V-22 Osprey Arrives in a combat zone for the first time.

Discussion in 'Modern' started by DerAdlerIstGelandet, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Osprey finally arrives in a combat zone, after more repairs

    By Jay Price, McClatchy Newspapers
    Mon Oct 8, 6:23 PM ET



    BAGHDAD — The controversial V-22 Osprey has arrived in a combat zone for the first time.

    It was an epic trip for the innovative tilt-rotor plane, one that took more than 25 years of development and cost 30 lives and $20 billion . Even the last short hop— from an aircraft carrier into Iraq — went awry, U.S. military officials said Monday.

    A malfunction forced one of the 10 Ospreys that were deployed to land in Jordan on Thursday. The Marines flew parts to it from Iraq and repaired it. After it took off again Saturday, the problem recurred, and it had to turn back and land in Jordan a second time, said Maj. Jeff Pool , a U.S. military spokesman in western Iraq . It finally was repaired and arrived at al Asad Air Base in western Iraq late Sunday afternoon.

    Maj. Eric Dent , an Osprey spokesman at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington , declined to identify the problem. "The nature of the malfunction was a minor issue, but our aircrews are top-notch when it comes to safety," he wrote by e-mail. "Rather than continue, the aircrew opted to land at a pre-determined divert location and further investigate the issue."

    Now the Osprey is on the world stage, and the burden of proving it's safe, reliable and effective in combat is on the North Carolina -based Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, nicknamed the Thunder Chickens. The unit's mission will be transporting troops and cargo in western Iraq .

    It will perform that mission in ways that no other military transporters have ever done in combat. The Osprey— which costs $110 million each, including development costs— takes off and lands like a helicopter but tilts its engines forward to fly like an airplane.

    Its arrival in Iraq is aviation history, said Bob Leder , a spokesman for the Bell-Boeing partnership that builds the Osprey.

    "This is a big thing— the introduction of a new type of aircraft into combat, totally different from the way things have been done before," he said.

    Leder said the company thinks the Osprey and the squadron will do well, but that the years of criticism and heavy media attention are putting huge pressure on the squadron to perform.

    The aircraft's problems have generated a gallery of vocal detractors, who say that not only is it too expensive and too dangerous, but that it performs poorly and has become little more than an extraordinarily expensive bus.

    It made the cover of Time magazine last week in a highly critical article that called it "A Flying Shame."

    The problem with the flight into Iraq recalled one of the V-22's first big journeys, a transatlantic flight last year to an English air show. One Osprey suffered engine problems and had to made a precautionary landing in Iceland .

    The aircraft has had worse moments, though, including three fatal crashes:

    — In 1992, seven crewmembers were killed when a tilt-rotor crashed into the Potomac River.

    — In April 2000 , a V-22 with 19 crew and Marine passengers aboard crashed in Arizona , killing all.

    — In December of the same year, a mechanical problem compounded by a software glitch caused a crash in North Carolina that killed the crew of four.

    The Osprey's odd configuration means it can take off from tight spots like a helicopter, but travel much farther and faster. The Marines plan to buy 360 Ospreys, and the Navy and Air Force intend to buy about 100 more.

    Marines often move by ship, and the Osprey's capabilities were something that Marine Corps leaders decided they needed. They fought hard for the aircraft when it came close to being cancelled.

    Vice President Dick Cheney tried kill the program when he was secretary of defense under President George H.W. Bush , but Marine lobbying and the fact that suppliers for the aircraft were spread among dozens of congressional districts saved it.

    With such a long and shaky history, the pressure isn't just on the Thunder Chickens to make the deployment go smoothly.

    Leder said Bell-Boeing had stockpiled about $100 million in spare parts in the past year so that it could be ready for this deployment and any that will follow. It also sent 14 technicians with the Thunder Chickens, a common precaution for major weapon systems when they deploy.

    The Marines are keeping tight control on information about the deployment.

    For security, the Marines had declined to comment on the unit's movements until all the aircraft were on the ground, and even then they didn't trumpet the event with a news release.

    Also, they're barring media access to the unit for several weeks, until it can get settled in, Pool said in an e-mail message.

    Former V-22 program spokesman Ward Carroll , a former F-14 pilot, doesn't count himself among the V-22's detractors, but said it's inevitable that more will crash. That's simply the nature of military aircraft, he said.

    The wear and tear of deployments could reveal problems with parts that haven't been troublesome before, he said.

    The V-22 has been in development for so long, Carroll said, that some of those parts could come from suppliers that have gone out of business.

    This summer, a memo circulated around the Marine Corps about several continuing problems. In several cases, mechanics had to strip parts from some V-22s to keep others in the air.

    According to the memo, the Ospreys of the generation sent to Iraq were ready to fly less than 80 percent of the time and had full use of their systems 62 percent of the time.

    Osprey finally arrives in a combat zone, after more repairs - Yahoo! News
     
  2. k9kiwi

    k9kiwi Member

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    For heavens sake. "Watch out, the Thunder Chickens are coming"

    Just doesn't quite have that threatening tone it should, does it now.

    Great to see the bird is actualy doing the job it was designed for, but Thunder Chickens just makes me pee the pants laughing.

    Take your pick.....
     

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  3. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I'm not laughing. There's a history behind it. Say that around a bar within 5 miles of New River on a Friday night and see how it goes over. Maybe Les can get away with it because we all know his well touted ability to beat jarheads while drunk w/ his pants around his ankles double fisting beer :D
     
  4. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    I think that's a great squadron name. Just sayin', it's funny and you'll definitely remember it.

    Best of luck to the guys who fly and ride in it. I hope the designers fixed everything.
     
  5. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Matt: Maybe you need to tell these guys where you're headed after your
    leave....

    Charles
     
  6. glennasher

    glennasher Member

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    I just hope, for the sake of the troops, that enough of the serious bugs have been worked out, that the aircraft will work properly. As it is, I have my doubts. I wanna believe it'll be a great airframe, but it's sure had a lot of problems..........
     
  7. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Mkloby, I have much more trust in your equipment. The MV-22 will prove to be phenomenal success. Ignore the comments. They are similar to the introductions of helicopters in MacNamara's war. And certainly changing as in our warfighting doctrine. Doom on all of you detractors. A healthy questioning of technology or procedure is healthy. An unrelenting bashing of technology that has been under development and operational fielding with the blessing of senior commandants smacks of partisanship. I cannot fathom that Marine brass would knowingly put your average Devil Dog in harm's way.
     
  8. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I agree Matt. There are definitely pros and cons to the MV-22, as there are with every single aircraft. What bothers me are the morons, like the author of the TIME magazine article, that bash the aircraft while not being in the military, a pilot or aircrewman, or an engineer. He was way out of his league, and came across as a fool in his article. It's like me writing an article commenting on new surgery techniques.
     
  9. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Yep. What kind of person bashes the military on a project with such weighty development, consequences, and capability?

    Only one who has no concept of operational need, application, and maintenance. Just because it hovers, does not make an F-35 equal to an MH-60 equal to an MV-22. Do your effing homework.

    [stepping down off my well worn soapbox]
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I have a concept of operational need, application and maintenance. Especially maintenance. However I still have some questions about the Osprey. I would not consider myself one of your so called military bashers but I am not 100 percent convinced that the Osprey is ready, especially from a maintenance and technical point of view.

    Now having said that I am not sure if it will ever be any more ready than it is now. We need to get her feet wet in a combat environment and in short order the bugs will be worked out.

    It is no different than any new aircraft.
     
  11. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Yes, the cover of TIME pi**ed me off . . . one of the headlines was, "It can't shoot straight". What the heck are you talking about? It's not supposed to shoot at all! I guess they were referring to the proposed chin turret with a .50-cal. mult-barrelled cannon that was deemed too heavy to develop; but the a/c was designed to transport troops, not attack enemy formations. Do your homework, TIME!
     
  12. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    We had several fleet aircraft fly in this week to our training base. Although the helo bubbas LOVE to hate the Osprey - guess what aircraft had dozens and dozens of helo pilots drooling all over themselves???

    I'll post some pics tomorrow or the next day!
     
  13. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Very exciting mkloby! New weapons system... you are very lucky. I'm looking forward to high marks for the osprey in operational effectiveness...

    I'm still very curious to see if they develop an assault version.

    Stay safe...
     
  14. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Read an article in AvWeek about the MV-22 armament. BAE systems won a contract for an "all aspect" turret mounted gun for the lower fuselage. The caliber and ordnance were not noted. However, based upon past articles, it implies a retractable turret with a minigun with two degrees of freedom. 7.62 or .50? Nothing said.
     
  15. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    I hope it is now rid of the bug it had and will fly without any major problems. Been keen on seeing her operational for a long time and followed her development since the early 90's.

    All the best of luck to her crews and the aircraft and also the lives she will save.
     
  16. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Well the Ospry is a bird of prey after all. The aircraft is not called the seagull.

    I'm glad it has teeth.

    I hope I live to see the day that all rotor wing aircraft are obsolete in favor of new technology. Rotor wing has served us well but there has to be a better way then just B!tch slapping the air into submission.

    .
     
  17. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    :lol: It does seem so... da Vinci doesn't it.
     
  18. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I'm hoping it gets the green light - we will see. Maybe we'll see it in an MV-22C!
     
  19. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    You started flying the bird yet?

    We want some pics man!
     
  20. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    No kidding mkloby. What's up man?
     
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