Third V-22 Osprey Variant Takes Flight, This Time for the Navy

The third variant of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey took flight for the first time Jan. 21.

The US Navy CMV-22B flew at the Bell assembly plant in Amarillo, Texas. The sea-going variant will replace the Navy’s aging C-2A Greyhound, tasked with flying personnel, mail, supplies, and high-priority cargo from shore bases to ships at sea.

“The first flight of the Navy’s CMV-22B marks a significant milestone for the V-22 program and for Naval Aviation,” said Chris Gehler, Bell V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing deputy program director, in a release. “The Osprey has always been a revolutionary aircraft, and we look forward to continuing to support the evolving needs of the Navy with advanced tiltrotor capabilities.”

The CMV-22B is developed with increased fuel capacity to be able to fly for an extended range to ships at sea, and the ability to carry heavy loads such as engines for F-35s, according to a Boeing release.

Bell Boeing expects to deliver the first CMV-22B to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 at NAS Patuxent River, Md., early this year for developmental test.

This will be the US military’s third tiltrotor variant. The Air Force flies the CV-22, while the Marine Corps flies the MV-22.