Military

Rotorcraft Report: V-22 Self-Deployment Not Without A Hitch  

By Jim McKenna | August 1, 2006

One of two U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys on a mission to self-deploy to the United Kingdom took an unscheduled detour to Iceland after suffering compressor stalls over the Atlantic.

The V-22 contractor team of Bell Helicopter and Boeing wanted the aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show to show off to potential international customers. The Marines took the opportunity of that request to refine refueling and self-deployment techniques and procedures for the Osprey. Top Marine officials have committed to deploying V-22s to combat in Iraq within about a year, and the service is mulling whether they will be transported there or deploy on their own. So the visit to Farnborough and the Royal International Air Tattoo that preceded it became a showcase for that deployment capability.

Transcontinental flights from MCAS New River, N.C., where Marine Tilt-Rotor Operational Test and Evaluation Sqdn. 22 (VMX-22) is based, to NAS Miramar, Calif. and refuelings on the way proceeded without a hitch.

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But after the aircraft and their KC-130 tanker departed Goose Bay, Canada for a planned 9-hr. flight to Farnborough on July 10, one of the aircraft experienced compressor stalls in its right Rolls-Royce AE1107C turbofan engine. About 4 hr. into the flight, the crew made a precautionary landing at NAS Keflavik, Iceland. A spare engine was shipped there for changeout.

The other Osprey continued uneventfully to Farnborough.

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