Advanced Manufacturing

(Image courtesy: The Boeing Company)

New $115-million V-22 facility will improve Osprey quality, efficiency, and safety

A 350,000-square-foot facility outside Philadelphia has been transformed into a modern factory where the Boeing Company will build fuselages for the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and modernize current MV-22 aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps fleet.

“Boeing’s $115-million investment supports U.S. and international demand for the unrivaled capabilities of the V-22,” says David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager of Boeing Vertical Lift. “We started this project two years ago in a mothballed building. Now, it is a state-of-the-art manufacturing center for the only in-service tiltrotor aircraft in the world.”

 

V-22 manufacturing facility

Interior and exterior improvements for the V-22 production facility increase energy efficiency and incorporate key safety and environmental provisions. The renovated factory includes new wash/de-paint and final paint booths to support a MV-22 modification program. (Image courtesy: Fred Troilo/The Boeing Company)

 

The new factory will consolidate production, therefore improving safety and productivity, lowering operating costs, and reducing Boeing’s environmental impact while producing standardized fuselages for Navy, Air Force, Marines, and international Osprey customers.

 

Learn more about the V-22's development

 

It will also be home to the Common Configuration – Readiness and Modernization (CC-RAM) program that standardizes the Marine Corps Osprey fleet by upgrading previously built aircraft to the new Block C configuration. This continues CC-RAM work that began in 2018 with nearly $70 million to improve reliability, readiness, and affordability of the platform.

 

 

“The V-22 readiness program is our number one priority,” says U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Matthew Kelly, V-22 Joint Program manager. “The CC-RAM program is key in meeting our readiness goals and returning capable and reliable aircraft to Marine units around the world.”

According to Pat Walsh, retired Admiral and Boeing vice president for U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Services, the V-22 is “one of the most in-demand assets for the U.S. military.” It is a joint service, multirole combat aircraft that uses tiltrotor technology to combine the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft. With its nacelles and rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter. Once airborne, its nacelles can be rotated to transition the aircraft to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.

 

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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.

Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at william.kucinski@sae.org.