A while back we reported that HMX-1, the Marine Corps helo squadron that operates the fleet Marine One VH-3s and VH-60 presidential transport choppers, is going to receive 14 MV-22 Ospreys as support aircraft.
The MV-22s are set to replace the HMX-1's old VH-53D Sea Stallions VH-53E Super Stallions (shown below) that are part of the "green top" fleet of choppers used to haul gear and support personnel in support of the president's travels. (Only the VH-3s and VH-60s that carry the president receive the distinct green and white paint scheme -- hence their nickname of "white tops.")
However, the squadron is buying four removable VIP transport kits for its Ospreys. While pretty basic compared to the amenities found in standard Marine One birds, they certainly sound more comfortable than your standard cargo bird.
From Marine Corps Times:
VIP kits will outfit Osprey aircraft with green interior walls and a ceiling that will hide the tangle of wires, cords, tubes and pipes inside themedium-lift aircraft, according to the solicitation.
Black covers will give the canvas and metal seats that line each wall a sleeker look and more comfort. Matching black carpet will be added.Boarding passengers will be welcomed by the HMX-1 unit logo emblazoned on the rear ramp’s carpeting.
The kits are to be installed without any permanent modifications.
Here's the actual solicitation for the kits.
Now, service officials say that despite these kits, the MV-22s (or will they be called VV-22s?) will be used to transport cargo and other dignitaries, not the president.
Still, with Boeing offering the V-22 as one of its potential bids in the VXX presidential helo replacement program, you've got to wonder how this will play into the contest.