(K)V-22 Osprey tanker tests.

Aviation Week has an article on the recent tanker trails of the V-22 Osprey. Boeing wants to push the Osprey as a truly multi-role platform.

Here are some pictures from the trails with an accompanying F/A-18 Hornet:

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The refueling system makes use of onboard tanks as well as a roll-on/roll-off bladder, Sparks says. The hose extends 90 ft., about 80 ft. from the end of the ramp of the MV-22. The operator must open the ramp to extend the refueling hose; once extended, the ramp is then raised back up with the top ramp door left open, Sparks says.

Depending on mission profile, the system can offload up to 12,000 lb. of fuel, Karika says.

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The F/A-18 Hornet was used to test behavior at that distance below and behind the V-22. More testing with fixed and rotary winged aircraft are slated for the future.

After all, no one kicks ass without tanker gas.

6 Comments

Filed under Airplanes, Bugs...er...Hornets, Flying, Marines, Naval Aviation, Navy, Plane Pr0n

6 responses to “(K)V-22 Osprey tanker tests.

  1. Dust

    All,

    being completely IT impaired this is a feeble attempt to share a good piece from a gent I consider a new friend and writes much like our late dear friend who would/will appreciate the tale of a Marine AV8 driver when his instrument package $h!tz the bed on a transpac in bad WX.

    http://www.marcusallensteele.com/god-is-a-steely-eyed-fighter-pilot-seriously/

    • Bill Brandt

      Quite a story Dust – when those things do happen one is left to wonder the source…and choose. I’m with Diamond.

  2. Dust

    Btw seems appropriate to link this on the Mav’s tanker piece.

    Regards to all,

    Dust

  3. Bill Brandt

    The Osprey started out as one of those defense projects that tend to make my cynical. Way over budget, Congress kept it alive because of the jobs in certain districts – but I have to say it is proving itself.

  4. ejesegundo

    Having passed a little gas from time to time, I’m a bit surprised to find that I kinda like the idea. If the KV-22 goes to the fleet there will be a whole new generation of stormy night alert five tanker stories. Imagine horsing that 60k pig off the angle in crap wx with a bolter pattern full of snake-killing bug drivers!

  5. Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) Debate
    The fleet of the future will require reliability, versatility, flexibility, and capability in order to stay out in front of the threat. When we place this prospect within the Pacific Basin we add a whole new dimension to the equation, and divert fields may be far away. Other “Flies in the ointment” are specific and unique logistics requirements for things like outsized cargoes of the future. The F-35’s F135 engine in its shipping container for example. Then let’s add different operating environments that must be supported like an underway Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) that may, or may not be in the immediate vicinity of each other, or the beach, and that also needs some of that unique logistics support in the form of a peculiar outsized cargo because they fly a similar aircraft with the same engine.
    The Pacific Basin with its vast reaches and large areas with no land around, or volcanic atolls that maybe a V-22 could set down on the beach, become the AOR. We are talking about the Marine Amphibious World they used to be comfortable in, and are now going back to in a big way. The flexibility of supporting things with flight decks large and small become much more important and add weight to this factor in the decision making greatly.
    The F-35 is the name of the game for the future in the Marine Corps earlier (2015), and the US Navy later (2017). The F135 engine cannot be placed in either a 260kt cruise speed C-2 Greyhound or 280kt cruise speed V-22 Osprey intact. However, the 350kt cruise speed S-3 Viking rebuild with a larger fuselage can provide the required support . . . and much more. The S-3 aircraft is reliable and has long legs. The GE TF-34-101 has better performance (thrust, specific fuel consumption, and logistical support) than its predecessor that powered Vikings of old. Development and construction of a new and modern S-3 Viking capable of carrying the encapsulated F135 engine is very possible and within a rather short period of time. Lockheed has already spent some time on this and dropping the flag on this rapid prototype project would come on more quickly than a whole new airframe, but time is getting short.
    Flexibility of fleet logistics support, within the context of underway units across a disparate group of aviation capable platforms, is the problem which our solution must fix. Fixed wing is obviously inappropriate for this solution alone. Other considerations in the flexibility argument is support of deployed expeditionary units that may have a vertical landing spot, and if it does, it may support more than just helos. The KV-22 can carry an underslung F135 engine capsule as well.
    Then finally the unforgiving Pacific Basin. Fuel is the key to success if you wish to have the largest probability of survival. How many times in the past did the tanker and a troubled jet head for the beach that was far away? One doing more with less is the secret to efficient use of our resources. The United States Navy has been without a robust and capable tanker aircraft since the retirement of the KA-6D and the S-3Bs. Time to build a mini KC-46A (multi-function tanker) for the Navy.
    The new KC-3A will be a tanker and a COD. The VRC Squadrons will become composite squadrons operating KC-3A and KV-22 aircraft. The roll-on/roll-off equipment will be interchangeable except for the strap down fuel tanks themselves. Control consoles and some support equipment will be the same. This solution provides flexibility and capability to every CSG that they have not enjoyed for some time. A COMBI KC-3A could escort a jet back to the beach and take cargo in half the cargo space on a single longitudinally loaded 463L pallet at the same time. The flexibility of KV-22s to ARGs is already showing possibilities. Training for COD pilots would be platform specific, but require Tanker Specific Training for the flight crew and refueling operators, if that is how it is configured. Everything may be run from the flight deck. The PMA-275 office can manage the KV-22 part of the program and a new PMA-XXX must be stood up for the KC-3A.
    Results will be greater flexibility by the VRCs to be able to get the cargo to wherever it needs to go. The CSGs and ARGs will not have to rely on the ‘Hub and Spoke’ supply chain saving time and fuel (less cost with greater flexibility). The flexibility to resupply all forces anywhere will be added to the VRC tool kit and they will have to DET to the underway platforms, thus expanding the Battle Force Commanders ability to accomplish his mission effectively and efficiently. Many future logistics problems will have a ready solution where in the past the enemy could count on our logistical train to act in a certain way due to equipment capabilities and limitations. Development of a pressurized version of the KV-22 will extend its legs and facilitate the development of and introduction of the EV-22 for the MAGTF in support of Amphibious Operations in the future.
    The VRC Squadron makeup will be somewhat different. Both will contain KV-22s and KC-3As, but the West Coast’s VRC-30 will be KC-3A heavy.
    This solution provides the greatest versatility, flexibility, and capability with two aircraft that have, or are currently, building very impressive reliability numbers and are both faster than the C-2 Greyhound. This provides a more efficient force in time response and fuel expenditure for underway logistical support.

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