From Aviationweek.com 2005 May

The U.S. Air Force is scheduled to stand up a squadron May 20 at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., to train pilots to fly the CV-22 Osprey.

The 71st Special Operations Squadron, part of the 58th Special Operations Wing, will begin its work with several flight simulators. It is due to receive its first aircraft by June 2006, said Ward Carroll, spokesman for the Navy-led V-22 program office.

"They'll be coming alive little by little," Carroll said May 9.

CV-22 pilots will be trained on the basic handling of the tiltrotor aircraft at the Marine Corps' MV-22 training facility at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. The Kirtland squadron will handle training unique to the CV-22, the Osprey variant designed to transport special operations forces.

The Air Force plans to achieve an initial operational capability (IOC) with the CV-22 in 2009, about two years later than the Marines' MV-22.

OPEVAL on track

Meanwhile, Carroll said the MV-22's operational evaluation (OPEVAL), which began in late March, is on track to finish at the end of June. The last test event will be aboard a ship.

Carroll also said that a separate series of V-22 tests in Halifax, Nova Scotia, has prompted the program to design a protective strip or fairing to be placed under the windshield to keep ice from forming on the wiper blades. The program believes that a rotor blade was damaged in flight in November by ice that broke off a wiper blade (DAILY, Dec. 1, 2004; Jan. 19).

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