MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR. Calif. - Team Osprey visited Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., to fly the MV-22B Osprey simulators, Dec. 14.
Team Osprey is comprised of multiple industry suppliers who contribute different components used to build the aircraft. The tour allowed suppliers to see what their contributions helped develop.
“I got a greater understanding of what the aircraft’s capabilities are,” said David Johnson, a project engineer for the auxiliary power unit with Team Osprey and a San Diego native. “Everyone [with Team Osprey] has a hand in putting this thing together, so it’s nice to see the end product.”
The simulators provide operators with a virtual flying experience. Each is equipped with screens that act as windows, imitating an airborne environment, and exact replicas of the aircraft’s cockpit.
“You feel like you’re in the actual aircraft, and it’s not even moving,” Johnson said. “It’s all visual, but it really does give you the sensation of flying.”
Johnson explained the experience gave him a greater appreciation for the pilots who operate the Osprey.
“I thought it would be easier to control than it is. I used to be a pilot, but I never flew a helicopter,” Johnson said. “It’s like walking and chewing gum at the same time. You have to be able to operate three or four things at the same time.”
Like Johnson, many of the Team Osprey members had prior flying experience, however, none had experience in flying helicopters.
“A large percentage had fixed wing experience, whether it was in the military or as a civilian,” said Maj. Matt Baldwin, operations officer with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 and one of the pilots who instructed Team Osprey. “They saw how challenging it can be to sit in the seat and see what hand and eye skills are required to fly it.”
The pilots taught Team Osprey personnel how to take off and land in varying conditions.
“We did simulated landings on the base and on ships out at sea,” said Baldwin, a Bellevue, Wash., native.
Overall, the visit showed Team Osprey how all the different components they manufacture work together to create the aircraft, and gave them a new appreciation of the Marines who fly it on a daily basis.