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Osprey flies with modified nacelle

27th January 2022 - 12:40 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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A USAF CV-22, pictured completing the first flight with incorporated nacelle improvements in December 2021. (Photo: Bell)

Nacelle modifications for the CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor are intended to cut maintenance times and enhance availability of the aircraft.

Bell has completed its first nacelle improvement modifications on a USAF CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and the company announced on 26 January that it has begun work on a second aircraft.

Following the work at the Bell Amarillo Assembly Center, the first modified Osprey returned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon AFB on 13 December 2021.

V-22 nacelles house critical power components for the aircraft’s vertical take-off and landing capabilities and transition to forward flight.

About 60% of maintenance man-hours on the CV-22 are spent on the nacelles. Bell stated that the ongoing modification programme benefits V-22 fleet maintainers and operators ‘by reducing maintenance time and costs while simultaneously enhancing flying readiness rates’.

US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) awarded Bell Boeing an $81 million contract in December 2020 to complete nacelle improvements on the CV-22 fleet. The contract covers the completion of non-recurring elements, fabrication of nine kits, and installation of one kit.

Work on the contract could continue beyond 2025 if NAVAIR exercises options for fabrication and installation.

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