Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Status

July 19, 2004

FARNBOROUGH AIR SHOW - July 19, 2004 - The V-22 Osprey tiltrotor has been back flying for over two years, with 18 aircraft currently on flight status. More aircraft are added to the fleet every month with flight-testing continuing for another 16 months before the Osprey enters operational service.

V-22 OspreyAs a tiltrotor, the V-22 Osprey combines turboprop airplane and vertical lift technologies into one efficient, extremely capable aircraft. The V-22 provides significant improvements in combat capabilities, including speeds and range two to three times more than that of conventional helicopters as well as increased payloads, survivability, self-deployability, reliability and maintainability.

The V-22 can fly at speeds of more than 250 knots. It can fly with its rotors at angles from zero to 95 degrees, depending on the speed required.

The V-22 meets mission requirements of both the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). Currently, 458 aircraft will be built; 360 for the Marines and 50 for the Air Force. An additional 48 will be built for the U.S. Navy. The aircraft are assembled at Bell's new state-of-the-art Tiltrotor Assembly Center, Amarillo, Texas.

Three V-22 aircraft have been delivered to Marine Corps Air Station, New River, North Carolina, assigned to VMX-22, the USMC squadron with responsibility for conducting the important Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) mission to test the V-22 in all types of military environments. This will occur during the January-May 2005 timeframe.

Two V-22 Osprey aircraft from the EMD (Engineering Manufacturing Development) phase of the program are currently based at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland for flight-testing as well as five LRIP (Low Rate Initial Production) aircraft. Two other EMD aircraft were converted to the U.S. Air Force CV-22 configuration. Both of these aircraft are based at Edwards AFB, California, for fight testing and evaluation.

The V-22 was developed and is being produced by the world's only tiltrotor manufacturers, Bell Helicopter, located in Fort Worth, Texas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., and The Boeing Company in Philadelphia, Penna., which produces rotorcraft and other advanced aerospace products.

Although the initial Ospreys will be delivered to the Marines for their use in amphibious operations that support the "Forward...From the Sea" doctrine and AFSOC for long-range insertion and extraction of special teams, the aircraft's baseline design will allow it to meet joint service requirements well into the next century. Other future missions include anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare, aerial refueling, and aeromedical evacuation.

Tiltrotor technology is considered "dual-use" technology since it has capabilities that can contribute significantly to both military and civil applications. Worldwide civilian uses include offshore oil field support, emergency medical evacuation, regional passenger/cargo transport, search and rescue, emergency disaster relief, anti-drug efforts and opening up locations, which possess no formal transportation infrastructure.

Military and civil tiltrotor technology offers new capabilities never before thought possible and will certainly take 21st Century flight to a new dimension.

Current V-22 Program Status:

 - A "Way Ahead" schedule for the V-22 has been agreed to between Bell Boeing and the US Government. This agreement includes a "Block" upgrade program that will (1) ensure the aircraft is operationally deployable, (2) improve effectiveness and suitability and (3) provide mission enhancements.

- V-22 aircraft in flight test have successfully performed critical testing of High Rate of Descent (HROD), shipboard operations, Paraops, low-speed maneuvering and testing of SOF-mission specific equipment.

- The US Government has authorized Bell Boeing to continue low rate production of at least 11 per year which will grow to 48 per year after 2011.

- Including FSD, EMD and Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL), V-22 aircraft have flown approximately 7,000 hours, participated in extensive ground-based and shipboard tests, achieved speeds of 342 knots (402 mph; 647 km/hr), altitude of 25,000 ft., gross weight of 60,500 lbs. and a G maneuver load factor of +3.9 at 260 knots. External loads of 10,000 lbs. have been carried 50 nm at 230 knots.


Connect with Textron IR

David Rosenberg, Vice President, Investor Relations
(401) 457-2288
Kyle Williams, Manager, Investor Relations
(401) 457-2288

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