First Presidential V-22 takes flight
Aircraft 197, the first MV-22 to be assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX) 1, hovers over the runway during a test flight at the Bell-Boeing V-22 assembly plant in Amarillo, Texas, on Jan. 22. The aircraft, crewed by pilot Marine Corps Maj. Chuck Bodwell, co-pilot Capt. William Thomas and crew chief Staff Sgt. Ronald Benton was performing a governmental test flight prior to expected delivery to the Marine Corps in February 2013.
The aircraft engine nacelles and tail empennage are painted in the iconic green of the Presidential Squadron; the remaining parts of the aircraft will be painted before delivery. More than a dozen MV-22s, the Marine Corps variant of the V-22 Osprey, will be assigned to HMX-1.
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The MV-22s will be assigned to the executive support squadron, providing logistics and passenger support to Marine One flights and will be responsible for flying very important persons (VIPs) to various locations in and around Washington, D.C. The MV-22s will replace the CH-46Es operating with the squadron.
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Source : Naval Air Systems Command