The V-22 Osprey is not exactly a helicopter. It is a first operational tiltrotor. The Osprey combines vertical lift capabilities of a helicopter with a flight speed of a fixed-wing turboprop aircraft. It is used by US Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. Deliveries commenced in 2001.
Currently the Osprey is one of the largest VTOL aircraft. It accommodates 24 troops. This tiltrotor transport can carry 9 000 kg internally or 6 800 kg externally.
The Osprey can fly at a maximum cruising speed of just over 500 km/h. It is nearly twice faster than most utility helicopters can fly. Also this tiltrotor is capable of in-flight refueling.
The Osprey can operate from large amphibious assault ships or aircraft carriers. On board it can be compactly stored.
So the Osprey tiltrotor transport has a significant advantage over helicopters that it can fly twice faster and another advantage over aircraft that it lands vertically. So it can land on ships or rough terrain.
This machine can be armed with 7.62 mm or 12.7 mm machine guns, or 7.62 mm minigun on its ramp. A gun turret system was also developed and integrated in its belly, but was found of limited use. A Gatling gun under the nose is planned for the future upgrades. Also there are plans to equip the V-22 with of air-to-ground missiles like Hellfire or Griffin on its wing hardpoints.
Mounted in wingtip nacelles, the engines can be swiveled through 97.5° and drive three-bladed prop-rotors through interconnected drive shafts. It takes just 12 seconds fro the nacelles to swivel and switch between helicopter and aircraft modes. For shipboard stowage, the main planes pivot centrally to rotate along the fuselage top, the prop-rotor blades also folding in parallel.
The V-22 Ospreys saw action during various operations around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. This tiltrotor transport has been also used during humanitarian missions in Haiti and Nepal.
Price of the Osprey is around $72 Million.