The Air Force’s oldest CV-22 Osprey, Tail #21, made its final departure from Hurlburt Field, Fla., Nov. 4.
The tilt rotor aircraft was one of the first of its kind to be developed, and it has been employed as an Additional Test Asset at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., since 1999.
“It’s a one-of-a kind-aircraft,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Levine, 413th Flight Test Squadron evaluator flight engineer. “Everything you see on the operational CV-22s has gone through this aircraft first.”
The 413th FLTS retired their only test Osprey due to the widening difference in logistics and technology between it and operational CV-22s.
“The rest of the CV-22 fleet has finally progressed to the point we can no longer modify ATA for effective CV-22 testing,” Levine said.
With the ATA’s departure, the 413th FLTS will begin using operational Ospreys from other units on Hurlburt to test new equipment for the aircraft.
“The only change it will cause to the base is we will have to take an operational aircraft and reconfigure it,” said Tom Goodnough, Air Force Special Operations Command test pilot. “We will use testing equipment and test software, do our testing, and then turn it back into an operational aircraft.”
This Osprey is slated to be placed on display at the museum at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, later this year.
The 413th FLTS belongs to the 96th Test Wing.