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Sun, May 02, 2004

V-22 Passes 2,000 Hour Milestone

First 1,000 took 18 months, second 1,000 took only 5 months

On April 22, during a flight by one of VMX-22's Block A (newest model) MV-22s, the V-22 fleet surpassed the 2,000-flight hour milestone since the program's return to flight in May of 2002.  The mark includes hours flown by the MV-22 Integrated Test Team based at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, the CV-22 ITT based at Edwards AFB, California, and VMX-22, the Osprey Test and Evaluation squadron based at MCAS New River, North Carolina.

"This is a great milestone," said Kevin Morgan, V-22 Flight Test Director, from his Pax River office.  "This achievement is the direct result of our disciplined approach to test."  Morgan noted that it took 18 months to accumulate the first 1,000 hours but only 5 months to log the second. "We have more airplanes now, but we've also really hit our stride in the last few months," he said.

While VMX-22 remains involved in preparations for the Osprey's operational evaluation early next year, the ITT continues to realize success in developmental test.  Osprey No. 24 returned on April 29 from a productive six-month icing detachment in Halifax, Nova Scotia while Osprey No. 10 has nearly finished its high-wind testing in Lubbock, Texas.  Future ITT efforts in support of VMX-22's OPEVAL include Phase IV of shipboard suitability, formation flight, austere landings, air-to-air refueling using the new retractable probe, and mission software validation.

"The two thousand hour milestone not only demonstrates incredible teamwork by the ITT and VMX-22," said Col. Craig Olson, USAF, V-22 Joint Program Manager, "it also provides an opportunity to reflect on what those flight hours have accomplished toward changing perceptions toward the revolutionary capabilities of the V-22."

FMI: http://www.navair.navy.mil/

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