Before you look at this video, you must be aware they’re not filming the new Transformers movie.
The following footage shows a Bell Boeing MV-22, the U.S. Marine Corps variant of the Osprey tilt-rotor, on the flight deck of the amphibious ship USS Boxer, before taking off.
Filmed during well deck operations, this Osprey was taking part to Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015, a multinational training exercise conducted from Aug. 31 to Sep. 10 by Expeditionary Strike Group 3 (ESG-3) and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (1st MEB) to build U.S., Japan, Mexico and New Zealand’s amphibious, and command and control capabilities through live, simulated, and constructive military training activities.
Maybe it’s because it was taken as it was unfolding its wings, but don’t you think this Osprey looks like a Transformer in the act of transforming?
I saw one of these demonstrate the fold/unfold routine at the Bell plant in Amarillo about a year and a half ago. Pretty wild, but I still have to wonder how much cheaper one of these would be if Bell made a version without the automated wing and blade folding. A version like that might be of interest to customers who don’t have a long-term shipboard operations requirement, or have to stuff the things into the belly of a C-17/C-5 and deploy worldwide.
A V-22 without the folding mechanisms would be lighter, meaning it could carry a heavier payload. I don’t know how much cheaper it would be when you factor in the redesign costs and the expense of modifying the supply chain and production line.
Long term, it might be cheaper because you wouldn’t be having to stock the rotation actuators, or stressing the hydraulic hoses as much without frequent storage excursions.
As an alternative, could you replace the internal mechanism to an external/manually powered one – using something like a big external drill motor to drive the folding mechanism. If you are the Army, you could get by with only one per 3-4 aircraft, since wing folding would only be needed to move the things by air transport.
The answer is yes. Either/or, I bet.