An Osprey tiltrotor belonging to Air Force Special Operations Command crashed in Florida Wednesday evening, injuring five people aboard and likely badly damaging or destroying the aircraft. It’s the second crash in three months for the controversial V-22 tiltrotor, which takes off and lands like a helicopter and cruises like an airplane thanks to its rotating wingtip engine nacelles. A Marine Corps V-22 went down in Morocco in April, killing two crew.
Archived posts with tag ‘V-22’
A Marine Corps V-22 Osprey tiltrotor crashed during a training exercise in Morocco yesterday, killing two people aboard and injuring two others. The Marines have released only a few details so far, but it’s worth pointing out that the Boeing- and Bell-built V-22, which takes off and lands like a helicopter and cruises like an airplane thanks to its rotating engines, has a long history of mechanical problems — and a safety record far worse than the military likes to admit.
It was June 12 in the Sangin Valley in southern Afghanistan. U.S. Marines had been fighting the Taliban all day and had suffered heavy casualties, including two killed. Several resupply convoys had been turned back by enemy attack. The Marines were running low on food, water, ammunition and medical supplies.
The cost for the Marines to fix and fly their full fleet of V-22 tiltrotors has grown by nearly two-thirds over just four years, according to a Pentagon estimate. In 2008, the Defense Department calculated the “lifetime” cost of operating 360 V-22 Osprey transports at $75 billion over roughly 30 years. Today the figure is more than $121 billion — a 61-percent increase.
The V-22 Osprey tiltrotor flown by the Marines and Air Force crashes or burns much more often than the military cares to admit. But that hasn’t stopped Osprey-maker Boeing from pitching a new tiltrotor for an ambitious Army program aimed at replacing almost everything the ground combat branch flies … with a single aircraft design.
Dick Spivey, one of the main advocates of the V-22 during its decades of troubled development, has apparently written a comment on my Opsrey coverage, insisting that my coverage is not worth commenting on. Do I have to explain why that’s so funny?
So I published a story at Danger Room about the Marine Corps manipulating the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor’s safety record. There’s been surprisingly little blowback. Here’s one bitter response, from someone named Mark Bradley, who may or may not be the Mark Bradley quoted in a Boeing press release regarding the Osprey,
The Marine Corps has responded to our story on the military’s apparent manipulation of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor’s safety record. “No one is more focused on the safety of the Marine V-22, or any other aircraft the Marines fly, than the Marine Corps,” a statement issued Thursday by the Corps assures, “because we know that those aircraft are flown by our Marines and carry our Marines and other coalition personnel into combat.”
It’s an aircraft with a reputation for falling from the sky. But on at least one occasion, the U.S. military’s controversial V-22 Osprey tiltrotor — a hybrid transport that takes off like a helicopter and cruises like an airplane, thanks to its rotating engine nacelles — did just the opposite. It flew upward, out of control of its pilots.
It crashed four times in development, killing 30 crew and passengers. An unexplained crash during a combat mission in Afghanistan last year claimed four more lives. Despite its lethal reputation, in April the controversial V-22 Osprey tiltrotor got a high-profile new assignment: hauling cargo for the president’s entourage, starting in 2013.
An Air Force CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor belonging to the Florida-based 8th Special Operations Squadron has crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing four people. The Taliban claimed credit — but then, they always do. It’s not clear yet what caused the plane to go down. The $100-million CV-22 is the fifth Osprey to crash in 25 years of development and operations.