Well I’ll be damned — the Osprey works.
TO: Stephen Green
RE: Your Fault??!??!!
That the Osprey works?
You’re coming across like Al Gore, vis-a-vis the internet.
I’ve said for years that while I thought a tilt-rotor platform was the future, that the future wasn’t yet here. And that it certainly wasn’t the Osprey.
But it looks like they (finally!) got the kinks out of the V-22 — after a lot of blood and money.
Anyway, I was wrong, to say the least.
TO: Stephen Green
RE: Being Wrong….
“Anyway, I was wrong, to say the least.” — Stephen Green
….is somewhat different from “Mea Culpa”, which means, as far as I know….
P.S. You’re supposed to beat your manly breast while saying it.
All my mistakes are my fault.
TO: Stephen Green
…but I’m not hearing that thumping sound.
That sucker is bad-ass in the air. I’ve seen it several times at Edwards (the V-22 hangar is right next to the F-22 hangar out there, which I imagine causes a bit of confusion) and a couple of times at Eglin. A four-ship of those things causes weak sphincters to autonomously loosen at five nautical miles…
Getting the kinks out of a new aircraft pretty much inevitably involves some test pilots dying.
As far as the money is concerned, IIRC the initial estimate of how much the thing would cost to develop was $2.5 billion- downright cheap by Pentagon procurement standards. But the overruns are eye-popping- last I heard, we were over that initial estimate by a factor of 20…. which is not a record.
While I’m glad our soldiers (and marines) have this bird, I think there are some people who need to be fired, and a bunch of others audited to within an inch of their careers.
I was a fan at first, but after 10 years or so of watching it flounder, I became a skeptic too.
But I am so glad to see that some folks persevered, and kept the concept alive. I think the Osprey has a useful niche to fill today. And it’s a wonderful platform for future study.
Its successful use under fire in Iraq is great. But I REALLY want to see how it will perform in an environment like Afghanistan. Seems to me it could do much better than the big copters at high altitudes. That might literally be its “killer app”.
I work in Mansfield, Texas. I have seen the V22 several times (Bell is on the far side of town just over in Arlington)usually in escort with some helos and until recently it was always in helo configuration. A few weeks back it was flying about in plane mode. Went overhead several times that morning. I’ve been surprised at how quiet it was in both configurations. Not silent, by any means but quieter than a standard helo with exposed tail rotors. In plane mode it was about the same as a King Air or similar for prop noise, but less on the turbine noise
Well I have to admit that I’ve been a skeptic from the beginning. It had multi-billion dollar boondogle written all over it. But the strategypage piece with the side by side comparison made me realize how great it would be if I’ve been completely wrong all this time.
I’ve never been in the military, but in a previous life I worked in the oil field in the Gulf of Mexico and I’ve ridden many a helicopter, from little skeeters to the big suckers. As technology, as machines, helicopters are fascinating, even amazing. As human transportation however, they SUCK. They’re really, really LOUD (hearing protection is non-optional), bumpy, cramped and uncomfortable. And because flight hours are so expensive virtually every commercial pilot is ex-military and kind of nuts from flying these difficult machines in treacherous environments.
And they suck for the military too. The capabilities of helicopters are so great that they must be utilized, but they fly low and slow making them relatively easy targets. Think about all the choppers we’ve lost in Iraq and the irreplaceable personnel we’ve lost with them. Even if the Osprey’s capabilities were merely equal to helicopters, if they could do a better job keeping our soldiers and marines out of harms way without crashing and burning, they would be worth every nickel. With these extra capabilities over helicopters they’re a bargain.
Is there any chance that this thing could have commercial application? I mean, if the capacity could be expanded to, say, 35-40 civilian passengers, and enough sold to drive the price down to 50 million or so, would a craft that could fly 700 kilometers and land on a helipad sell enough seats to make a profit? Or would fuel and maintainance eat up all the profit? It seems to me that an airline which essentially owned it’s own airports would have an advantage as well.
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