Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey - Development and Proposed Variants

JC Carbonel

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7 September 2006
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I photographed this years ago at the Paris air Show but I never found any other reference to it (like designation, specs, 3 views....) I dimmly remember a reference to the cargo bay being kept in the design and could be used as bomb or torpedo(!!!) bay ....

any info ?

Wow, nice model.

I had been designing conceptual vehicles for a game I worked on last jenuary and had come up with a concept for a cross between a V-22, a Cobra and an A-10 for a bit of a laugh, had no idea there was a similar gunship design in the works aside from the V-44 AC-130 style attack aircraft.

My little design ;D

Additional info on the above V-22 varient would be of interest.
JC Carbonel said:
I never found any other reference to it (like designation, specs, 3 views....)

It was known as the "AV-22," an attack/escort version. "Wings" or some such magazine long ago (late '80s?) ran a very nice article on the V-22 program, including an irritatingly small three-view painting. I'll see if I can find it.
What do you think about this ?.


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It is indeed a model of the "AV-22" escort-gunship that uses the dynamic components of the V-22 (common parts for engine, drive-train, tail section and avionics) on a modified V-22 frame. It is a wonderful dream at this point for the USMC, as they are fielding the Osprey and financing the CH-53K and H-1 series development. Although I believe the Marines have a requirement for an escort aircraft capable of operating with the V-22 on the books, I suspect it will not happen (at least on V-22 dynamics) because if it is not a Joint program or immediate requirement (i.e. 53K) it is not politically viable. Certainly the US Army won't buy them as they have not seen fit to have a requirment (or vision) for an aircraft of that magnitude. However it is not impossible that a smaller aircraft based on the Agusta/Bell BA-609 tiltrotor might become an option in several years.

A 13X - great picture! Makes the ol' Cobra pilot in me ponder a great 'what if'. Of course it seems to have an over abundance of installed power, but with military aircraft growing by 100 lbs a year that is probably not a bad thing. :D
The first two images posted by Dragon look like LHX submissions and the last two look like an armed escort variant of the XV-15.
Looks cool. The only plan to install big gun in the V-22 that I saw was the deffensive GAU-19, mounted on the nose.

Here is another unconventional AEW version.

To dragon72: That are not AV-22. First two pictures seems to me like Bell BAT variations and second two are Bell D-314.


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I don't think that the "AV-22" was ever an official program of any kind. Operationally, I think the problem would have been finding the ship space for very large escort aircraft - although it is aimed at a basic problem of the V-22, which is that it is faster than the helicopters that are supposed to provide fire support on landing.
I have also seen concepts of the SV-22 ASW version, which was dropped because it was too heavy (too much topweight) for any conceivable cruiser or destroyer.
There were also at least two late-1980s civil versions: one a simple V-22 adaptation and another with non-folding wings and a larger pressurized fuselage.
LowO is correct that it was never an official AV-22 program. Other than the small issue of funding the point about the spaces onboard the ships also mitigated against it. Of course it would have replaced the AH-1 fleet and possibly the Harrier, so there might have been room. Any chance of the AV-22 died when all the S&T for tilt rotor went into fixing the bugs that almost terminated the greatest advance in VTOL in the last thirty years. Conjecture on my part of course.

The AWACS-22 was an attempt to demonstrate that it (the V-22 platform) had the versatility to conduct numerous mission sets. The idea of a VTOL AWACS able to operate off any ship with enough space, intrigued some in the Navy.
You'll also note the insignia on the V-22 AEW brochure (and the accompanying fighter, which further dates it).
Its just unimportant detail, but I dont think so. The general configuration of model 988-373 was finished in December 1998 and was firstly officially presented in 4th February 1999. In October 1999 it was replaced with slightly different model 988-374 which was the final F-32 configuration till the end of the development. This is what I based my estimation on. So the artist that made V-22 AEW drawing had theoretical chance to see and use 373 configuration from December 1998 practically till autumn 2005, when I think I included this scans into my archive.
The V-22 AEW remembers me very much of the Avpro drawings at the end of the 90's.
You all remember, Avpro did a lot of drawings of the FOAS, FCBA, Raf's C-17s, a V-22 for the Royal Marines, the Marauder, the EXINT and the famous trimaran concept of a British CV.

So the V-22 AEW was a British concept to succed the Seaking AEW.

Harper Collins, London, 2000
Bell Helicopter artist's rendering


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dragon72's first pic on reply #7 is "A Bell/DARPA/Army/Marine advanced, low-observables configured gunship proposal from 1988"

Source: Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. Bill Norton. Aerofax (pg 80)

Are those rotors cropped for display or was it actually able to do a conventional landing in a pinch?

It is truly a shame that the XV-15 did not see production. I was quite decent and the USCG certainly considered it ideal for its needs, but no one else wanted it. (Of course the V22 had scaleability issues).

Would it have had enough carrying capacity to be a good ASW or ground attack craft?
The rotors are indeed cropped. I actually got to sit in that mock up in the Bell Plant as a young lieutenant. Other than it all being wood, I was very excited at the possibilities.

Ironically the Army asked RAND to do some analysis for them. Of the ten mission types looked at only two were deemed to be better suited to the conventional rotorcraft. Those two were the reconnaissance and security mission. Since the LHX was to be primarily a scout aircraft, this gave the conventional rotorcraft elements within the Army what it needed to dismiss the tilt-rotor concept. Even thought the study highly recommended to the Army it continue to investigate the technology for other missions, it was quickly dropped. It is widely known within Army Aviation that there was far more to the decision than capabilities and limitations of technology. Politics and bias (as they do today) played a role.
Regarding the XV-15 going into production, it was never intended to and produceability was not a consideration in its design. In fact, many parts of it were scavenged from other programs and aircraft. Although arguably NASA's most successful aircraft, it was always intended to be strictly a technology demonstrator. They weren't looking for anything more than that. In fact, NASA was originally going to ground the second XV-15 after it finshed a series of tests, and Bell leased the aircraft from them and explored more of the envelope and did those demonstrations that generated so much favorable publicity.

Regarding LHX, the Tilt Rotor proposal (maybe two, Boeing has always been circumspect about whether they actually would formally propose a Tilt-Rotor, although they were designing a small one). For reasons never fully explained, the Army suddenly lowered its requirements from what was originally announced to what a conventional rotorcraft could achieve, and gave no credit for anything beyond that. They also gave very high emphasis to hovering performance. A Tilt-Rotor can hover all day, but in those days not as efficiently as a conventional helo because of the downwash over the wing (they've improved proprotor design since then). Combat experience has shown that mobility/agility is more important than hovering efficiency in the scout/attack role. In addition, the Army lowered the maximum allowable weight to just below what an LHX sized Tilt Rotor would weigh, and also restricted how powerful the engine the contractors could propose to use could be to just below what was planned for a Tilt-Rotor. Ironically, before it was canceled, the Comanche had exceeded the weight limit and was as heavy or heavier than a Tilt-Rotor would have been. To lift this weight, the Army allowed the engine to grow into the range that the Tilt-Rotor designs would have used.
From Graham Warwick's Blog at Flight...

Tilt and fold - high-speed rotorcraft concept dusted off
Sources tell me DARPA is about to award Bell Boeing a small contract to study a stop-fold tiltrotor. Or restart studies, I should say, as both companies have previously looked at tiltrotors that stop and fold their rotors to go faster.

In 1972, Bell tested a 25ft-diameter stop-fold rotor in a NASA Ames windtunnel. This demonstrated the feasibility of stopping the rotor and folding the blades back along the nacelle to reduce drag, and then redeploying the blades and spinning up the rotor.

The concept was shelved because the technology was not available to overcome the added complexity and weight of the stop-fold mechanism, and the lack of an engine able to convert from driving the rotor to producing thrust.

Now it looks like tiltrotor experts Bell Boeing will get a chance to dust off the concept, apply technology now available, and perhaps run another windtunnel test. With the demise of Boeing's stopped-rotor Canard Rotor Wing, it's another way to get to a high-speed rotorcraft.
With Sikorsky's X2 demonstrator (an attempt to revive its Advancing Blade Concept which didn't do too well before) at least a year behind schedule if still proceeding, X-Wing turning out to be a flop, Tilt-Wing seemingly impractical and now work ending (again) on stopped rotor, looks like Tilt Rotor is It for high speed rotorcraft.
It appears that DARPA has jumped back into rotorcraft. From Mr. Warwick's blog, and the thread elsewhere in this forum, it appears that there is a significant amount of concept work going on in disk technology as well. While the X-2 effort is slowed from the original schedule, I suspect that this is more to do with software issues and IRAD cash available at Sikorsky. I read somewhere that Jeff Pino (CEO Sikorsky) has also mentioned they are re looking at their work in expanding rotor systems, that allow tilt rotors to have larger rotor diameters for hover work and smaller ones that allow a tilt rotor to have turboprop cruise efficiency also landing conventionally as well. They had invested a fair amount of engineering work in that when the rotorcraft S&T dollars dried up, having been absorbed in the all consuming Comanche program.

The exciting thing about all of this to me is that; after retreating into hiding following the RAH-66 Comanche debacle, the US rotorcraft community appears to be attempting to move into the 21st Century (albeit with 20th Century technology).
Expanding or telescopic rotors may well be a solution for the dilemma of
the tiltable rotor (too small for a hover, too large for cruising) . To my opinion,
he main problem for all stowable or foldable rotors will be the transition. The
aircraft would have to fly at quite high speeds, so aerodynamic loads on the
rotor during the transition from rotor- to pure wingborne flight will be high.
I think, aircraft like those shown below,a stowable rotor aircraft from Boeing
Vertol ( from Aviation Week 1967 18-26) and a trailing rotor design from Bell
(from FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL 1965), might have encountered even more
severe problems during development, than the canard rotor wing.


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X2 is moving again. The trouble is that it still retains the classic disadvantage of the compound helicopter: you can drive to high speeds, but the drag of the rotor eats your lunch in terms of efficiency and range. The solutions are to get the rotor to behave more like a wing (Heliplane, CarterCopter), fold and stow (scary) or turn rotor into prop (Tilt-Rotor).
LowObservable said:
X2 is moving again. The trouble is that it still retains the classic disadvantage of the compound helicopter: you can drive to high speeds, but the drag of the rotor eats your lunch in terms of efficiency and range. The solutions are to get the rotor to behave more like a wing (Heliplane, CarterCopter), fold and stow (scary) or turn rotor into prop (Tilt-Rotor).

I take it they are still having trouble dealing with the hub drag...
I found the old RAND study I had referred to earlier in the thread. I have pulled from the report what I have always found to be rather contradictory comments. This report was the "nail" that sealed the case for conventional rotorcraft....

LHX Helicopter and Tilt Rotor Flight Simulation Experiment, Viet, Callero, Rose and Jamison, RAND Arroyo Center, Report R-3617-A, August 1989.

Page V – “Our primary recommendation is that the Army develop and procure a new advanced conventional helicopter rather than a tactical tilt rotor or an Apache upgrade to meet LHX requirements. This choice is supported by all aspects of our study…”

From the Summary of the same document Page IX –“The flight simulator experiment consisted of 17 missions tasks that pilots flew in both helicopter and tilt rotor simulators. The mission tasks fall into two categories. Ten Maneuver Mission Tasks…(and) Seven Engagement Mission Tasks…”

From the Summary of the same document Page X – “A total of 3347 simulator flights were made; 272 2were flown for the record.” “The helicopter significantly outperformed the tilt rotor in four of the seventeen tasks. “The tilt rotor significantly outperformed the helicopter on average on eight of the 17 tasks.”

Further down Page X – "The four Army pilots who flew the simulator maneuver and engagement tasks participated in a judgment study designed to elicit their opinions about the relative effectiveness of the LHX helicopter and tilt rotor. In various operational situations that might be encountered in a combat environment. On eight of the ten situations presented, pilots judged the tilt rotor to be more operationally effective than the helicopter.”
The problem is that the army decided to rig the LHX program against Tilt-Rotor after preliminary discussions indicated there were two Tilt-Rotor proposals that would far outclass conventional helos. There might have also been a fear that two competitors might team, thereby eliminating "competition".

Basically, the Army rewrote the original requirements to eliminate virtually any mission need that gave an advantage to Tilt-Rotor (speed, range, load carrying capability maneuverability at speed, vertical performance, agility, etc). and now emphasizing things that were in a helicopter's favor (hovering performance, empty weight, power required). As a result, all Tilt-Rotor proposals were dropped by the bidders, because they knew they couldn't win.

As I mentioned elsewhere, ironically Comanche grew in weight and power required (but not in performance). To the point that it required more than a Tilt-Rotor would.
LowObservable said:
X2 is moving again. The trouble is that it still retains the classic disadvantage of the compound helicopter: you can drive to high speeds, but the drag of the rotor eats your lunch in terms of efficiency and range. The solutions are to get the rotor to behave more like a wing (Heliplane, CarterCopter), fold and stow (scary) or turn rotor into prop (Tilt-Rotor).

The US Army has been working on developing a very large advanced transport rotorcraft under the program name JHL (Joint Heavy Lift). Sikorsky proposed two X2 technology variants, both of which were rejected (understandable since they haven't yet been able to get a demonstrator in the air and the histroy of the XH-59 was not too encouraging. Ironically, given their cynicism towards the technology in the best, they are now proposing a Tilt-Rotor, with variable diameter rotors, as another poster mentioned.
Good discussion here on JHL:,2765.msg22117.html#new

Actually there are two efforts that will go forward for further analysis (both TR) and Sikorsky appears to be planning on re-investigating the variable diameter rotor concept although I am not aware of that being directly related to the JHL effort.

I can tell you that the US Army is starting to realize that with the larger battlefields it must operate on with smaller forces (remember most of the Army rotorcraft are designed for the Central European Cold War battlefield where a division occupied 25Km) occupying much larger spaces, there may be a need for different assets. This is why the Piasecki X-49A has not been packed off, and some in the rotorcraft industry are starting to look for longer endurance, faster rotorcraft platforms.

Ironically the arguments that the Army used to remove tilt rotor from the LHX competition can now be used to support its viability for follow on systems.
Have found Interesting GD paper - "Advanced Turreted Gun Systems for All-Composite Aircraft(sic!), RAH-66 & MV-22"
A bump to this thread, as a good place to discuss the origins of the V-22 program... in particular the HXM and its implications for the establishment of the JVX program (whick became the V-22 series).
yasotay said:
A bump to this thread, as a good place to discuss the origins of the V-22 program... in particular the HXM and its implications for the establishment of the JVX program (whick became the V-22 series).

I've been away for a while, but while I'm back here its the story of HXM and how JVX was born (kinda long):

What would eventually be come JVX actually started out as a Maine Corps program in 1968 called HXM, which apparently stood for Helicopter eXperimental Marines. It was planned to reduce all USMC transports down to one model, and was intended to succeed the CH-46. The final requirements for HXM, which were all the Marines originally wanted form what would become JVX are below. One note on these specs: The USMC is much more concerned with “real world” rather than artificial environments. Whenever almost anyone else states requirements, they do it in terms of sea level, standard day. The USMC states its requirements (including these) in terms of 3,000 ft. 91.5 degree day:

Payload: 18-24 fully equipped troops

Radius with above, 200 nm

External lift: 10,000 lbs.

Endurance: 3 hrs

Cruise speed: 180 knots

Shipboard spotting factor relative to H-46 1.0-1.2

Note that this was beyond what any rotorcraft of the time could do, but was expected to be within the reach of advanced conventional rotorcraft of the future. Note also that Tilt-Rotor was not specified. In fact, at this point in time, the leading candidate was the proposal that later surfaced as the Boeing Model 360. The speed was what was thought to have been achievable from an advanced rotorcraft of an unspecified type, of which there were gangs of proposals.

HXM began in 1968. In 1971 USMC was directed to join Army in their upcoming transport helicopter program, UTTAS, which eventually would become the UH-60. Army chose a conservative route which would not meet USMC needs. In 1972, Navy comes up with Sea Control Ship concept and HXM is joined with Navy HSX (Helicopter Sea eXperimental) to operate form Sea Control Ship. Sea Control Ship sinks of its own weight and HSX goes away. Navy then plans two V/STOL aircraft, V/STOLs A & B, the former being a subsonic support aircraft, the latter a supersonic fighter. HXM becomes part of V/STOL A. V/STOLS A&B then crashed and burned; HXM reemerges. During this decade Congress under prodding from unnamed lobbyists, directs USMC multiple times to study using UH-60 for Marines’ mission. All studies, done by USMC and independent organizations show that this won't work. Unless you redefine the mission down to what the UH-60 can perform rather than what the Marines need, so Congress in 1979 gives permission for USMC to finally proceed with HXM, with FY 1982 set for HXM competition.

In December 1981, the new Administration took a look at the HXM program and decided funding an unique vehicle jut for the Marines wasn’t justified, and directed that it be combined into a joint program for the AF, Army, Navy and Marines with a common aerodynamic vehicle with custom equipment as needed for each services particular needs. The USMC vehicle requirement would be the baseline. This became JVX, which was more capable, flexible (and expensive) than the Marines HXM. The original planned program was:

USMC: 552 a/c replacing CH-46 & CH-53A/D
USA: 200 a/c configured for the SEMA (Special Electronics Mission Aircraft) role and 24 “regular” JVXs for MEDEVAC.
USAF: 200 configured for SOF and CSAR replacing HH-3, HH-53 and HH-60 (1980s designations).
USN: 50 configured for CSAR and logistics, replacing CH-46.

Although USMC had a requirement for more a/c than all other users combined, Army was put in charge of JVX for a couple of reasons. First, the Army had more experience in running a new-design a/c program from scratch. Second, up to this point the Army had been a strong champion of advanced rotorcraft in general and Tilt-Rotor in particular (by this point people were starting to realize what they could get with Tilt-Rotor). AVRADCOM was a big player in the advanced rotorcraft field and probably had the most expertise of any Government agency

In fact, it was the Army that had saved Tilt-Rotor. NASA had originally been developing the XV-15, the technology demonstrator of the technology. NASA leadership, in those days, thought practical development of technologies was somehow “beneath” them, they were a pure research organization, and actually developing something to the point of practical operation was something they didn’t really want to deal with. So, after the XV-15 proved itself the most (some wags said “only”) successful aerodynamic program in its history, NASA was simply going to put the whole thing on the shelf and go on to other things. The Army came in at this point with money to help fund a joint program with NASA to further refine the concept on one of the XV-15s. The other XV-15 was to be sent to a museum when Bell came in and leased it back from NASA and did its own development work as well as flying it around the country showing what they had achieved.

However, the Army was now starting to show some reluctance. Although only scheduled to get 26% of the JVXs, the program structure planned for ti to foot 46% of R&D. So, funding was changed to 50% Navy/USMC, 34% Army and 16% Air Force.

NASA and Army planned a simulated “fly-off” between various competitors concepts. A major assumption had to be made, though. This assumption was that the competitors’ concepts would actually work. With the exception of Tilt-Rotor, all other unconventional rotorcraft concepts had a best failed to deliver or at worst had been outright flops. Still, for the purpose of this "flyoff", it was assumed that the technologies would perform as advertised. The results showed that while some technologies could perform various aspects of the JVX mission better than others, only Tilt-Rotor could perform all of them.

Bell, meanwhile had upgraded its HXM proposal (they always wanted to go with Tilt-Rotor) into the Model 327. At this point the US Government started to heavily push for “teaming” arrangements between various aircraft manufacturers. Well, the two companies with the most Tilt-Rotor experience were Bell and Boeing. They made the logical decision to team. They then produced their joint proposal, the model 901-X. The only problem with this was that now the only two competitors that had a technology capable of meeting the requirements were no longer competitors and were submitting a joint bid. Since no one else had a technology capable of meeting the need, and the Government wasn’t willing to abandon mission requirements just so that someone else could bid, the other competitors simply didn’t bid.

Sometime after this, the Army pulled out. There were probably a number of reasons. One was that USAF didn’t like the performance of the Army SEMA version (being too close to what they thought was “their” mission) and lobbied against it, and that version was eventually killed. Secondly, without the SEMA mission, the rest of the Army JVX needs could be filed by “vanilla” JVXs. Since that version was going to be developed no matter what, why not just save the R&D money, let the Navy fund that portion, and buy the USMC version? Finally, JVX was looked at by the Army as a way to fund their Modern Technology Engine (MTE). It was thought by the army that his engine could also be used on their CH-47s and a growth version could be used on the next heavy lift helicopter. In addition it was thought this could be used to power the P-7, and re-engine C130s, E-2s and the like.

The two MTE candidates for the JVX were the GE27 and the Pratt & Whitney PW3005. In addition, a derivative of the Allison T56 was in the running for JVX, although it wasn’t an MTE. On December 20, 1985 the Commander of NAVAIR briefed the Secretary of the Navy on which engine was to be selected for JVX. Rumor has it that it was the GE MTE. After SECNAV received the recommendation, the selecting official was replaced and SECNAV made himself the selecting official. At 4 PM on Christmas Eve, it was quietly announced that the T56 derivative (then designated 501-M80C but today known as the T406) would power JVX. This decision had profound effects on the JVX’s capabilities which are outside the scope of this post. In any case, at this point the Army didn’t see much in the program for it, so it pulled out, choosing instead to use the money on the poorly conceived LHX program which predictably came to naught.
Thanks so much. That was very insightful. I actually knew about 50% of the information, but had never put the pieces together. Interesting, I am reminded of the old addage: "deja'vu all over again." It seems we repeat history on a regular basis.
yasotay said:
Thanks so much. That was very insightful. I actually knew about 50% of the information, but had never put the pieces together. Interesting, I am reminded of the old addage: "deja'vu all over again." It seems we repeat history on a regular basis.

You want another example of "deja'vu all over again"? As I said in my post the rumored original selectee for the powerplant for the JVX was the GE27, one of the MTEs. When the Allison engine (today called the Rolls-Royce AE 1107C-Liberty), was specified and the P-7 antisubmarine plane was canceled, the GE27 design went into mothballs.

Well now Sikorsky is developing the CH-53K. When looking for an engine to power it, they rejected the AE 1107 in favor of the new General Electric GE38-1B, even going so far as to suggest that this engine could also be used to power the V-22. The GE38-1B is an updated version of (you're getting ahead of me here)... the GE27.
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