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The V22 Opsrey- A Plane Or A Boondoggle

Posted By Blackfive • [July 24, 2004]
osprey

John W. sends this article in the Ft. Worth Telegraph about the V22 Osprey. He was involved in the project and knew many of the men killed during the testing of the aircraft.

Osprey or Albatross Texas politicians keep reviving the bird that had claimed more lives and dollars than any other aircraft being developed By Robert Bryce

Compared to the V-22, Lazarus was a piker. He rose from the dead only once.

The V-22 should have been killed, dead and buried half a dozen times by cost- and safety-conscious bureaucrats. And yet, thanks largely to the Texas Congressional delegation, the V-22 continues to stay aloft, gnawing big chunks out of the Pentagon budget. Not even Dick Cheney, a man who has never been considered anything but a devout hawk, could drive a stake through the heart of the V-22, even though he spent his entire tenure as George H.W. Bush's defense secretary trying to do just that.

The V-22, also known as the Osprey, continues to feast at the federal trough despite a cost record that could bankrupt Warren Buffett and a safety record that would make Evel Knievel think twice. By the end of this year, the Pentagon will have built about four dozen copies of the exotic tilt-rotor aircraft at a cost of $16 billion. Out of those aircraft, four V-22s and one prototype have crashed. In fact, the V-22's safety record is so bad, Pentagon spokesmen refuse to provide comprehensive accident statistics on the flying machine. Four of the first 15 versions of the V-22 ended up in smoldering ruins. Over the past few years, V-22 crashes have killed 26 Marines and four civilians...

Read the whole article. While it is obviously against the development of the Osprey, it contains a lot of historical information about tilt-rotor aircraft and the political decisions surrounding the Osprey.

John wants to know what you think, not so much about the Osprey as a military aircraft, but about politicians involvement in spending money on military projects that either (1) don't work or (2) get our people killed. Boiled Down: Do they care about jobs in their district more than the lives of our military men and women?

I have a very good friend in Aviation Force Development for the Army. They are looking into the viability of the aircraft. The last thing that I said to him when he told me about the V-22 was "Jim, whatever you do, just don't volunteer to fly the damn thing."

Another friend of mine is in Marine Aviator school right now. Every once in awhile, I worry that he'll be put on the Osprey project...


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