October 15, 2011

Bell Helicopters Explores V-22 Suitability for RCAF

Bell Helicopters is exploring new possibilities for the Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey. Bell has recently demonstrated the capabilities of the V-22 tiltrotor to the Canadian Forces, and according to a Bell spokesperson, "The V-22 is ideally suited to the Search and Rescue mission in Canada, with its vast distances and harsh environments, and could do the work of several aircraft on a typical mission."

The Bell spokesperson said that a typical Canadian SAR mission includes many steps, including a fixed-wing aircraft for identification and supply drop, and then either a helicopter or ground unit for rescue. “With the V-22 you can get there, land, pick up the people and come home, thereby eliminating a bunch of different steps,” he said.

The Canadian V-22 application is still just an idea however, and the Canadian government has not requested a formal proposal request.

A Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey concept drawing in RCAF Search and Rescue markings
(Photo from Aviation International News)
The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American military tiltrotor aircraft with both vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and short take-off and landing (STOL). It is a very unique aircraft that combines the flexibility of a helicopter, especially in small spaces, with long-range, and efficient cruise capabilities of a conventional turboprop aircraft. The V-22 is powered by 2 Rolls-Royce AE 1107C engines, with a common gearbox so that both rotors can operate with one engine disabled. The V-22 is equipped with a glass cockpit, TACAN, VOR, ILS, GPS and INS navigation, FLIR imagery, a fully coupled autopilot and a fly-by-wire system.

A United States Marine Corps V-22 approaches to land on USS Nassau
(Photo from wikipedia.org)
A United State Marine Corps V-22 being refuelled before a night mission in Iraq
(Photo from wikipedia.org)
The V-22 Osprey is currently being used by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force's 58th Special Operations Wing, and has been studied for use by the United Kingdom's Royal Navy, the Royal Norwegian Air Force, and the United States Army and United States Navy have been looking into V-22 possibilities.

A United States Air Force CV-22 Osprey flying over the Emerald Coast, Florida
(Photo from wikipedia.org)
For more information of the RCAF V-22 possibilities, check out this link: http://www.ainonline.com/?q=aviation-news/aviation-international-news/2011-10-01/bell-explores-new-missions-v-22-tiltrotor. For more info about the V-22 Osprey, see this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_Boeing_V-22_Osprey.

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