The US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has taken delivery of its first CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to undergo nacelle improvement modifications.
According to photos shared by the 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, airmen assigned to the 20th Special Operations Squadron had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the modifications at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Jan. 7, 2022.
The improvements should increase aircraft availability and reduce required maintenance actions, leading to increased flying hours.
Delivery of the first aircraft is the result of an $81 million contract awarded to Bell Boeing in January last year, for the development, design and installation of nacelle modification kits. The deal also included installation conversion area harnesses on the CV-22 Osprey.
“This complex effort will improve both the reliability and maintainability in one of the most critical areas on the aircraft,” said Col. Matthew Kelly, V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275) program manager, said last year. “This contract implements the most comprehensive maintainability improvement since CV-22 fleet introduction 14 years ago; it will quickly pay readiness dividends for the fleet.”
The V-22 nacelles house the power and propulsion components of the aircraft and the conversion area includes complex wiring bundles routing from each nacelle, feeding power through various elements of the aircraft. Together, the nacelles and harnesses are crucial and complex elements, responsible for giving the V-22 its unique ability to fly vertically and horizontally.
In addition to AFSOC, the Marine Corps and Navy are also looking to incorporate the nacelle and wiring improvements onto the MV-22 and CMV-22B variants.