By Tommy H. Thomason

Friday, February 15, 2013

COD Redux

Carrier Onboard Delivery (COD) is normally provided by an airplane that utilizes the arrested landing gear and catapult to arrive and depart. Shore-based helicopters sometimes deliver or pickup personnel and packages when a carrier is not too far away. Because of the drag of the rotor, helicopters have half the range or less of an airplane of the same size. (These CH-53Es are actually landing on Truman to refuel on their way to Kearsarge.)

The tiltrotor is an aircraft that combines the hover capability of the helicopter with the speed and range of a turboprop airplane. The Bell-Boeing V-22 is the first operational tiltrotor, initially assigned to Marine Corps for troop transport and logistics. Recently, VMX-22 conducted an evaluation aboard Bush of the V-22 as a supplement to the existing Grumman C-2 COD capability. One benefit is that the V-22 does not require the use of the catapult and arresting gear so it can takeoff and land regardless of the status of the spot aboard the carrier or existing flight operations.

Following the evaluation, the V-22s were loaded with Marine Corps and Navy personnel and their personal equipment for the flight back to the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, Virginia.

This is a picture taken a few years ago of V-22s in airplane mode used for enroute cruise.

This were not the first evaluation of the V-22 aboard an aircraft carrier. This picture was taken of a V-22 aboard Bush in March 2012, when night operations were part of the testing. An at-sea evaluation has also been accomplished aboard Truman.

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