1/72 Italeri V-22 Osprey
Gallery Article by Steve Eggers - December 29, 2009
Plane Type: Helicopter; Plane Name: V-22 Osprey; Scale: 1/72; Kit Manufacturer: Italeri
Building Italeri’s 1/72 V-22 Osprey Bell Helicopter – Textron MV/CV-22 Osprey Flight Test Production Specialist
Kit: Italeri V-22 Osprey
kit #: 068
Price: around 15.99
Decals: One version, Paris Airshow 1995
Review and Photos by: Steve Eggers
Notes: Early FSD V-22 Osprey Box Art shows FSD Aircraft #2, but kit in box is actually FSD #1.
The V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft is a true marvel. The ability to take off and land vertically, fly twice the speed, carry three time the payload and travel five time the range of a helicopter is what makes the V-22 unique and important.
Bell Helicopter’s history with the tiltrotor began in 1953 when the XV-3 rolled out. The XV-3 validated tiltrotor technology. Following the end of the XV-3 program in 1966, a new more advanced tiltrotor program was already a year old. The XV-15 placed the engines at the wing tips and proved maturity for the tiltrotor. During the course of the XV-15 program, the military began to notice the capabilities of the tiltrotor. In 1986, the Department of Defense had approved a full-scale development (FSD) program, officially named the V-22, for the services.
The first flight of the V-22 took place in 19 March 1989 with FSD aircraft #1, Bureau Number 163911. A total of five FSD V-22’s were built, followed by four Engineering Manufacturing and Design (EMD) MV-22 was produced. The early FSD V-22 are disposed of as follows:
- FSD #1 (BuNo 163911) is located at MCAS New River sttting in a field.
- FSD #2 (BuNo 163912) was destroyed through normal testing of the airframe.
- FSD #3 (BuNo 163913) is in a museum in Pennsylvania.
- FSD #4 (BuNo 163914) was destroyed in Quantico, Virginia.
- FSD #5 (BuNo 163915) was destroyed on it maiden flight.
- FSD #6 (BuNo 163916) was never fully completed due to funding issues and its wing was used for ballistics studies.
V-22 EMD aircraft 7 and 9 have been converted to CV-22 specification and are currently at Edwards AFB, Ca, while EMD aircraft 8 and 10 are assigned to Pax River, MD. Of the 21 LRIP MV-22 that have been manufactured, BuNo 165443, 165444, 165837, and 165839 have been modified from LRIP configuration to EMD-RTF configuration.
In 1999, Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) was begun and so far 45 LRIP MV-22 Osprey’s have been manufactured. LRIP V-22 aircrafts 90011 thru 90020 have been delivered to MCAS New River, aircraft 90021- 90024 are modified to EMD Return To Flight (RTF), and aircrafts 90025 – 90045 are in preservation. Aircraft 90034 and 41 have been de-preserved and are currently undergoing Block A modification at the Tiltrotor Center of Excellence in Amarillo, TX.
Currently, EMD aircrafts 8, and 10 at Pax River and EMD CV-22 aircrafts 7 and 9 are currently in flight-testing at Edwards AFB under the RTF program and all four EMD-RTF aircraft 21, 22, 23 and 24 are/will be in flight test at Pax River.
Italeri’s offering of the V-22 depicts a V-22 Osprey prototype. The kit is molded in gray plastic and has distinct features of an FSD V-22, large look-down windows on the nose, the engine nacelles have two oil cooler intakes just aft of the proprotor, the main landing gear is forward in the wheel well and has a large one-piece main gear door, the ramp in one piece and the elevator has a large hump on it , as well as the mid-wing has a large hump, the empennage has antennas in the leading edge (no, they are not de-ice boots!) and there are some variations in the windscreen.
To build this kit as a production MV-22 or even a CV-22 will require a lot of modification, that’s a later story!
What the box art portrays and what is in the box are two different V-22’s. The box art shows the Paris Air Show V-22 that is FSD aircraft #2. The V-22 in the box is FSD V-22 #1. Aircraft one has two windows on the right side of the fuselage and three windows on the left side. Aircraft two had the forward window on the right side and the center window on the left removed. If one so desires, follow the instructions, leave the windows in and paint it gloss white or an ugly gray and green camouflage and you got FSD aircraft one.
To build FSD #2, remove the forward window on the right side of the fuselage and the center window on the left side. Also, you will need to move the pitot/static tubes from the nose, just forward of the windscreen to two on each side of the fuselage, just below the lookdown windows.
Construction of this aircraft was straight out of the box. There were no real fit problems encountered. When attaching the empennage to the aft section of the fuselage, take care to make sure that it is square with the rest of the aircraft. The fit of the wheels to the landing gear struts is a kind of hit or miss type deal. It is almost as if they have their own peg to attach to the strut. As far as relocating the pitot/static tube, I have a couple of V-22 kits sitting around. I just robbed another tube out of a spare kit. Other than those minor issues, the Italeri kit is overall a very good V-22 kit.
The above picture is me standing in front of aircraft 90016 just before a test flight.
Painting & Decals:
During aircraft 2’s life, it carried two different paint schemes. The first was an overall white with bright red nose, outboard vertical tail and both sides of the rudders for identification purposes. In 1995, it was changed to a dark ghost gray over light gray paint scheme, more resembling today’s MV-22 paint scheme. The proprotors are an overall flat black with a white-red-white tip, as well as, the spinner and cuff panels. The leading edge of the wing is flat black to represent the deice boots. The vertical tail leading edge is also flat black for the VHF antennas, not deice boots. I painted my V-22 to represent the 1995 Paris Air Show livery, dark ghost gray over light gray.
The kit decals are very good and adhere well to the model. I used a little bit of decal set to help them adhere and contour to the surface.
Working for Bell Helicopter – Textron at the final assembly site for the V-22 Osprey gives me a unique opportunity to see every step in the final assembly and flight test of these amazing aircraft. One might ask, “Why then would you build a prototype rather than a production version?” Well, the answer is simple, I don’t want to go through the process of converting a prototype kit to production standards. I’ll wait until Italeri releases their updated Osprey. Besides, only two of the original FSD V-22’s still exist, which makes it a more unique subject.
About the Builder:
After graduating from High School in 1989, I enlisted in the USAF in 1990 as an Aircraft Guidance and Control Specialist. After completing technical training at Keesler AFB, MS I was assigned to the 463d TAW, 463d AGS, Dyess AFB maintaining C-130H Hercules aircraft. After completing 5 years at Dyess, I was reassigned to the 93d Air Control Wing, 12 ACCS, Robins AFB maintaining the E-8C Joint STARS aircraft for three years. I left the USAF in 1999 and am currently employed with Bell Helicopter – Textron as a V-22 Flight Electrician / Production Specialist. I have put MV-22 aircrafts 90012 – 90022 and 90024 through functional test and flight test. I have been employed there for three years and I am grateful for having the opportunity to flight test this amazing aircraft. It is a leap in technology that will enable the Marine Corps and Special Forces the capability they need to carry out the missions of the 21st Century.
ARC Air Forum Name: Steve_Eggers
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Photos and text © by Steve Eggers.