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Jan 28, 2005



I don't buy the rotor diameter issue as being the only reason why the V-22 wasn't selected. The US101 is going to be replacing current HMX CH-46 and CH-53 aircraft and the V-22 isn't any larger than those so either HMX needs at least two types of aircraft for it's mission (US101 cannot get into all the same small places that the VH-60 can nor can it carry the loads that the VH-53E's can) or the V-22's size would have been just fine.

Come on! We've seen Bush in a flight suit on the deck of an aircraft carrier. We all want to see our Commander in Cheif rappel out of the back of a V-22.


This comes down to a simple size matter:

Length 57 feet 4 inches (17.47 metres)
Width 84 feet 7 inches (25.78 metres)
Height 22 feet 7 inches (6.73 metres)

EH101: Choosen for Marine One
Length with both rotors turning 22.80m
Width excluding main rotor 4.55m
Overall height 6.65m
Main rotor diameter 18.60m

Now try to imagine fitting the Osprey down on all the small locations Marine One has to land at. We can’t have the President having to rappel out of the back of the Osprey.


Your first comment addresses the time issue. While it is true that the V-22 isn't a mature craft, you have to wonder why it's not mature yet since it's now been nearly 20 years since the program's inception (more if you include the JVX). Maybe this is so because it's such a complex craft, which when you think of one of the cardinal rules of military vehicle design--to Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)--then the V-22 isn't the bright idea Boeing sells it as.

The issue of slow and inadequate testing/V-22 development dovetails into your second point regarding crashes. The V-22 has been barred from combat manuevering tests for years now. Why? Probably because the sucker is too unstable and accident-prone for those tests to be safe. Once those tests begin, let's cross our fingers and hope more Marines won't die in crashes.


One other note:

It is simply false that, "V-22 is not a safe and reliable aircraft." It's certainly true that there have been four crashes during it's development, but during the testing of the F-14 (One of the best planes in the history of the Navy) *there were 42 crashes!* http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-serial-date.htm

The sad and tragic fact of the V-22 is that during those crashes, there were marines in the back, and 30 souls were lost. I am not excusing that, and it was a major fault of the accelerated testing program.

Since that time, though, the V-22 has seen major improvements, and will soon be as safe and reliable as the CH-46 "chinook" it's going to replace in the marine corps.


Uhh, perhaps because the V-22 is in it's infancy, and isn't even approved for use by the marines? If this competition had been held 10 years from now, the V-22 would probably be very high on the list, as of now, though, it's still too early in the testing/development phase for it to be seriously considered.

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