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Old 11-25-2003, 05:03 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Cool Bataan Serves as Temporary Osprey Nest

Bataan Serves as Temporary Osprey Nest
Story Number: NNS031123-02
Release Date: 11/23/2003 1100 AM

By Journalist 1st Class (SW) Mike Kramer, USS Bataan Public Affairs

USS BATAAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft completed its latest series of sea trials Nov. 23, using the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) as a testing platform.

?This was the final flight deck stability test before the V-22 goes into production,? said Bataan?s Commanding Officer, Capt. Earle Yerger. ?Since the V-22 will be operating off LHDs and LHAs, that?s what types of ships were needed for the testing. We were available and we volunteered.?

The V-22 tilt-rotor is a hybrid of helicopter and airplane and was designed jointly by Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. and Boeing Company. It combines standard aircraft cruise flight with vertical take-off and landing, and short takeoff and landing capabilities. Its mission is to support amphibious assaults by transporting personnel and equipment to a battlefield using high speed and high altitude to bypass enemy troops and terrain.

According to Lt. Col. Kevin Gross, the government flight test director for the V-22 Integrated Test Team, the V-22 has twice the speed and range of the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter, the aircraft it will replace, and can carry three times the payload.

?Actually, with our wing tanks, we have almost six times the range of the CH-46,? said Gross. ?We can go 800 nautical miles without refueling. With refueling, we can go 2,200 nautical miles.?

The V-22 was specifically designed to operate from LHD and LHA-class ships, Gross added.

?It was designed with the required distance between the rotor and the island, and between the left wheel and the edge of the ship,? Gross said. ?Those are the two constraints that defined the size of the rotor system, the size of the fuselage and the capability of the aircraft.?

For pilots and Marines going into combat, the V-22 presents a whole new set of capabilities. For aircraft handlers like Aviation Boatswain?s Mate (Handler) Airman Dustin Casey of Air Department, it presents a new set of challenges.

?Its height and length make it more difficult to spot than a smaller plane like the Harrier,? said Casey. ?We have to ease it in and out of the spot, and it?s difficult to see on the other side. It?s sort of like parking a limousine as opposed to parking an economy car.?

According to Bill Spruce, the lead Bell-Boeing contractor for the recent testing phase, the purpose of the trials was to verify the efficiency of new software installed to correct a problem that came to light during a previous testing sequence.

?We evaluated software in the installed flight control system to counteract roll tendency that was noted during a previous phase of testing when airplanes were landing in front of the V-22,? said Spruce. ?In addition, we conducted envelope expansion testing, to increase the wind-over-deck envelope for landings and takeoffs. We also obtained downwash measurements to determine the force of the wind coming off the rotors.
Gross and Spruce both were well pleased with the V-22?s latest round of sea trials.

?We were just here for a short time to do very focused tests, and this was just a very small period in our overall flight test program,? said Gross. ?We?re working hard to make a safe, affordable, reliable aircraft, and every day we fly it, we gain more and more confidence in it.?

?The testing went very well,? said Spruce. ?The support we received on the Bataan was exceptional, in every aspect.?

For related news, visit the USS Bataan (LHD 5) Navy NewsStand page at


SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............
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