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Bell-Boeing's MV-22 Osprey heads to Iraq
The MV-22 will have serve a seven month tour of duty in Iraq

Bell-Boeing's V-22 Osprey first took to the air nearly 20 years ago and the road to active duty has been a long one. When DailyTech last visited the tilt-rotor aircraft, the Air Force's CV-22 Osprey was criticized for its "poor aircraft availability" and "marginal operational availability" during desert testing at Kirkland Air Force Base.

"Frequent part and system failures, limited supply support, and high false alarm rates in the built-in diagnostic systems caused frequent flight delays and an excessive maintenance workload," claimed the report which was released earlier this year.

"This produces a maintenance and support burden that the Marines really can’t afford. All of the reliability problems that they continue to have here in the [United] States -- it’s going to drive them crazy overseas," said Philip Coyle, senior advisor for the Center for Defense Information.

Despite the troubles, the U.S. Marines will be deploying seven of its similar MV-22 Ospreys to Iraq in September. The Marines are hoping that the Osprey’s speed will allow it to quickly transport troops and make it less of a target for insurgents than slower, traditional helicopters.

"It is our fervent feeling that this aircraft is the most capable, survivable aircraft that we carry our most important weapons system in, which is the Marine or rifleman," said Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, the deputy commandant for aviation for the Marines. "If you've ever gone rabbit hunting, you know that it's harder to shoot a rabbit that's running than the one that's sitting still."

The push for the Osprey to enter regular military service has been a long time coming. In 2007 alone, there have been six crashes involving U.S. helicopters in Iraq. The Osprey's enviable speed (top speed 316MPH), ability to take-off and land like a helicopter and an operating range that is three to five times that of traditional helicopters should make it a great workhorse during its seven month deployment.

The V-22 Osprey is destined to replace the Marines' CH-46 Sky King by 2018. When compared to the CH-46, the Osprey has a range that is three times farther and has six to seven times the survivability in the field.

The tilt-rotor aircraft has been in development for over 20 years at a cost of over $20 billion USD.



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RE: biggest waste of taxpayer's money EVER
By CollegeTechGuy on 4/16/2007 2:41:04 PM , Rating: 2
I have a hard time believing that this thing can land without engines. Look at the size of the props, if the engines quit they would be a huge resistance and the plane would probly not be able to keep enough speed up to glide to the ground. It would probly just drop like a rock.


RE: biggest waste of taxpayer's money EVER
By Ringold on 4/16/2007 6:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming it's like any other normal aircraft (except for simple fixed-pitch single engine civilian airplanes), those admittedly massive props would feather such that they'd be parallel to the plane, creating no drag.

At which point, the Osprey would glide perfectly well, just like most any other plane.

Of course, my problem with this entire complaint is that the time spent in a vulnerable condition (in 'helicopter' mode) would be a very short period of time relative to the total time the engine would be active. The probability of a critical failure during this short window of time from mere mechanical failure should be pretty darn small; the real risk would be enemy fire, and that's not special to the Osprey.


RE: biggest waste of taxpayer's money EVER
By Jafo79 on 4/16/2007 11:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course, my problem with this entire complaint is that the time spent in a vulnerable condition (in 'helicopter' mode) would be a very short period of time relative to the total time the engine would be active. The probability of a critical failure during this short window of time from mere mechanical failure should be pretty darn small;


Wrong, this is where chance of failure is greatest as the most power is required and components are under the highest amount of stress.


RE: biggest waste of taxpayer's money EVER
By Ringold on 4/16/2007 11:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
Aircraft engines spend most of their lives at very high levels of output. Cruise speed can easily mean 70% output continuously for hours on end. Does hovering this thing really need the same output as a 250 or whatever knot cruise? If it does, then I stand corrected.

As for stress, lift is lift; the stress would be distributed differently during a hover than during cruise, but during either configuration the entire weight of the Osprey is on its wings. Again, I'd imagine the lift PLUS the stress of a 250 or 300kt cruise would be at least as bad as a hover.

I'll admit, a take off is the most dangerous time, and happens to of been when I've had my only engine failure, but that particular risk is shared with all aircraft.


By Jafo79 on 4/17/2007 4:28:12 AM , Rating: 2
The power required to hover is much greater than that to maintain cruise speed, remember the lift equation L=clx1/2p/v2
where lift=coefficient of lift or aoa
1/2p= air density
v2=velocity squared

HIgh AOA,+low velocity ( no translational lift from horisontal airspeed) =lots of induced drag (vortices) and very high power requirements

All I can say is read this!
http://www.g2mil.com/V-22safety.htm


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