The new facility opens on Boeing’s 330-acre campus in Ridley Township about a year after Boeing signed a $4 billion deal with the Department of Defense to continue building the tiltrotor aircraft — which means it can take off like a chopper but then fly like an airplane.
And it opens 30 years after the Osprey first took flight.
U.S. Marine Corps Col. Matthew Kelly said there were a lot of naysayers at the start, but the Osprey has become an important tool for the military.
For example, he said, Air Force special forces command starting flying the Osprey 10 years ago.
“And today you’ll find them on the front lines in Operation Inherent Resolve in places like Iraq and Syria," Kelly said.
“All I can say is wow, what a remarkable feat of engineering," said Chester County’s Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan.
Houlahan was an industrial engineer and was an officer in the Air Force.
She gave a nod to the workers at the Ridley Township plant.
“Thank you for the skills you bring to be able to allow this thing, this impossible-looking end product to lift off the ground and actually go somewhere," she said.
Officials say the new V-22 factory ensures many of Boeing’s 4,600 jobs stay in the region.
And Houlahan noted the investment is important, especially after Lockheed-Martin nearly closed the Sikorsky Helicopter plant in her district.
“We need to make sure we’re fighting for every job, every job matters,” Houlahan added.