One of the more interesting flying machines, as well as one of a kind, is the US Marine Corps Bell Boeing V22 Osprey. The V22 Osprey project started in 1982 as a joint venture between Bell and Boeing as part of the Advanced Vertical Lift Program. The original purpose of the V22 Osprey was to carry out special missions as a kind of assault transport plane/helicopter. During its development, there were a number of fatal accidents and an 18-month grounding in order to deal with safety issues.
The V22 Osprey has a transport aircraft style fuselage, carries up to 24 troops, has two swiveling helicopter-style rotor pods containing turbo shaft engines, and its wings are controlled by a flap and aileron system.
V22 Ospreys take off and land vertically just as a helicopter, but once aloft can fly like an airplane. The US Department of Defense has issued more than 450 contracts for the V22 Osprey for the Marine Corps, 50 for US Special Operations Command, and 48 for the Navy.
More History Behind the Osprey
According to Wikipedia, a tiltrotor aircraft was needed because of . . .
“The failure of Operation Eagle Claw during the Iran hostage crisis in 1980 underscored the requirement for a new long-range, high-speed, vertical-takeoff aircraft for the United States Department of Defense. In response, the Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. A partnership between Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopters was awarded a development contract in 1983 for the V-22 tiltrotor aircraft. The Bell Boeing team jointly produce the aircraft. The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began flight testing and design alterations; the complexity and difficulties of being the first tiltrotor for military service led to many years of development.
The United States Marine Corps began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007; it supplemented and then replaced their Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knights. The Osprey’s other operator, the U.S. Air Force, fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in transportation and medevac operations over Iraq.”
The following video shows the V22 Osprey starting up and taking off.
The New Osprey
In 2015, a project between Sikorsky and Boeing to create a new version of the vertical lift aircraft was announced. See “Sikorsky-Boeing Future Vertical Lift: The Way Forward” below.