Tilting in the President’s Favor

Le Bourget, France The Marine Corps has introduced the first MV-22 tiltrotor aircraft that will support the mission of Presidential airlift, said USMC Col. Gregory Masiello, joint V-22 program manager. Already, the first two of 12 MV-22s destined for this role have joined HMX-1, Marine Corps Helicopter Squadron One, at Quantico, Va., he told reporters here on June 17, the first day of the 50th Paris Air Show. These aircraft are “not intended at this time for transport of the President,” but will rather carry out “different missions in support” of that, he said. The third MV-22 is expected to join HMX-1 this month; all 12 airframes are anticipated in place around this time next year, said Masiello. The MV-22s in this role offer the advantage of being able to travel great distances from one city center to another without the need for the infrastructure associated with fixed-wing aircraft, he said. The marines have 214 V-22s in operational service today out of their total planned buy of 360, said Masiello. A Bell-Boeing team supplies the MV-22. (For more coverage of Masiello’s briefing, see Osprey’s Appeal Grows.)