V-22 Osprey surpasses 500,000 flight hours

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey family has surpassed a major operational milestone, having logged more than 500,000 flight hours.

The flight hours are logged from over 375 V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, including operational aircraft from the US Air Force Special Operations Command (USAFSOC) and the US Marine Corps (USMC).

CV-22B [Khalem Chapman]
Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey [registration: 11-0050] of the 7th Special Operations Squadron "Aircommandos," based at RAF Mildenhall, UK, displaying at RIAT 2015. Khalem Chapman

This is a major milestone for the platform, being the only tiltrotor aircraft currently in full-rate production. V-22s have recently clocked up flight hours assisting in humanitarian relief efforts in the Bahamas following the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian.

To mark the occasion, Kristen Houston, vice president, Boeing Tiltrotor Programs and director, Bell Boeing V-22 Program said: "Since delivery of the first V-22 aircraft, Bell Boeing has ensured that our men and women in uniform have this indispensable asset available to protect heroes and save lives."

USMC Col Matthew Kelly, V-22 Joint Program Manager added that: “The V-22 provides unmatched capability for the US Marines and US Air Force Special Operations Command... The platform’s influence on our nation’s defence is seen through its extensive operational and humanitarian impact across the globe."

CV-22B Osprey [Khalem Chapman]
Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey [registration: 11-0061] of the 7th Special Operations Squadron "Aircommandos," based at RAF Mildenhall, UK, displaying at RIAT 2017. Khalem Chapman

The V-22 officially entered operational service with the US military in 2007. Two variants were inducted, the MV-22B Osprey for the USMC and the CV-22B for the USAFSOC. A third variant is set to join the US Navy in the form of the CMV-22B from 2020, executing carrier onboard delivery (COD) tasks and replacing the Grumman C-2A(R) Greyhounds currently conducting the role.

The Osprey has also attracted international interest, with Japan's Self-Defense Force's placing an order for five aircraft.