The Bell Boeing V-22 program, a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter [TXT] and Boeing [BA], recently said it received a $34 million order from the Air Force for three new CV-22 training devices and upgrades to three existing devices.
The Air Force currently performs aircrew training activities at Kirtland AFB, N.M., on a CV-22 Cabin Part Task Trainer (CPTT). The new contract will upgrade that device and two additional fuselage aircrew/maintenance trainers, for a total of three full-fuselage Cabin Operational Flight Trainers (COFT), ensuring continued concurrency with the aircraft platform
The two new COFTs will be installed at Hurlburt Field, Fla., and Cannon AFB, N.M., with initial training expected to begin in mid-2014.
The CPTT is the only device that provides V-22 emergency egress training. Its additional training capabilities include cargo loading, cargo air delivery, virtual fast ropers, combined real and virtual hoist operations, medevac configuration, lighting, communications, night vision, emergency procedures, and refueling and defueling procedures. All of these capabilities will be included in the upgraded and new COFTs.
“The new COFTs will be made from the first CV-22 test flight vehicles,” said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president for Training Systems & Services. “The upgrade to the CPTT will be accompanied by the delivery of a new Wing Part Task Trainer, and will include enhancements to provide high-fidelity training in nearly two dozen tasks.”
These improvements will increase the reality of mission rehearsal and allow the COFTs and CV-22 aircrew trainers located at the same bases to be networked together for more robust training capabilities, the companies said. The wing trainer is a new maintenance trainer capability for the Air Force; the Marines already train on one for the MV-22.
More than 145 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft are in operation today. Marine MV-22s are deployed in Afghanistan with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit for contingency operations, while Air Force Special Operations Command CV-22s are deployed in ongoing Special Operations missions.