WASHINGTON: An undisclosed number of V-22 Ospreys across three services will halt operations until a component tied to the engine is replaced, a defense official said Saturday, as part of an ongoing effort to address a hard clutch engagement issue that first alarmed the Air Force in summer 2022.
At issue is the input quill assembly, which attaches the Osprey’s engine to its prop-rotor gearbox. The V-22 Joint Program Office on Saturday announced a time limit for these parts’ use, after a recent data analytics effort showed a clear connection between the age of the input quill assemblies and the aircraft’s likelihood of experiencing a hard clutch engagement.
The Defense Department is not disclosing the flight hour limit at which the input quill assembly must be replaced, nor how many of about 400 total aircraft across all the services will require this immediate maintenance work.
Still, a defense official, who spoke to a small group of reporters on condition of not being named, said Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force Special Operations Command squadrons will continue training and operations with aircraft that have not met that time threshold as the others are replaced.
The Marine Corps has an inventory of 296 MV-22s, according to its spring 2022 aviation plan. Air Force Special Operations Command has 52 CV-22 aircraft, and the Navy is in the midst of receiving the 44 CMV-22s it purchased to support carrier strike groups.
The decision, which was made over the course of the past week, followed the recent completion of an analysis by the V-22 Joint Program Office’s engineers into the hard clutch engagement problem, of which the services have seen an uptick in occurrence.
- News Agencies / Defense News