What is wrong with the Osprey?

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Designer, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Pawpaw40

    Pawpaw40 Well-Known Member

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    Back in the mid-70's I worked in the offshore oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico. Often rode choppers to and from the rig. The landing platform was on top of one of the legs of the jack-up rig, about 180 feet above the water. Taking off from the platform, sometimes the pilot would just barely get it off the platform, and dive toward the water, pulling up at what seemed like the last moment. I don't know if they were doing it for the thrill of it, to scare us roughnecks, or just to pick up airspeed quickly. I thought it was a lot of fun.
    Talking to some of the pilots, I found out they were almost all Vietnam Vets. I admired them not only for their skill, but their willingness to come out regardless of weather conditions to evacuate injured personnel, or entire crews if a hurricane was approaching. They were a great bunch to work with.
     
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  2. ral357

    ral357 Well-Known Member

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    The Vietnam era pilots are retired now. Just as Well things have gotten pretty "buttoned down" these days, they might not enjoy it so much. As to why they took off that way sometimes, they would say to get up to speed faster but I suspect it usually had more to do with giving the passengers a little jolt with a good dose of Joie de vivre!
     

  3. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    It's UGLY!!!!
     
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  4. DesertRat2

    DesertRat2 New Member

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    I have worked at MCAS Yuma for the last 22 years + and I can tell you for a fact that no Osprey has ever crashed here (yet). The incident team was dispatched from here but the actual crash was well east of here, around the Marana area I believe. That crash was determined to be a fault with the training the pilots were receiving as the aircraft suffered from a phenomenon similar to "retreating blade stall" which, at the time, the design engineers didn't think could affect the Osprey. They were wrong. Pilots are now trained to avoid flight regiments that may induce this effect.
     
  5. Designer

    Designer Well-Known Member

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    Darned right! While some people might say "it doesn't matter what it looks like", I say "Being ugly doesn't help."
     
  6. Designer

    Designer Well-Known Member

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    If I understand the dynamics of the Osprey, the retreating blades (going forward) are retreating over the top of the fixed wing at the middle of the plane.

    I wonder if being in that location inherently has less lift than the advancing outboard wings? Then I wonder if changing the rotation of the rotors would help at all?
     
  7. N.R. Ringlee

    N.R. Ringlee New Member

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    The problem with the Osprey................... Where to begin. First and foremost, 28 years, 3 combat tours as a grunt, career ended by a helicopter crash. That said, I was uniquely positioned as a senor company grade in career level school when the Osprey was first foisted on the Marine Corps. I had and still have many buds who were CH-46 pilots. The CH-46 was the original object of desire for the program: replacement. What was needed and specified in the original design and performance specs was a medium lift, dual rotor helicopter capable of shipboard us (small spot) and capable of replacing the CH-46 in capabilities while taking advantage of new air frame, avionics and power plant technologies. Four of my buds were selected to do a test on the Boeing S-300 which was a commercial design concept that appeared to fit the bill. The came back with glowing reports. Careers ended.

    Osprey gained a following of what we used to call "wankers" which is a Royal Marine term used to describe chronic masturbators. As this procurement cabal grew the intensity with which they attacked opposing concepts and the folks who advocated those opposing concepts. This literally played itself out in fist fights at Quantico in the late 1980's. People lost their objectivity, lost their minds, went on a procurement feeding frenzy and the end result was not a replacement for the CH-46 but a completely new rotting albatross that satisfied only the procurement types and of course Boeing. Hence the Osprey was shoe horned in to our triad of light, medium, heavy and now "limited application (Osprey) helicopter inventory. Please note that CH-46s are still flying with quick patches of bullet holes taken while I was a young lance coolie trooping around I Corps in Viet Nam.

    End result: the Marine Corps has an aircraft that the other services will not touch, never would, and will take only if their children are taken hostage. If you detect that I have a bad attitude you are probably not far from the mark. I had a lot of time in traction to think about bad procurement decisions whether it be Ospreys, Advanced Assault Amphibians (failed at 3 billion) and the many careers ended in the 1980's and 1990's to simply give the average Marine '03 a functional pair of boots to wear. I can be critical of my former home because when I enlisted I did so because my country was at war and throughout my service in the Marine Corps I held first and foremost service to my country and not a particular service or cabal within a particular service. If others acted the same we would not be in this mess today. Semper Fidelis
     
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  8. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to N.R. Ringlee for a cogent and concise description of Marine Aviation. I spent all my Navy time in fixed wing, but as a civilian, I owned and operated a Bell 47G3B1 in spray operation...Helos Never fascinated me, I only operated the durned thing because of its capabilities...and when traveling to a new field, even if only for 5 miles, it was cheaper and safer to put the chopper on the trailer than to fly it to the new field. Having said all that, I despise the Osprey...it is built here in Amarillo, I have friends on the production line, and even a young cousin...they build a fine piece of crap...I first thought it was a fine way to kill some really good aviators....and infantry..still is.

    I am ever thankful that I was never given the "hover" handshake, and did all my flying with a visible means of support. Fling wings are fine...but frangible, once described as a loose collection of spare parts, trying desperately to come apart! I don't ever recall a fly-in of antique helicopters...probably never happen.
     
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  9. 2A-Jay

    2A-Jay Well-Known Member

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    As a navy Helicopter air crewman, I worked on and flew in the H2, and CH46. Loved flying in both. Now the H2 is only flown by New Zealand and I believe the Greeks. The H46 is now flown by the Coast Guard. To this day I still get the urge to go for a ride in a helicopter. Just don't want to pay the price. Never had the urge to ride in an Osprey though. They just don't appear to be right to me.
     
  10. Big Mak

    Big Mak Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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  11. ral357

    ral357 Well-Known Member

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    While these rotor wing aircraft certainly fill roles no other craft can I always thought they are overused. They are complicated high maintenance craft that require substantially more money and time just to keep them going. What's the answer? We certainly are not going to retire them they do things that nothing else can. The practical solution IMO is to limit their use as much as they can without compromising capability to do the work. Seems that some of the roles could be filled using fixed wing aircraft. Take troop support something like a modernized P-51 with the latest electronics and weapons would be a formidable addition. Simpler, cheaper to buy and maintain it also is much faster than a helo. Seems like many more could be deployed for less money and the percentage of time each craft is actually mission ready would be much higher.
    The helicopter plays a vital role but by limiting the air hours to missions that it alone is best suited for we would save money and more importantly lives IMHO.
     
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