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Presidential V-22 Makes First Flight

Will Fly Support Role Transporting Washington VIPs

Aircraft 197, the first MV-22 to be assigned to Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX) 1, has made its initial flight, hovering over the runway 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.

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. It is not expected that the President will fly on the aircraft. The MV-22s will replace the CH-46Es operating with the squadron.

According to a report last month in The Hill, John Rader, Bell-Boeing's vice president for the Osprey, told reporters in Washington that the aircraft will be configured in essentially the same way as combat aircraft deployed on active duty.

(Image provided by Bell Helicopter)

FMI: www.navair.navy.mil

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