Sleek and slightly futuristic, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is a multi-mission, military, tiltrotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It’s designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft. The Osprey is the world’s first production tiltrotor aircraft, with one three-bladed proprotor, turboprop engine, and transmission nacelle mounted on each wingtip. It is classified as a powered lift aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration. Continue reading for a fascinating video and more information.
The V-22’s two Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines are connected by drive shafts to a common central gearbox so that one engine can power both proprotors if an engine failure occurs. However, if a proprotor gearbox fails that proprotor cannot be feathered, and both engines must be stopped before an emergency landing. The aircraft’s autorotation characteristics are poor partly because the rotors have low inertia.
The V-22 has a maximum rotor downwash speed above 80 knots, more than the 64 knots lower limit of a hurricane. The rotorwash usually prevents usage of the starboard door in hover, instead the rear ramp is used for rappelling and hoisting. Boeing has stated the V-22 design loses 10% of its vertical lift over a tiltwing design when operating in helicopter mode because of airflow resistance due to the wings, but that the tiltrotor design has better short takeoff and landing performance.
The V-22 is equipped with a glass cockpit, which incorporates four Multi-function displays (MFDs, compatible with night-vision goggles) and one shared Central Display Unit (CDU), allowing the pilots to display a variety of images including: digimaps centered or decentered on current position, FLIR imagery (from the Turreted Forward Looking Infra-Red System) primary flight instruments, navigation (TACAN, VOR, ILS, GPS, INS), and system status.
The flight director panel of the Cockpit Management System (CMS) allows for fully coupled (autopilot) functions that take the aircraft from forward flight into a 50 ft (15 m) hover with no pilot interaction other than programming the system. The glass cockpit of the canceled CH-46X was derived from the V-22. The fuselage is not pressurized, and personnel must wear on-board oxygen masks above 10,000 feet.