September 19, 2005
Air Force receives custom-made CV-22s
By Bruce Rolfsen
Times staff writer
The first production CV-22 built expressly for the Air Force has been delivered to the service.
The tilt-rotor CV-22 was turned over to the Air Force on Monday, Sept. 19, at CV-22 production plant in Amarillo, Texas.
This CV-22 will be assigned to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., the schoolhouse unit for CV-22 crews, Air Force officials said.
The Air Force is already flying two CV-22s as test platforms at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Those aircraft were originally built as Marine Corps MV-22s and then retro-fitted as CV-22s.
The two versions of the aircraft have several differences. For example, the Air Force version flies with a flight engineer while the Marine Corps aircraft doesn’t have an engineer crew position.
The CV-22 is built by Bell Helicopter and Boeing Co. The Air Force Special Operations Command expects to acquire 50 of the aircraft to replace its MH-53J Pave Low helicopters and take over some missions now flown by MC-130 special operations airplanes.