On April 29, Osprey No. 24 returned to NAS Patuxent River
following its second six-month season of icing tests around
Halifax, Nova Scotia. Pilots for the transit were Maj. Frank
Conway, USMC, and Maj. Steve Augustine, USMC. Flight test engineer
Jason Patterson performed crew chief duties.
During this period the V-22 Integrated Test Team explored what
effect degraded systems modes had on the airplane's ability to shed
ice. The main two test points focused on the loss of a
variable-frequency generator, which forces alternate instead of
simultaneous de-icing of the prop-rotors, and the loss of the
prop-rotor parting strip - the device that continuously prevents
ice from forming on the leading edge of the prop-rotor.
Marine officials said test results were satisfactory and after a
comprehensive data analysis and PEO/OPTEVFOR review, the program
expects to issue the Osprey's initial icing flight clearance.
(Visible in the picture above is the orange windshield
wiper fairing, a modification made during the test period that
prevents ice from accumulating on the wiper blades during extended
flight through icing conditions)