Here are the first images of the aircraft that will replace the Grumman C-2A Greyhound COD aircraft during its first flight.
On Dec. 19, 2019, the first Bell’s CMV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor variant #169435 destined to Carrier Onboard Delivery service took to the air at Bell plant in Amarillo, Texas. The exclusive images you can find in this post, taken by photographer Rodney Bastow show the Navy’s tilt-rotor aircraft sporting its high-visibility COD color scheme during its maiden flight.
The U.S. Navy is getting 39 CMV-22 out of 58 Ospreys included in a 4.2B USD contract signed by the Pentagon in 2018. The tilt-rotor aircraft will replace the venerable C-2A Greyhound COD aircraft, the last of squadron of those is scheduled to be retired in 2024 about three years earlier than the previously announced 2027 retirement.
While its aircrews train with Marine MV-22 Osprey crews, the Navy has established its first Osprey COD squadron, the Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 “Titans”, that will operate the CMV-22B, with an official ceremony . Compared to the current aircraft, the C-2A Greyhound, the CMV-22B has an increased range, more cargo capacity, enhanced beyond-line-of-sight communications, and offers quicker cargo loading and unloading, according to the Navy. “The most notable structural difference between existing V-22 variants and the CMV-22B that can be seen in the photo is the bulbous fuel tank extensions to the forward portion of the sponsons on either side of the aircraft” Tyler Rogoway and Joseph Trevithick wrote commenting the first shot of the CMV-22 on the ground at Amarillo they posted in an article at The War Zone recently.
According to a USNI News article, the first three CMV-22B aircraft are expected to deploy in 2021, along with the F-35C on board USS Carl Vinson. Indeed, unlike the C-2A, the CMV-22B will adequately support the Carrier Variant of the F-35 Lightning aircraft, thanks to its ability to carry the Pratt & Whitney F135 engine.