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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 12/21/2001 2:21:08 AM EDT
[url]http://www.dallasnews.com/business/stories/STORY.eae757414c.b0.af.0.a4.4d077.html[/url] The Dallas Morning News: Business Tests on V-22 Osprey to resume Pentagon go-ahead may buoy FW plant; crashes forcing redesign 12/21/2001 By RICHARD WHITTLE / The Dallas Morning News WASHINGTON – A key Pentagon official has approved a plan to resume testing the Texas-built V-22 Osprey, the tilt-rotor aircraft that's been grounded for a year after crashes killed 23 Marines, defense officials said Thursday. The long-awaited decision by Pete Aldridge, undersecretary of defense for acquisitions, will revive the Marine Corps' pet aviation project after months in limbo. "He's going to resume the testing," said a senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It's got some technical challenges, but they're going to move ahead with it." Mr. Aldridge's decision to go ahead also will ease minds at Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. of Fort Worth and Amarillo, where more than 2,000 employees work on tilt-rotors in partnership with Boeing Co.'s Pennsylvania-based helicopter division. "There appeared a time when he was not sure," noted an industry official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. "Certainly having him on our side is important. It's very important that he be satisfied with what he's getting." Mr. Aldridge has scheduled a Pentagon news briefing Friday. His spokeswoman, Cheryl Irwin, declined to confirm that he had approved further work on the Osprey. But she said Mr. Aldridge would be "prepared to talk about decisions on the V-22." The briefing was scheduled shortly after both chambers of Congress approved this year's defense appropriations bill. The measure includes $1.5 billion to buy nine V-22s for the Marine Corps and two V-22s for Air Force special operations. Bell and Boeing have continued to build V-22s in recent months, but the Marine Corps' V-22 squadron has been unable to fly, and many of its members have been transferred to other duties pending the review. Marines want 360 The Marines hope to buy 360 V-22s. The Navy and Air Force have plans to buy about 50 each, but that hinges on Mr. Aldridge's approval. Last week, he canceled a major Navy missile defense program. Mr. Aldridge has told interested members of Congress that future V-22 work will depend on how the aircraft fares in flight testing. Flight tests would resume in April under a plan proposed by the Naval Air Systems Command and the companies, the senior defense official said. Another defense official said Mr. Aldridge was expected to sign an Acquisition Decision Memorandum late Thursday, officially approving the V-22 plan. Built to carry 24 troops, the V-22 uses two large rotors on its wingtips to take off and land like a helicopter. The rotors tilt forward to make the craft fly like an airplane, giving it far greater range and speed than a helicopter. Gen. James Jones, the Marine Corps commandant, grounded the Corps' remaining eight V-22s last December after a crash in North Carolina killed four Marines. A crash in Arizona in April 2000 killed 19 Marines. Rewrite software Under the revival plan, Bell and Boeing are to change the V-22's flight control software and redesign its engine nacelles, the wingtip structures that tilt the rotors.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 2:21:43 AM EDT
The December 2000 crash was blamed on a combination of a hydraulic leak in a nacelle and a glitch in the flight control software. The software problem caused the aircraft to go out of control rather than compensate for the hydraulic leak, an investigation found. The April 2000 crash was blamed on "vortex ring state," a phenomenon that can cause any rotor craft to stall if it descends too quickly. Some critics said the crash showed that the placement of the V-22 rotors made it too vulnerable to vortex ring state. A Pentagon-appointed independent commission of experts investigated the Osprey early this year and concluded that tilt-rotor technology was sound but that the V-22 needed redesign. Mr. Aldridge decided to go ahead, however, only after a study by NASA concluded that there were no aerodynamic characteristics that would bar the V-22 from being used safely. He also awaited a study by the Center for Naval Analyses that supported the Marine Corps' position that no helicopter could offer an adequate alternative to the V-22. The Marines have long wanted the V-22 as a replacement for Vietnam-era CH-46 troop transport helicopters that Corps officials say are too slow. Staff writer Katie Fairbank contributed to this report. © 2001 DallasNews.com
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 3:28:40 AM EDT
I would like to know what this V-22 can do so much better than a Blackhawk and/or Jolly Green Giant. If we are spending billions of dollars and numerous Marine lives on the project for just a wee bit better performance/capabilities, then I say we are waisting away too much. Again, what can this V-22 do that a Blackhawk cant? JRB
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 3:35:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JRB L1A1: I would like to know what this V-22 can do so much better than a Blackhawk and/or Jolly Green Giant. If we are spending billions of dollars and numerous Marine lives on the project for just a wee bit better performance/capabilities, then I say we are waisting away too much. Again, what can this V-22 do that a Blackhawk cant? JRB
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Easy... The V22 can cover longer distances on less feul, which gives it an operational range that FAR exceeds the blackhawk and the jolly green. It's all about range and feul economy, which are important strategic advantages...
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 3:36:10 AM EDT
Good money after bad. I love the tiltrotor configuration in general, but the V-22 is a death trap. I just don't believe men's lives should be trusted to a machine two or three times more complicated than the space shuttle in combat conditions. Follow the civilian version the Bell/Boeing err.. Agusta/Bell...609 well whoever is currently dragging the project along, 10 million a crack.. over a million per seat! It is time to open all the research and rebid the project. Planerench out.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 4:34:53 AM EDT
You’d think they could dump the Osprey and build a larger, cargo-carrying version of the Harrier. (Granted, I don’t think I’d want to rappel from a Harrier!)
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 5:05:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 199: You’d think they could dump the Osprey and build a larger, cargo-carrying version of the Harrier. (Granted, I don’t think I’d want to rappel from a Harrier!)
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... You don't have a background in this field do you? ... The Osprey, like any new Military system, will have bugs in the LRIP phase. However, she has a very important mission to fulfill that no other aircraft in our inventory have the ability to. ... This was one issue where I disagreed with Dick Cheney's assessment of the V-22.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 5:14:47 AM EDT
The V-22 is a good piece of gear. The Marines have spent the last 15 years adjusting tactics and doctrine, to make way for its employment. [b]Keep this in mind: This aircraft has some serious enemies in congress and the media. Because of this, it has been portrayed as "unsafe", and a "waste".[/b] It would help the Corps to better achieve victory(s), if we had this aircraft in our stables.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 5:18:24 AM EDT
The Harrier was known as a "Widowmaker" when it first hit the Fleet. They kept training and modified it a few times and it's now considered an awesome ground attack platform.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 7:27:14 AM EDT
Two huge rotors that tilt forward and turn into oversized propellors on a teeny wenie wing? What a dumb idea in the first plase. It can't even land if the tilt rotor gets stuck in the forward position. What do they do then (and it [b]will[/b] happen) fly around until it runs out of fuel? Bad idea with way too much money behind it. its problem isn't "serious enemies". It's problem is that it's a stooooopid idea in the first place, with too much money trying to push it through to make even more money. An Osprey has a [i]strategic[/i] mission? Nuh unh. Gimme a C-130 any day.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 8:21:40 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 8:29:39 AM EDT
The Marines can have the Osprey if they want. But, does it make sense to stick 19 young men in an aircraft that is, at best, still considered "experimental" by many aviation experts? Someday, it might be a great idea, and might even work, but you might as well slap crash test dummy logos on every Marine who flies in it.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 8:36:35 AM EDT
Anyone else remember back in the 70s when the M1 Abrams kept getting ridiculed and trashed in the media? You know what? After the bugs were worked out it went on to become the best main mattle tank the world has ever known and a symbol of our military strength. Good thing we didn't abort it because it didn't have a perfectly smooth development process. Or what about the M1 Garand, B-29, or numerous other weapons systems that were beleagured during their develepmont stages but went on to become fantastic, indispensible, and legendary performers?
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 8:44:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Norm_G: Two huge rotors that tilt forward and turn into oversized propellors on a teeny wenie wing? What a dumb idea in the first plase. It can't even land if the tilt rotor gets stuck in the forward position. What do they do then (and it [b]will[/b] happen) fly around until it runs out of fuel? Bad idea with way too much money behind it. its problem isn't "serious enemies". It's problem is that it's a stooooopid idea in the first place, with too much money trying to push it through to make even more money.
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Variable geometry wings were also once considred a stupid idea, too. I mean for cruing out loud, the wings used to fall off of F-111s. But once they worked the bugs out, nobody seems to have questioned the combat and service records of the F-111, F-14, or B-1 in the last nearly 30 years.
An Osprey has a [i]strategic[/i] mission? Nuh unh. Gimme a C-130 any day.
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Yeah, especially if you have been injured and are waiting to be medi-vac'd in location beyond the reach of current helicopters and not conveniently near an airport or landing strip suitable to land a C-130 at.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 8:49:45 AM EDT
Wings used to fall off of F-111's? Not true. Engines occasionally flamed out on the first F-111A's before the inlet plug software got sorted out, but wings never fell off. Where on earth did you dig up that piece of BS? Helicopters are unnatural flying devices anyway. Trying to turn one into a real airplane, in flight no less, is just a real dumb idea. Almost as bad as VTOL jets that land on their tail. Remember those wonky things? V-22 is about that dumb.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 8:49:49 AM EDT
Hey boomer, I don't recall 19 PFCs getting toasted because an M1 turbine went wacky? I agree that we should give it time to develop, but don't use Marines as test cargo until the thing is proven.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 8:54:02 AM EDT
How about the ideas that were correctly canceled?? Or should we still have shoulder launched nuclear weapons(where the blast radius of the weapon was greater than its range!)??? If in training the V-22 crashes often, what will happen in war conditions? Also, the tilt-rotor has been being developed for multiple decades without any improvements in reliability. We are not in the middle of an all out world war, so they need to stop rushing experimental equipment on which soldiers lives depend into service.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 8:55:18 AM EDT
Gunman, I worked with nukes (W71) in the Army. Remember the "Davy Crockett"?
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 8:58:34 AM EDT
[url] http://www.nuclear-powered.com/davy_crockett.htm [/url]
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 9:12:12 AM EDT
If all of the V-22s were operational right now, what sort of impact would they be having on the operations in Afghanistan?
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 9:18:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SJSAMPLE: Hey boomer, I don't recall 19 PFCs getting toasted because an M1 turbine went wacky? I agree that we should give it time to develop, but don't use Marines as test cargo until the thing is proven.
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Yup, I can agree with that. The technology should be sufficiently mature before putting it in the hands of our troops. the introduction of the M16 was another glaring example of this and cost the lives of far more servicemen than the Osprey have.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 9:28:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Norm_G: Wings used to fall off of F-111's? Not true. Engines occasionally flamed out on the first F-111A's before the inlet plug software got sorted out, but wings never fell off. Where on earth did you dig up that piece of BS?
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You better check your own history. [url]http://f-111.net/JoeBaugher.htm[/url] Couple of quotes: [i]Six 428th TFS F-111As were allocated to the Combat Lancer program, and departed Nellis AFB for Thailand on March 15, 1968. By the end of that month, 55 night missions had been flown against targets in North Vietnam, but two aircraft had been lost. Replacement aircraft had left Nellis, but the loss of a third F-111A on April 22 halted F-111A combat operations. However, the aircraft remained poised for combat, but they saw little action before their return to the USA in November. It turned out that the three F-111A losses were not due to enemy action but were caused by wing and tail structural defects. One of the Combat Lancer crashes had been traced to a malfunction of the aircraft's tail servo actuator. The USAF later discovered (as a later returning prisoner of war would confirm) that a tailplane problem could cause a sudden and uncontrollable pitch-up and roll. This failure in the flying controls system caused the aircraft to break up in flight. The other two crashes in Vietnam were traced to poor mounting of the M61A1 cannon and to pilot error. These losses caused a storm of controversy in the USA --- Senator William Proxmire denouncing the F-111A as an unsafe and defective plane. The aircraft became known as "McNamara's Flying Edsel", and was accused of being a potential "technological gold mine for the Reds". [/i] -------------------- [i] The Air Force lost its 15th F-111A on December 22, 1969, due to failure of the forged wing pivot fitting. All F-111As were grounded the next day. The grounding was lifted on July 31, 1970. This accident cast doubt on the structural integrity of the aircraft and compounded the aircraft's modernization. Each F-111A had to be carefully checked and fixed as necessary. [/i] Hmmmmmm..... "forged wing pivot fitting". That the thingy that holds the wing on? [:)]
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 10:09:42 AM EDT
He he he. Why don't we contract out to have Yakovlev build an enlarged version of the Freestyle. Then we could have troops rappell off a supersonic VTOL aircraft. It isn't like rotary winged aircraft don't fall out of the sky all the time either, and KEZI ACTION NEWS at 6:00 can't get enough of the things. I think I saw a statistic that there is a helicopter crash every other day in the US. Like others have said, Osprey is the first operational tilt-rotor, and I don't really see any reason why it shouldn't work after a fashion. Might be too expensive. Those responsible for the overseeing program should definitely set sell-defined performance goals and be very aware of USMC meddling, which unfortunately seems to have happened. It bums me out because the Marines I have met would be above that.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 10:12:18 AM EDT
Boomer, a pitch up leading to inflight breakup is hardly "the wings falling off". Yup, one main forging failed. Hardly the same thing as the POS Osprey's problems. It's still a stupid idea, no matter how it's dressed up.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 10:18:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 10:20:32 AM EDT
Norm, while you can rationalize it all you want, it is undeniable that the F-111 did suffer a troublesome introduction into service. This would be clear to anyone who read the link. Perhaps I overemphasized the wings falling off, but it DID occur, among many other problems. None of which addresses my original point. Many people thought that variable wing geometry and the F-111 was a POS, too. Yet after having the bugs worked out, it went on to have an admirable service record. The same will be true of the Osprey. Where would the AR15/M16 be if we hadn't stuck by it and worked out it's problems? A lot of people thought it was a stupid idea at the time, too.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 10:28:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2001 10:20:47 AM EDT by CITADELGRAD87]
I'll tell you one thing, timewise, there's been NO RUSH on this program. My dad was CINC 23AF, Search and Rescue and AF Special Ops back in the 80s. He flew an early version way back then, said it was tough to master but not magical. He saw a tremendous need for the FASTER and FARTHER capabilities this craft has over helos, and pushed for them. He recently ruefully told me he pushed Congress as hard as he could for more of the PAVE version of the Blackhawk, saying they'd really come in handy in Afg. I'll ask him what he thinks the deal is and post his response in an hour or so.
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 10:55:00 AM EDT
To those of you advocating rappeling from a hovering Harrier/Freestyle-like aircraft you better wear some asbestos underwear considering the temps from nearby jet exhaust. For a preliminary test try sitting on the exhaust duct of an Abrams, and have them start it up. A rotor driven aircraft is the only option right now since the rotor wash cools the jet exhaust on tilt-rotor aircraft. Talyn
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 11:25:18 AM EDT
Do Osprey's have ejection seats?
Link Posted: 12/21/2001 11:31:47 AM EDT
As far as I know, there are NO transport aircraft with ejections seats. Bad for morale ;)
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 7:43:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Norm_G: Wings used to fall off of F-111's? Not true. Engines occasionally flamed out on the first F-111A's before the inlet plug software got sorted out, but wings never fell off. Where on earth did you dig up that piece of BS? Helicopters are unnatural flying devices anyway. Trying to turn one into a real airplane, in flight no less, is just a real dumb idea. Almost as bad as VTOL jets that land on their tail. Remember those wonky things? V-22 is about that dumb.
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3 F111A's "disappeared" over Vietnam in 1967/8 and no one could figure out why. They were withdrawn from the theater, then one crashed in Arizona in 1968. One wing was found some distance away from the rest of the aircraft. The hinge pivot that the wing pivoted on had failed. It was, in these early aircraft, a titanium forging- the largest such piece made at the time outside of Russia. They were all Xrayed and others were found to have flaws in the billet. Titanium being a very new material to American engineers and they couldn't guarentee the quality control so the pivots were reengineered in steel. About 2x as heavy but it solved the problem. How do you flame out a 2 engine aircraft? Tomcats would wreck on takeoff and landing because the TF30's would stall on take off or landing if a abrupt increase of power was applied and this would cause the aircraft to flip over before the pilot could correct. But at altitude no.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 7:54:31 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Boomer: Anyone else remember back in the 70s when the M1 Abrams kept getting ridiculed and trashed in the media? You know what? After the bugs were worked out it went on to become the best main mattle tank the world has ever known and a symbol of our military strength. Good thing we didn't abort it because it didn't have a perfectly smooth development process.
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No, I do remember some concerns about cost, and Chrysler being bailed out because they made them. A lot of the systems on the M1's were refinements of proven systms on M-60's and Germany Leopard series of tanks. Yes there are always "teething" problems on new sytems. Generally when you talk about military cargo or troop planes they have proven technology and they are built to be bullet proof. Until the put enough ejection seats in the V-22 for EVERYBODY on board I don't think they should be subject US Marines to the risk of becoming crash test dummies for this spiffy plane/helicopter/merry-go-round/ginsu knife sharpener that they've designed.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 7:57:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By brouhaha:
Originally Posted By Norm_G: It can't even land if the tilt rotor gets stuck in the forward position.
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I'm sure it could just feather the props before it had to land. You'd destroy the blades, but it is possible.
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Osprey props dont feather, they are allowed to windmill. If it has to belly in with the rotors below 30 deg the rotors "broomstraw"- they are constructed from graphite rods that run the length of the blade. Its amazing stuff, it will shatter and break away into harmless splinters but has the same resistance to small arms fire as the Apache and Blackhawk rotors. Belly landing is the preferred method of making a no power landing. Autorotate doesnt really work well- though the windmilling rotors will allow it- because of the afformentioned "vortex ring state" and the high loading on the rotors in the hover- the rotor discs are only 2/3rds the size of the same weight Chinook. But the Osprey doesnt have a "tiny" wing, it has a very BIG wing. Even without tilting the rotors, once the Osprey noses over and starts getting forward airspeed the rotors unload very quickly and the aerodynamic lift of the wing takes over.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 7:58:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: The Corps, for very good reasons, is betting on the Osprey to help ensure that the Corps has a future. Why? Because without the Osprey, assaulting a contested target against a technologically well-equipped foe is not too feasable. Without the ability to make assault landings in the face of modern opponents, who needs a Corps?
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Because no one will make "assault landings" in this gold plated goose. It is defeinitely an asset that they will try their best not to expose to enemy gunfire/missiles.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 8:07:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By Boomer: Anyone else remember back in the 70s when the M1 Abrams kept getting ridiculed and trashed in the media? You know what? After the bugs were worked out it went on to become the best main mattle tank the world has ever known and a symbol of our military strength. Good thing we didn't abort it because it didn't have a perfectly smooth development process.
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No, I do remember some concerns about cost, and Chrysler being bailed out because they made them. A lot of the systems on the M1's were refinements of proven systms on M-60's and Germany Leopard series of tanks. Yes there are always "teething" problems on new sytems. Generally when you talk about military cargo or troop planes they have proven technology and they are built to be bullet proof. Until the put enough ejection seats in the V-22 for EVERYBODY on board I don't think they should be subject US Marines to the risk of becoming crash test dummies for this spiffy plane/helicopter/merry-go-round/ginsu knife sharpener that they've designed.
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That is a issue to take up with the Marine Corps. It has nothing to do with the serviceablity of the aircraft. The Marines want this aircraft in service as soon as possible. If their was ANY way possible to have swung it legally they would have been used this last month in Afganistan. They were trying to double up their training program with the development program to save time, it was a risky move and they paid the price for it. Wont stop the Marines though, they did the same thing when the HRS-1's were introduced in the Korean War, and when the CH-46's were introduced in Vietnam. They killed a lot of their own people, but remain convince that they saved more from enemy action than were lost in the accidents by getting higher performance aircraft out as soon as possible.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 8:14:58 AM EDT
Well this is a comlplicated aircraft, that has disadvantges, overly complicated, not as fast as a "real" fixed wing plane etc. I wonder if the USMC wouldn't be further ahead if they bought C-130's and UH-60's etc. for the same amount as they will spend on V-22's
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 8:58:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery: Well this is a comlplicated aircraft, that has disadvantges, overly complicated, not as fast as a "real" fixed wing plane etc. I wonder if the USMC wouldn't be further ahead if they bought C-130's and UH-60's etc. for the same amount as they will spend on V-22's
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No. Where would you land the C-130's, they dont fit on a amphib ship. And the UH-60's would require inflight refueling from them to match the Ospreys range, and they are still slower, by half, at economical crusing speeds. There is nothing that can match the flight profile of a Osprey. To put it simply if the Osprey was in full service now- which it would have been if its program hadn't been interrupted for 5 years by Dick Cheney- the acquesence of Pakistan or Iran for US operations in Afganistan would not have been required. Operations could have been conducted from the water, or from Turkey or Russia, without needing the intermediate bases in countries immediately bordering Afganistan. The Request for Proposals for what became the Osprey was issued in 1981. The specifications in that proposal were DIRECTLY drawn from the post mortem into the failed Iran Hostage Rescue mission. (The specs in the RFP for the C-17 were also drawn in part from this) The Osprey designed primairly with that kind of airborne long range power projection in mind. To be able to reach anyone, anytime, anywhere, free from airfields. We always could drop paratroopers its true, but then how do you pick them up again? The Osprey eliminates that problem. It can drop off, then loiter, then pick up and take home all in one sortie.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 8:59:02 AM EDT
Talyn, I don't know if the asbestos skivvies are going to do much good-- AWST commented that the Freestyle was tearing up the runway pretty good from the lobstertail style exhaust. Osprey was flying in the late 80s? This doesn't seem quite right. They might have had an underscale technology demonstrator by then, but I don't recall....
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 9:30:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: ... How do you flame out a 2 engine aircraft?
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Like I said, the software controlling the variable inlet duct wasn't right. Under rpm acceleration, the engines tended to compressor stall quite badly, especially at low altitude. I vaguely recall a story about one doing an "off field" landing at Cannon AFB in the late 60's during a parade fly-by. My youngest brother flew F-111As later on, after they were pretty well sorted out. Mountain Home AFB. He managed to schedule a "training" flight up to Griffiss when I got married in Utica NY, 1984. I think you're mixing things a little, Tomcats have F-110 engines.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 9:39:40 AM EDT
30+ years ago, another transport suffered from the same kind of calamities that the Osprey suffers from today... If you turn the clock back to 1968/9, you'll remember that the much beloved CH-46 "Frog" (small, ugly, green and only good for short hops) suffered numerous crashes that killed LOTS of Marines. It seems that the aft rotor tower had a nasty habit or departing the aircraft. Frogs don't fly too well with only one rotor thus there were many dead Marines. The news of the crashes was lost to the bad news of the Tet and other losses in VN. Eventually NAVAIR and Boeing got their acts together and made the Frog the reliable transport it today. Osprey needs the same opportunity to get well.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 9:44:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Norm_G:
Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl: ... How do you flame out a 2 engine aircraft?
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Like I said, the software controlling the variable inlet duct wasn't right. Under rpm acceleration, the engines tended to compressor stall quite badly, especially at low altitude. I vaguely recall a story about one doing an "off field" landing at Cannon AFB in the late 60's during a parade fly-by. My youngest brother flew F-111As later on, after they were pretty well sorted out. Mountain Home AFB. He managed to schedule a "training" flight up to Griffiss when I got married in Utica NY, 1984. I think you're mixing things a little, Tomcats have F-110 engines.
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Only the F-14D has F110s. The F-14A had TF30s and suffered horribly from fan stalls.
Link Posted: 12/22/2001 10:16:21 AM EDT
What are you calling a variable inlet. F111's had a fixed C shaped inlet with a quarter cone insert. After the A's a bardge board was added to the inside to control boundry layer flow along the fuselage, see: [img]http://f-111.net/images/RF-A8-143_1.jpg[/img] The bargeboards might of had flaps that opened at the back (inside the inlet) for low speed/high angle of attack flight but that isnt a variable inlet ramp like the F-15 has that actually changes angle of attack. The biggest reason behind all the attempts to kill the Osprey is the opposition from Sikorsky who wants to kill the concept outright. They back all the people who try to "prove" the tilt rotor is unsafe because a successful Osprey will wipe Sikorsky out. They havent built a truly new helicopter design since 1980. Their contender for the new scout got crushed by Lockheeds Comanche. They are out of business if the Osprey succeeds.
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