Benny's Favorite Airframe

By Benny the Beaver

It’s time again for Benny the Beaver to answer a question from one of his readers. One reader poses the question: “What is Benny's favorite jet, plane, or helicopter?” This question actually took Benny a few minutes to answer. Benny finally stated that he would choose the recent tiltrotor aircraft made by Bell Helicopter and the Boeing Corporation, the V-22 Osprey. The V-22 Osprey is currently used by the United States Air Force and the United States Marine Corps.

The V-22 Osprey is the world's first production tiltrotor aircraft. This aircraft sports a 3-bladed proprotor, turboprop engine, and transmission nacelle on each side of the fuselage. These turboprop engines are Rolls-Royce AE 1107C that are connected to a common central gearbox so that one may power the other in case of engine failure. The cockpit of this amazing ride is outfitted with four multi-functional displays which are compatible with night vision goggles, along with a shared central display unit.

This plane has three standard flying positions thanks to the nacelles. With the nacelles in a fixed 90 degree position, it is possible for the V-22 Osprey to be flown similar to a helicopter. The nacelles can also be moved to a zero degree position, which allows the tilt rotor to be flown as though it were an airplane. The final position has the nacelles in a 97.5 degree position, giving the aircraft the ability to fly backwards. As for utility purposes, the V-22 Osprey is a multi-mission aircraft, primarily used for transport. In terms of armament, the Osprey can be fitted with either one 7.62X51mm NATO M240 machine gun or a .50 caliber M2 machine gun on its loading ramp.