Pretty Neat Lookin'.
From a modeler's perspective, it's upper surface camo is a very dark, blueish, color whose intensity is seemingly at odds with the traditional
'gunship' grey of 36118, and perhaps more indicative of AMC Proud Grey 36173. While the bottom color looks a little dull to be 36495 and could
instead be 36375.
I still like the 'Reflective Raptor' (topcoat) style camo applied to some MV-22s during flight test for looks but it may be that this scheme's
overall specular 'flash value' is just too high, especially for mixed day/night ops at lower penetration levels.
Also note the cylindrical containers for the AAQ-24 very ostentatiously mounted on the rear fuselage by the cargo doors. While an obvious
acknowledgement of the 'not your daddy's SA-7' threat environment; this also bespeaks a fairly mild airflow region around the ramp which is unusual
(both the C-130 and the MH-53 have rather 'aggressive aerodynamics' here and the latter actually has straighteners fitted...). It /may/ also pose
some clearance issues for troops deplaning (though obviously you are not coming forward into vertical nacelle regions).
Taken together with the fuselage planing angle, sponson/gear masking issues and the obvious engine plume angle and blindzone potential, could make for
interesting DIRCM performance 'sectoring' at low level on or around an LZ threatened by FQ shoulder weapons.
Perhaps the greatest question for me however arises from the seeming absence of an IFR probe. I suppose it could be bolton (the Marine versions probe
would be visible from this view) but it's absence, along with roughly similar (vice 'wider' as originally proposed) gear sponsons in comparison to
All make it rather hard to believe that the aircraft will make the 700nm leveraged combat radius originally proposed for the CV-22. Even if they fit
a bladder tank.
Is this the USAF way of admitting that the HC-130 'half way there' drag mission is just not viable anymore? Or is there simply something bigger
underneath the floor or outboard in the wings?
Lastly, I do -so wish- the CMICs would learn what they are talking about before they make /stupid/ comments like 'pull to a hover and land like an
MH-53J/M'. Because first off, the USAF Pave _Pig_ is known as such because, in addition to it's pronounced proboscis; it is notoriously 2-engine
shy on horsepower. OTOH, 'when nobody's looking' CH-53E pilots have been known to stand their birds on their tails to make a tight LZ 'under
fire' scenario happen from a very rapid ingress/short LOS environment.
The V-22 is not that kind of aircraft. Nor should it be assumed to NEED to be so **as long as you can DRIVE to the sound of gunfire**. In a 100,000
dollar jeep rather than a 60 million dollar airframe. If people insist on seeing this AIRPLANE as a UH-1 setting down into the elephant grass as a
function of 'cultural memory'; they //will be// severely disappointed.
It's when you look at it as an ESTOL platform capable of taking advantage of a say a block-long run of street or farmers field FAR AWAY from a
predictable threat location. That it's true range:speed advantages come to the fore.
You try and assault land it into a hot zone and you are going to lose a lot of airframes, needlessly, to both golden bb and not-a-helo power on VRing
stall issues from excessive descent rates with small rotor disks and a highly loaded wing.