Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 8/9/2011 4:57:37 PM EDT
Considering the headlines of late, I thought this was an interesting read. Some of you may know the name Richard Whittle as the man who authored in 2010 what many consider the definitive book (to this point) on the V-22 Osprey (including its conception, development, and the political battles that have surrounded it), The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey. Today he has written this article for AOL Defense. Below is an excerpt, however, one should make the effort to read the complete article.

The V-22 is Safer Than Helos, Effective, Says Man Who Wrote the Book
by Richard Whittle
AOL Defense
August 9, 2011

Editor's Note: I commissioned this story from one of the foremost –– if not the foremost –– independent authorities on the V-22 because I thought it important to address the basic question: is the V-22 worth the lives and treasure it has cost America? The answer by reporter Richard Whittle –– the man who literally wrote the book on the Osprey –– is a resounding yes. That yes, I believe, should be taken note of by those less expert who reside at august institutions such as the New York Times, who persist in viewing the V-22 as a "troubled" aircraft. But enough of that. Read Richard's piece for as close to ground truth on this issue as we are likely to get. The editor.

Once upon a time, the evil ogres of the military-industrial complex spawned a mutant flying machine, a freakish helicopter-airplane hybrid so dangerous and costly it deserved to die. Yet tribes of pork-addicted toadies and blind intellectual dwarfs shielded the beast from knights in shining armor who sallied forth tirelessly –– heavily armed with GAO reports –– to slay it.

That's the fairy tale the V-22 Osprey's bitterest critics like to believe, but the facts about the tiltrotor transport, which the Marines fought a quarter of a century to get into service, tell a far happier story. This ugly duckling is turning out to be a swan.

The Marines and the Air Force Special Operations Command have been flying Ospreys in combat zones nearly four years now and they love them, for while the V-22 isn't a very pretty bird to look at, it has a graceful and extraordinary way of flying. It tilts two big rotors on its wingtips upward to take off and land like a helicopter but swivels them forward to fly like an airplane. That lets it cruise at nearly 290 miles an hour – more than twice as fast as military helicopters, whose top speeds are limited by the aerodynamics of rotors to about 140 to 175 mph.

By the time the Marines first put the Osprey into service in Iraq in 2007, though, it had cost more time, money and lives than any other piece of equipment the Corps has ever bought –– 25 years, $22 billion and 30 deaths in crashes during its development. The Osprey was a very ugly duckling.

Since then, the saga has taken a very different turn, but many of the Osprey's loudest critics – notable among them the New York Times editorial page – went to sleep in the middle of the story. In February, the Times declared that "the unsafe V-22 Osprey aircraft should...be scaled down now." In April, the Times again called for cutting the "accident-prone V-22 Osprey."

Labeling the Osprey "unsafe" and "accident-prone" could be justified a decade ago, when two of the three fatal crashes that occurred during its development had just occurred. Yes, that number is correct; there were only three fatal crashes before the Osprey went into service. Thirty people died in them because the Osprey is a troop carrier, and 19 Marines – 15 of them passengers – were killed in one star-crossed test flight alone. After the last of those terrible crashes, though, the Pentagon grounded the Osprey for 17 months – and fixed what was wrong with it.

** COMPLETE STORY LINKED AT TITLE **


Link Posted: 8/9/2011 5:00:40 PM EDT
How many crashes has the V-22 had compared to say CH-53's and CH-47's?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:33:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Gunnerpalace:
How many crashes has the V-22 had compared to say CH-53's and CH-47's?


How many combined hours have been flown by CH53's and 47's versus the V-22?
Link Posted: 8/9/2011 6:45:42 PM EDT
Oh another V-22 thread.................I guess I'm in.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:28:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 6:29:48 AM EDT by regalrocket]
I would love to see an osprey land in half the insertion sites we did on deliberate ops in afghanistan.

The thing is a one trick pony.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 8:39:25 AM EDT
in before the osprey hate...wait..too late
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 9:58:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ospreychief:
in before the osprey hate...wait..too late

aww I still love the osprey for the gorgeous monster it is
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 2:57:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:15:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 5:21:47 PM EDT by TXMarine_6176]
I love how the majority of people who are bashing the Osprey are the ones that have never worked on / crewed this bird or even been around it anyplace except maybe an airshow. FTNYT

Article about VMM-261, the first Osprey squadron in Afghanistan.
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 5:58:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
I love how the majority of people who are bashing the Osprey are the ones that have never worked on / crewed this bird or even been around it anyplace except maybe an airshow. FTNYT

Article about VMM-261, the first Osprey squadron in Afghanistan.


I had two try to run me over in a traffic pattern once, kind of wonder what had ALL 4 pilots distracted.

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:46:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2011 6:46:23 PM EDT by TXMarine_6176]
We once came in a little too low over a spinning MH-6. Pilot was rather irate that we almost flipped his aircraft over.

Osprey downwash is no joke.


Link Posted: 8/10/2011 6:46:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroScout23:
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
I love how the majority of people who are bashing the Osprey are the ones that have never worked on / crewed this bird or even been around it anyplace except maybe an airshow. FTNYT

Article about VMM-261, the first Osprey squadron in Afghanistan.


I had two try to run me over in a traffic pattern once, kind of wonder what had ALL 4 pilots distracted.



What were you in?
Link Posted: 8/10/2011 7:12:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
Originally Posted By AeroScout23:
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
I love how the majority of people who are bashing the Osprey are the ones that have never worked on / crewed this bird or even been around it anyplace except maybe an airshow. FTNYT

Article about VMM-261, the first Osprey squadron in Afghanistan.


I had two try to run me over in a traffic pattern once, kind of wonder what had ALL 4 pilots distracted.



What were you in?


Flight of 3 Kiowas, up full lighting at night.

Kind of hard to miss.

Link Posted: 8/10/2011 8:35:59 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AeroScout23:
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
Originally Posted By AeroScout23:
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
I love how the majority of people who are bashing the Osprey are the ones that have never worked on / crewed this bird or even been around it anyplace except maybe an airshow. FTNYT

Article about VMM-261, the first Osprey squadron in Afghanistan.


I had two try to run me over in a traffic pattern once, kind of wonder what had ALL 4 pilots distracted.



What were you in?


Flight of 3 Kiowas, up full lighting at night.

Kind of hard to miss.



Interesting.

Sometimes the job of a crewchief isn't so much crewing the aircraft and handling pax/cargo as it is keeping the pilots from getting you all killed.
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 1:11:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
Originally Posted By AeroScout23:
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
Originally Posted By AeroScout23:
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
I love how the majority of people who are bashing the Osprey are the ones that have never worked on / crewed this bird or even been around it anyplace except maybe an airshow. FTNYT

Article about VMM-261, the first Osprey squadron in Afghanistan.


I had two try to run me over in a traffic pattern once, kind of wonder what had ALL 4 pilots distracted.



What were you in?


Flight of 3 Kiowas, up full lighting at night.

Kind of hard to miss.



Interesting.

Sometimes the job of a crewchief isn't so much crewing the aircraft and handling pax/cargo as it is keeping the pilots from getting you all killed.


Only sometimes?
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 2:47:05 PM EDT
Eh, sometimes you find a pilot who is at least half as good as he says he is.
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 3:23:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 5:24:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/11/2011 6:09:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2011 6:11:42 PM EDT by TLWrench]

Originally Posted By Toiyabe:
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
I love how the majority of people who are bashing the Osprey are the ones that have never worked on / crewed this bird or even been around it anyplace except maybe an airshow. FTNYT

Article about VMM-261, the first Osprey squadron in Afghanistan.


Just as an aside - the LAST person that should be trusted to be objective about a project (or an aircraft) are the people who have a vested interest in the project (or fly the damn things).

Which is why I posted this column in particular. Whittle's book was, in my opinion, the most sober and even-keeled piece about the Osprey ever published, warts and all. Reading the reviews and comments about his book from the likes of the Washington Post, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, etc., I think it would be fair to say that opinion about the book is not an uncommon one.

That Whittle comes to the conclusion he does in the AOL Defense column concerning the efficacy of the Osprey is worthy of some note and attention because he's a person I would consider to be a fair broker in the mainstream media. He's hardly an Osprey apologist, nor is he a reflexive Osprey basher.

Here's a video of an interview with Whittle from September 2010 concerning the book posted at YouTube.



Link Posted: 8/11/2011 6:10:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Toiyabe:
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
I love how the majority of people who are bashing the Osprey are the ones that have never worked on / crewed this bird or even been around it anyplace except maybe an airshow. FTNYT

Article about VMM-261, the first Osprey squadron in Afghanistan.


Just as an aside - the LAST person that should be trusted to be objective about a project (or an aircraft) are the people who have a vested interest in the project (or fly the damn things).


Exactly, a project chief in charge of a crappy product isnt going to replace it with a better one. Even when his customers are screaming for it. Reason being it looks bad on him.

People who's careers depend on a certain airframe or politicians heavily involved arent going to let it drop.

I can understand why, but it still means lots of money down a pit.
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 12:09:12 AM EDT
The Osprey has issues, but what doesn't?

I always liked flying in them.
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 3:50:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Toiyabe:
Originally Posted By TXMarine_6176:
I love how the majority of people who are bashing the Osprey are the ones that have never worked on / crewed this bird or even been around it anyplace except maybe an airshow. FTNYT

Article about VMM-261, the first Osprey squadron in Afghanistan.


Just as an aside - the LAST person that should be trusted to be objective about a project (or an aircraft) are the people who have a vested interest in the project (or fly the damn things)


As someone who flies on it for a job, I am one of the people with the biggest vested interest in the safety of this aircraft. Trust me, I'd be one of the first to say "hell no" if I thought something wasn't safe with it.

I don't have a death wish.

I'm not saying this aircraft is perfect, but safe it is. Also, one must keep in mind that there are always dangers inherent to flying regardless of what aircraft you're on.
Link Posted: 8/12/2011 4:39:18 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2011 7:55:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CFII:
How quickly can yall go from forward to hovering flight? Every time I see a video of a mv22, its seemingly slow motion.


And they are a sitting duck while in that transition.
Link Posted: 8/13/2011 8:18:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By regalrocket:
Originally Posted By CFII:
How quickly can yall go from forward to hovering flight? Every time I see a video of a mv22, its seemingly slow motion.


And they are a sitting duck while in that transition.


Thats why a flight of Army helicopters is gonna be loitering in a 2 kilometer orbit of the LZ.

Link Posted: 8/13/2011 8:32:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2011 1:55:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Toiyabe:
Originally Posted By regalrocket:
Originally Posted By CFII:
How quickly can yall go from forward to hovering flight? Every time I see a video of a mv22, its seemingly slow motion.


And they are a sitting duck while in that transition.


Why is that? The XV-15 was a rocket in the transition.


I fell in love with that thing the first time I saw it fly at Ames. IIIRC it had a 12 second transition through a full 90 degrees. The Bell guys had a demonstration profile where they would take off at a hover and do some hover work, then as they transitioned, they'd fly behind a building and by the time they appeared again on the other end, they were hauling ass in full airplane mode. They are accelerating very quickly as the nacelles rotate. By the time they get to full forward, they are moving quite fast. Faster than any helo will be 12 seconds from a hover.

Link Posted: 8/13/2011 2:00:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2011 2:43:55 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/13/2011 3:48:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By regalrocket:
Originally Posted By CFII:
How quickly can yall go from forward to hovering flight? Every time I see a video of a mv22, its seemingly slow motion.


And they are a sitting duck while in that transition.


From what do you draw this conclusion?
Link Posted: 8/13/2011 3:53:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Toiyabe:
Originally Posted By CFII:
I dont doubt the incredible hover to forward flight transition. They are little rocket ships.

However, I do not see them decelerating quickly from forward into hover flight. That is the transition I am curious about.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQwF5BOBwPY&feature=related

Check out 2:20.


Be aware that this video is of a demonstration flight with the prototype tiltrotor. In a tactical situation we do not fly as slow or predictably.
Link Posted: 8/16/2011 7:16:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Gunnerpalace:
How many crashes has the V-22 had compared to say CH-53's and CH-47's?


The CH-53 has killed a lot of people. But that is the nature of military aircraft you try to minimize risk but at some point people have to understand that flying in such environments is dangerous work and people die sometimes.

Link Posted: 8/16/2011 6:36:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2011 8:31:45 PM EDT
TX Marine, just curious how the maintenance side of the house has been going. I heard that they were having to eat alot of downtime per hour of flight due to parts wearing out quicker than expected in theater. This is second hand info so it may be complete BS. I'm an AH64D guy so I know all about people bashing your aircraft over maintenance.
Link Posted: 8/20/2011 10:43:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2011 10:44:18 PM EDT by Ross]
Originally Posted By Nollid:
TX Marine, just curious how the maintenance side of the house has been going. I heard that they were having to eat alot of downtime per hour of flight due to parts wearing out quicker than expected in theater. This is second hand info so it may be complete BS. I'm an AH64D guy so I know all about people bashing your aircraft over maintenance.


I fielded the AH-64A in the 1st Cav, which were the first ones fielded. I can tell you some serious horror stories about the Apache early in life. It wasn't much different than the V-22 fielding seems to be. I think the development of the V-22 was kinda jacked up, but there doesn't seem to be anything really suprising in the actual fielding to users. It seems to be typical frankly.

There's so much that goes into a fielding that unless you go through it, you have no idea how complicated it really is. It's not just learning a new aircraft. It's all the logistics that goes with it, from parts (with no demand history, so you really have no idea if you have the right amount), to special tools (which is usually the Achillees heel that isn't thought of until it's a problem), to finding all sorts of problems that probably should have been found and addressed in testing. Many people think it's going to be the wrench turners learning curve that will be a problem, but in reality they are usually ahead of the curve and fixing things in the program faster than the service branch can react.

I'd be intersted in finding out what guys that have wrench time on both the -46 and -22 think about it
Link Posted: 8/22/2011 3:49:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ross:
Originally Posted By Nollid:
TX Marine, just curious how the maintenance side of the house has been going. I heard that they were having to eat alot of downtime per hour of flight due to parts wearing out quicker than expected in theater. This is second hand info so it may be complete BS. I'm an AH64D guy so I know all about people bashing your aircraft over maintenance.


I fielded the AH-64A in the 1st Cav, which were the first ones fielded. I can tell you some serious horror stories about the Apache early in life. It wasn't much different than the V-22 fielding seems to be. I think the development of the V-22 was kinda jacked up, but there doesn't seem to be anything really suprising in the actual fielding to users. It seems to be typical frankly.

There's so much that goes into a fielding that unless you go through it, you have no idea how complicated it really is. It's not just learning a new aircraft. It's all the logistics that goes with it, from parts (with no demand history, so you really have no idea if you have the right amount), to special tools (which is usually the Achillees heel that isn't thought of until it's a problem), to finding all sorts of problems that probably should have been found and addressed in testing. Many people think it's going to be the wrench turners learning curve that will be a problem, but in reality they are usually ahead of the curve and fixing things in the program faster than the service branch can react.

I'd be intersted in finding out what guys that have wrench time on both the -46 and -22 think about it


We mechs can be resourceful MacGuyver like MoFos when the AMO and MC are breathing down our necks
Link Posted: 10/2/2011 8:25:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/2/2011 8:31:09 PM EDT by TXMarine_6176]
Originally Posted By Nollid:
TX Marine, just curious how the maintenance side of the house has been going. I heard that they were having to eat alot of downtime per hour of flight due to parts wearing out quicker than expected in theater. This is second hand info so it may be complete BS. I'm an AH64D guy so I know all about people bashing your aircraft over maintenance.


It's been awhile since I deployed with them, but I don't recall anything off the top of my head.

I'm fairly certain it's safe to say that every part on every different aircraft wears down a little quicker in theater.
Link Posted: 10/3/2011 7:02:50 AM EDT
Bout to jump on an Osprey any day now from Bastion back out to the boonies.
Link Posted: 10/3/2011 7:33:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By USMC6177:
Originally Posted By Ross:
Originally Posted By Nollid:
TX Marine, just curious how the maintenance side of the house has been going. I heard that they were having to eat alot of downtime per hour of flight due to parts wearing out quicker than expected in theater. This is second hand info so it may be complete BS. I'm an AH64D guy so I know all about people bashing your aircraft over maintenance.


I fielded the AH-64A in the 1st Cav, which were the first ones fielded. I can tell you some serious horror stories about the Apache early in life. It wasn't much different than the V-22 fielding seems to be. I think the development of the V-22 was kinda jacked up, but there doesn't seem to be anything really suprising in the actual fielding to users. It seems to be typical frankly.

There's so much that goes into a fielding that unless you go through it, you have no idea how complicated it really is. It's not just learning a new aircraft. It's all the logistics that goes with it, from parts (with no demand history, so you really have no idea if you have the right amount), to special tools (which is usually the Achillees heel that isn't thought of until it's a problem), to finding all sorts of problems that probably should have been found and addressed in testing. Many people think it's going to be the wrench turners learning curve that will be a problem, but in reality they are usually ahead of the curve and fixing things in the program faster than the service branch can react.

I'd be intersted in finding out what guys that have wrench time on both the -46 and -22 think about it


We mechs can be resourceful MacGuyver like MoFos when the AMO and MC are breathing down our necks

Top Top