We climbed into the cockpit of a V-22 Osprey -- the US military tiltrotor aircraft that takes troops into combat

Daniel Brown/Business Insider

One of the aircraft that the US Navy showed off at Fleet Week in New York City in May was the V-22 Osprey, the US Marine Corps’ main assault support aircraft.

And we got a chance to climb in the cargo bay and cockpit.

The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft that blends “the vertical flight capability of a helicopter with the speed, range, altitude and endurance of an aeroplane,” according to Bell Boeing, the V-22’s manufacturer. “This allows more effective mission execution and realisation of missions previously unachievable in one aircraft.”

The Corps is even considering turning the Osprey into a gunship by equipping it with rockets, guns, and missiles.

Check it out below:


Manufactured by Bell Boeing, the Osprey first flew in 1989 and has since been deployed by the Marines in 2007 and the Air Force in 2009 in both combat and rescue operations.

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Source: Business Insider


It’s about 63 feet long, about 84 feet wide when the rotors are turning, and about 22 feet tall when the engines are vertical.

Daniel Brown/Business Insider

Source: US Navy


It’s powered by two pivoting Rolls-Royce/Allison AE1107C engines, giving the Osprey to a top speed of about 322 mph and a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet.

Daniel Brown/Business Insider

The rotors are also about 38 feet in diameter.

Source: US Navy


It also has a maximum range of about 990 miles and a maximum vertical takeoff weight of 52,600 pounds.

Daniel Brown/Business Insider

Source: US Navy


And it has a crew of three — a pilot, copilot, and crew chief.

Daniel Brown/Business Insider

Source: US Navy


There are different variants of the Osprey, but the one we saw was an MV-22B in service with the Blue Knights squadron.

Daniel Brown/Business Insider

The aircraft drew quite the crowd, but the Marines let me jump the line since I only needed a minute or two inside.

Daniel Brown/Business Insider

Here’s a shot of the cargo bay, which holds up to 24 troops or 20,000 pounds of cargo.

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And here’s a shot of the modern glass cockpit, with multiple display screens.

Daniel Brown/Business Insider

You can watch an Osprey takeoff from and land on the USS Abraham Lincoln below:

While the Osprey has faced challenges since it first flew, including several crashes (the most recent one killed three Marines), it’s now generally considered one of the safest aircraft in the US fleet.

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