Osprey brings distinctive capabilities to fight

  • Published
  • By Courtesy of the
  • 8th SOS
For several years now, Air Force Special Operations Command has awaited the delivery of an aircraft with revolutionary vertical lift capability known as the Osprey.

As the 8th Special Operations Squadron works with others to deploy the aircraft, it's important to realize that the Osprey is a tilt-rotor, not a helicopter or an airplane.

The Osprey is a completely new type of flying machine that will bring distinctive capabilities to the fight. When I say "new," I mean new to AFSOC's inventory.

The Osprey has roots that date as far back as the early 1950s. According to Bell Helicopters, the XV-3 was the first tilt-rotor that successfully converted from vertical to horizontal flight in 1958.

Tilt-rotor technology has been in development ever since.

In 1981, the Department of Defense initiated the Joint Services Advanced Vertical Lift Aircraft Program, or JVX.

The primary objective of JVX was to fulfill United Sates Special Operations Command's need for an aircraft capable of self deploying and executing clandestine missions under one period of darkness. The CV-22 fulfills these objectives and is capable of much more.
With this transformational technology, the 8th SOS will be able to execute a wide range of missions including long-range infiltration and exfiltration, personnel recovery, psychological operations, airdrop and shipboard operations.

The CV-22 is capable of adverse weather terrain-following operations cruising at 270 mph at a range of more than 1,000 miles, providing vertical lift capability at twice the speed of conventional helicopters.