement is the direct result of our disciplined approach to test." Morgan noted that it took 18 months to accumulate the first 1,000 hours but only five months to log the second. "We have more airplanes now, but we've also really hit our stride in the last few months," he said.

While VMX-22 remains involved in preparations for the Osprey's operational evaluation early next year, the ITT continues to realize success in developmental test. Osprey No. 24 returned April 29 from a productive six-month icing detachment in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while Osprey No. 10 has nearly finished its high-wind testing in Lubbock, Texas. Future ITT efforts in support of VMX-22's OPEVAL include Phase IV of shipboard suitability, formation flight, austere landings, air-to-air refueling using the new retractable probe, and mission software validation.

"The 2,000-hour milestone not only demonstrates incredible teamwork by the ITT and VMX-22," said Air Force Col. Craig Olson, V-22 joint program manager, "it also provides an opportunity to reflect on what those flight hours have accomplished toward changing perceptions toward the revolutionary capabilities of the V-22."

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