Monday, August 3, 2009


A reader writes:

". . . it's a nice "whiz-bang NEATO!" thing but still after ALL THESE YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT ISN'T SAFE. FAA won't approve them for Civil Aviation for all their design faults."

Why the V-22 Osprey is Unsafe.

"Yes the wing rotates and things fold BUT:

V-22 Lies Exposed

"G2mil's March article, V-22 Alternatives describes why V-22s are not shipboard compatible. This has been known by those profiting from the V-22 program for a decade. This is why they avoided deploying V-22s with naval task forces. However, all the CH-46Es have been retired from the East Coast, so V-22s were forced to deploy last month with the 22nd MEU. They deployed only 10, rather than the standard 12 with the CH-46E, because V-22s are twice their size."

Read the rest of Tom's insightful analysis here.

Sean Linnane write: Thanks for this info, Tom. I was aware of the controversy surrounding the V-22, from the inception of the military program, but not in such detail. In late 2007 I observed a large number of MV-22's in the air and on the airstrip at Camp Lejeune, NC. At that time my impression was 'Thank God I'm retiring and will never be forced to get onto one of those science fiction-looking eggbeaters.'

There's a standard line the military aviators always say about the Airborne: "I don't know why anyone would want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane."

Let me say it proud and say it loud: I am not an aviator, I am Airborne. I ride around in birds I don't fly them, and always, always, ALWAYS I prefer to jump out of them rather than land in them.


  1. Old crew chief from Nam Air Cav I went to gunsmith college with used to say about "Helicopters are like women, the more you see and know about how they work, the more they scare the hell out of ya!"


  2. As an old UH34D Crew Chief from Nam, I can tell you that a wounded Grunt wants one thing:

    A medevac to come, and fast as possible.

    The V22 can get to the wounded at over 300 knotts and that spells survival.

    This new bid will save lives.

    The CH46 had its share of deadly crashes.

    In WWII, it was safer to land at Normandy than crew a B17, but they didn't just stop flying the missions...

  3. I respect your service and perspective but did you realize we are still using 46s and just re-engined a bunch of 53s because the Ospreys can't stay in the air.
    There isn't Osprey one in Iraq and they came home by ship, weren't flown.


    It's bad enough having the enemy try to kill you without having to worry about your equipment trying to kill you too. What use is a "VTOL" and hover capable aircraft that can't safely hover under 2000 feet?

    As an aviation enthusiast from a USAF and Army Lifer family who was 4F for medical reasons, I don't like rescue aircraft that can fall out of the sky as they roll on their backs with significant regularity due to no fault of the pilot and it's not a recoverable thing at under 2000 feet even by the best pilots in the Marine Corp and set LZs on fire when the engines don't catch fire.

    MH-60 Knighthawks the USN went with fly slower but they don't have a hitory of not being able to autorotate, not being able to actually stay in the sky when hovering, and they don't have a history of killing lots of grunts and they actually lift as much as the V-22 was designed to and can operate in hot LZs.

    You want 300knots and maybe have the rescuing aircraft roll on it's back and land on you that way or a proper helicopter or a properly designed tilt wing like Boeing is working on as opposed to the rotating engines that are the fatal flaw with the V-22 and cause them to have the vortex ring state problems that make them fall out of the sky?

    Why keep ordering more of something when the design is fundamentally flawed and dangerous instead of spending the money on one of the VTOL aircraft with designs that work reliably and get those into production?

    Like I said, If the BEST OF THE BEST USMC pilots have fatal accidents hovering them around how are new pilots flying into hot LZs going to react. Also any vortex ring state loss of lift is fatal at under 1000 feet EVERY time and 95% fatal 2000 feet or under.

    Medevacs shouldn't be designed to kill people or be incapable of flying into hot LZs.

    I'm a machinist/mechanic/gunsmith not a former crew chief in combat helicopters in Nam but I'll tell you I'd never get in an Osprey.

    Family friends crewed B-17s. When things on the B-17 were broken they FIXED THEM and made better B-17s and then B-29s. This is an UNFIXABLE aircraft design because of the vortex ringstate freefalls caused by the vacuum of the fixed wing causing the props to lose lifting ability in hover mode and you roll or plummet and all the power in the world wont' save you.

    Let's use your B-17 analogy. B-24 mission survivability was much lower than B-17 mission survivability. Money was invested with Boeing to make the B-17s have a better chance and then it evolved into the 29. The B-24s evolved into being scrapped because they were not good bombers for daylight bombing.

    Read my extended notes and tell me why you wouldn't look for something better and safe with the money they just spent buying a bunch more of them.

  4. SB;

    Just dropped this link over at NeptunusLex as fodder for the readership. If Lex runs this one up the flag pole, I suspect it will get interesting. Great read, and thanks to Tom for laying out some great detail here.