A test CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft will be flying over the Allegheny Mountains through the month of August as airmen from the 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., check out the new aircraft’s terrain-following radar during early morning fog. The 418th FTS airmen are operating from the Winchester (Virginia) Regional Airport and flying over military routes in the Allegheny Mountains. Air Force Special Operations Command has already taken delivery of some new CV-22 Ospreys for training, but it doesn’t expect to begin using the new aircraft for combat operations until 2009. The Marine Corps variant, the MV-22, is slated for use in Southwest Asia this fall.
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.