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LettersBravo on your article and guts for taking on the Marine Corps. I used to
work for an aerospace company and made the mistake, while talking to some
staff people on the Hill, about several very negative aspects of the V-22
program. Most specifically was its fatally flawed ability to cope with any
but the mildest form of asymmetrical thrust/lift. I got several threats and
one person offered to the rabid pro V-22 crowd to carry a message to me to
back off. He told me that I was playing with fire and of course, my company
had some big R&D and procurement lines in the authorization and
appropriations bills every year. One colleague of mine wrote a critical
letter to the editor of an aerospace magazine and the Marine Corps wanted
The fatal design flaw is the necessity, based on rotor diameter and wing
span, to have the rotors too far apart for the torque that they develop. Ask
any Marine who flew the OV-10 Bronco (I have a lot of hours as a FAC
instructor in it) how far away from the fuselage the props are. They are
barely 6 inches and this is to reduce the effects of a loss of power, for
any reason, and particularly at low airspeeds (V-22 slowing for landing!!).
In all of the accidents, and although the initial failures were all
different (Quantico "fire" in one engine) , Arizona ("loss
of lift on one
rotor") and New River ("hydraulic problem"), the killer always
catastrophic loss of control because of asymmetric torque/thrust. And it
will always be so. Cross shafting did not work at Quantico because the
coupling had burned through, and it will never work if there is a gear box
failure on either nacelle. Combat? One 23 mm hit on an engine ought to do
the whole load in.
Sorry for the preaching, but like you, I believe that the Marine Corps has
sold its soul for a few pieces of silver (read: roles and missions), and it
is a tragedy. They now have an appalling lack of integrity. Thank goodness
my son decided to resign his commission from the Corps.
One more thought: do you ever think that they will ever buy some for Marine
Keep up the fight.
Where is the fuel intake on the V-22? If its
near the wing which see-saws while on a ships' deck, it makes hot refueling
very dangerous. Would they have to chain it down each time? Even
that would be hazardous. Perhaps NATOPS should have a:
WARNING: shipboard ops in bad weather or
while other aircraft are flying nearby are PROHIBITED.
WARNING: this aircraft MUST be chained down before hot
refueling aboard ship.
An e-mail from a V-22 pilot revealed the actual
payloads tested are not near those claimed.
For example, why
> can it lift 20,000lbs of payload internally, but only 15,000
> The Operational Requirements document requires the V-22 to be able to
> 8K internally and 10K externally. Thus far the V-22 has demonstrated
> capability to internally carry 13K and externally lift 11K . Max gross
> weight limitations for all types of aircraft determine what can be
> and how far, whether that be internal/external loads, passengers, or