Osprey flies with modified nacelle
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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