The MV-22 Osprey testing began at the greater Wilmington airport in Delaware over twenty years ago; where the Del. air Nat. Guard holds their monthly drills. This was where it had its first crash. Testing was then transferred to another location. All the marines and marine pilots I have spoken with, feel that they would rather fly it than a fix wing cargo plan.
It's a great aircraft with an unrealized potential. You have a butt load of cashbook jocks, soon to be without jobs, in a hot hybrid rotor-fixed wing that are only comfortable at 1-3000 ft and 100 or so kts. Flying the wings at 45 deg and 120kts just isn't what the designers had planned, or what the grunts want. The plane will go 300+ if you flat the wings, but the fixed wing jocks in transition aren't the majority, nor will they have the input when the TTPs get ironed out. I say have one of each in the cockpit (fixed and rotor jocks) and let them do what they do best during the three phases of sortie.
Some of the marine pilots have logged 9,000 hours on fixed wing aircraft and as I see it, the MV-22 OSPREY is an Accident looking for a place to happen! The V-22 osprey might not be as safe as the DC-3 but is the safe DC-3 capable of keeping up with today's military requirements? As with every other aviation platform it will take time to over come the bugs, heck look how long it took the 53 to work right and then hunted by substandard parts etc. Oh and let's not forget the harrier. Gees-o-petes the happiest Harrier Pilot I ever met were flying a desk for G-2 Ops at IIIMEF.
We sure could have used it for that Rawanda Op. It works and will work better. Lots more range than 53 or 46 and lots more versatile than c-130 or previously mentioned helos. Again, once the bugs are worked out. Well obviously they have/are being worked out.
The USMC is now replacing there Sea Knights with them. It's a great new capability. As I said previously it has taken over twenty years to get to this point. This shows a future need for this type of aircraft.
I'm sure after all this time, if not already, the bugs left can be worked out. We know that there would be no use for them while in plane mode. You could at least put the guns on the side and fix to front of the engines to give some kind of suppressive fire, instead of nothing.
last thing is what difference does is it make not having a chin mounted gun, the thing already costs too much you might as well give it a gun or it will be defenseless and most likely be shot down. It was one of the unfortunate ones in Dec 2000 at one of the Osprey crashes. At that time I felt it was best to "DUMP" the osprey. But after seeing much work being done on this aircraft and learning how it truly does fly, I now think we must push forward and transudation to this aircraft. If you look back at other aircraft you too will see that there will believes lost. Nobody wants that but how much longer can the USMC depend on the 46 and 53.
Yes, there may in fact be more deaths. But that's life just like driving down the street you could always be killed.
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for http://www.WarGear.info/. WarGear.info carries the best selection of military clothing, war gear, and combat accessories on the market.