MV-22B, Bureau Number 164940, is one of four Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) test aircraft and the 8th Osprey built. Manufactured in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Arlington, Texas. Its first flight was on 23 August 1997 in Arlington, Texas. After several shakedown and envelop expansion flights, it was ferried to Patuxent River on 13 September, 1997. It then spent its entire 20 year life serving as a dedicated test and evaluation aircraft, heavily instrumented for the extensive EMD flight test program conducted here at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River and other test sites around the United States. It's final flight was on 3 August 2018.
Aircraft number 8 or "Eight-ball"
as is was known to the entire test team, had over 1,300 analog instrumentation sensors installed, such as strain gauges, accelerometers, pressure and temperature gauges that helped engineers to analyze and understand aircraft and propulsion system loads, stresses and strains, and how the aircraft performed in all types of flight conditions. It also was capable of onboard data recording and inflight real-time telemetry to ground stations. You can see some of this instrumentation in the pictures on the other sign.
demonstrated a maximum airspeed of 354 knots, along
with other envelope expansion and flying qualities testing including high angles of attack, buffet, aerial refueling, cold weather operations, external loads and structural landings. It was instrumental in defining the Height-Velocity diagram for V-22s. While in formation flight with another V-22, "Eight-ball" was used to examine the change in flight characteristics caused by the wake interaction with the rotor's super vortex. This aircraft was the first V-22 to demonstrate most high-risk in-flight profiles, including defensive combat maneuvers and even a 360 degree aileron roll.
As of 2019,
over 350 V-22 vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft currently in service have accumulated more than 450,000 flight hours across a broad spectrum of missions during the last 30 years. With their unique tiltrotor design, V-22s take off and land like a helicopter and fly like a propeller-driven aircraft. These characteristics offer the tactical flexibility to deploy with a smaller logistical footprint and without a runway to access areas that are unreachable with any other aircraft.
was transferred to the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron TWO ONE (HX-21) on 8 June 2019. The museum is indebted to the many personnel from HX-21 and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) who prepared this aircraft for display
at the museum. Hark Holladay, V-22 Flight Test Engineer Lead at NAS Patuxent River, provided the flight test history for this amazing aircraft which has conducted the most extreme, difficult, and riskiest flying of any V-22 so that the rest of the V-22 Osprey fleet is safer and more capable.
This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Triangle, Virginia
· Primary mission: Marine Corps medium-lift assault support
· Crew: Pilot, Copilot, Crew Chief; up to 24 troops
· Max. Gross Weight: 60,500 pounds vertical / 60,500 pounds For Short Takeoff (STO)
· Dimensions: 63 feet length, 84.6 feet wing span, 38-foot diameter rotors
· Propulsion: Two Rolls-Royce Liberty AE1107C engines, 6,200 horsepower each
· Cruise Airspeed: 280 knots Ceiling: 25,000 feet Range: 860 nautical miles