a reply to: intrptr
So is my dad. He was an aerodynamic engineer at Lockheed.Ttook me to every airshow, and every time the Osprey demonstrated, he would explain it
was a failure conceptually because, its not a plane or a helicopter, its both. And both does neither well.
If he was an aerodynamics engineer then from his perspective he probably wasn't and isn't wrong. I don't think that in itself means the Osprey is a
bad aircraft. It isn't as good of a plane/helicopter as an actual plane/helicopter, however it does combine certain advantages of both (range/speed
for example). The Harrier is another example. By most standards it's massively inferior to other CTOL fighters, however it allows it to fly from
LHD's, giving a unique capability and allows fast jets to fly from smaller ships. The F-35B is also an example of this occurring.
I'm a Systems Engineer
(usually electrical/electronics/communications side of things), I
work in defence, but the methodology and processes are often the same. So my perspective is really a bit different. The real questions
to me are:
- What did the USMC require from the Osprey program?
- Why was the Osprey concept chosen?
- Does it meet requirements?
- If the Osprey concept is flawed, then why did the USMC stick with it for so long?
- What is being done to solve the Ospreys problems?
So when the article you linked states that the aircraft sucks, the first thing i ask is:
Yes, but it that a customer requirement? Is that how USMC plans on operating the Osprey? Is that how the USMC operates its ships?
Fuel contamination is not an uncommon problem for the Navy and Marines, as many Navy ships store both fuel and water in the same tanks, which are
then prone to build up certain kinds of fungi.
The resulting fuel contamination can cause dual engine flame-outs. And if an Osprey is operating at the same altitudes a helicopter does—around 500
feet—there’s little chance of gliding to a safe landing.
It seems daft for the USMC to operate this way if it is indeed a concern. iirc, the USMC also flies many single aircraft as well, including the F-35B.
If fuel contamination is a concern then aircraft are usually not flown at all.
And if this is indeed a concern, I'm betting that if the V-22 is to be operated off a ship, then that ship will implement special processes to reduce
the risk of fuel contamination. Do people really think that if there's a safety problem, engineers and operators just leave it, without mitigating the
A CH-46 cost $6 million in 1987. That’s around $11 million in today’s dollars.
This assumes that the only thing that would increase the cost of the CH-46 between now and 1987 is inflation. This is not true at all.
Wikipedia lists the cost of an F-15E in 1998 at about 31 million dollars. Today the cost of a new F-15 (i.e. F15K) at over 100 million dollars. Yet 31
million dollars in 1998 dollars is only 45 million dollars today. So there are other factors that have escalated the cost of aircraft at a greater
rate than inflation.
The CH-47 costs ~$40 million today, AH-1Z ~$31 million, and CH-53K $90 million (more expensive than the V-22 which costs ~$75 million). I would
estimate the V-22 is probably around twice as expensive as a new build CH-46 with all the new bells and whistles, not 10x more expensive like the
Is it worth it? Depends if the CH-46 could have met customer requirements...
edit on 17/10/15 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)