'Chilly Willy,' Experimental Aircraft Arrives at Air Force Base

An MV-22 Osprey, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 164, takes off from the flight deck of San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23), July 27, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Matthew Dickinson)
An MV-22 Osprey, assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 164, takes off from the flight deck of San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23), July 27, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Matthew Dickinson)

DAYTON, Ohio — A Marine Corp aircraft dubbed "Chilly Willy" for its experimental winter flights in icy Canada will now take up residence at an Ohio Air Force base for research purposes.

Aerospace researchers will use the MV-22 Osprey for ergonomic and musculoskeletal studies on crew members at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, U.S. Navy Capt. Rees Lee. The Navy is interested in seeing how the aircraft may cause injuries to passengers as a result of its tilt-rotor, The Dayton Daily News reported.

Citing the need for human testing inside the experimental aircraft, "there's no substitute to understanding how a human being integrates into an aircraft without the actual aircraft," Lee said. He noted a recurring medical complaint of MV-22 crew members is neck and back pain.

The Ohio State University Spine Research Institute will work with the Navy on ergonomic research aboard the ground-based MV-22, Lee said.

The plane landed Tuesday at the airstrip next to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. The aircraft arrived from Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland — the end of nearly 15 years of experimental flight testing and including three winters in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

The MV-22 is the first aircraft the Navy research unit has brought to Wright-Patterson, Lee said. The unit relocated from the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida several years ago.

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