Transmission clutch problems landed US Air Force CV-22 Ospreys
WASHINGTON — The US Air Force Special Operations Command [AFSOC] announced on August 16 that the CV-22 Osprey floating wing has been grounded. The reason for this decision is the problems with the clutch in the transmission. The Navy and Marine Corps continue to operate these machines.
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In the last 1.5 months, there have been two incidents related to the ineffective operation of the hard clutch in Ospreys. In the AFSOC Command announcement, we learn that no one has been injured in connection with these events thanks to the very high skill of the CV-22 pilots. However, there is no indication of the cause of the malfunctions, meaning there is no indication when the floating wing modules will be returned to service.
The Navy and Marine Corps, on the other hand, continue to use Osprey convertibles. The Marines are aware of the issue and have trained their pilots to be able to participate in the activities despite the specifics of the clutch operation.
Additionally, there have been two recent crashes involving the CV-22 Osprey family. The first of these happened in March in Norway. The second occurred in South Carolina on June 8, when a USMC MV-22B crashed.
There were 5 US Marines on board during the routine training flight. The cause of this crash, in which the entire crew died, is unknown. This Osprey was part of Marine Aircraft Group [MAG] 39 based at Camp Pendleton MCB.
The Osprey is the first mass-produced rotary-powered aircraft. It has 12-meter diameter rotors attached to engines and drive trains in nacelles at the wing tips. This machine takes off and lands like a helicopter when the nacelles with the engines are vertical [rotors in a horizontal position]. Currently, only the United States of America and Japan use it.
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