V-22 Osprey In Action
80 page book.
Lou Drendel. The controversial Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is the first operational tilt-rotor aircraft. Its long gestation period of fits and starts has resulted in cost overruns, sensationalized accidents, and a continuing chorus of criticism. Nevertheless, the Osprey, a joint service multirole combat aircraft, is operational and is flying in combat, U.S. Marines using it for their personnel and the U.S. Air Force taking Special Operations troops of various services into battle. Able to take off, land, and hover like a helicopter, the Osprey transforms in flight into a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. The V-22 has become the most successful revolutionary rotorcraft in history.
Despite early and strident criticism, the V-22 is the safest rotary wing aircraft in service, and the most cost-effective in terms of cost per seat mile. Its speed and range have opened new vistas in both special operations and in combat vertical envelopment deployments. Contrary to what would be expected by the Osprey's revolutionary and eye-popping operational success there has been resistance to enhanced production by other services. Like the "battleship admirals" who resisted the rise of the aircraft carrier, many of the service chiefs have shunned the Osprey, opting instead for conventional rotorcraft in their new aircraft acquisition plans.
While the USAF has accepted the V-22 as a Special Operations combat rescue aircraft, the U.S. Army has no plans to acquire the Osprey as a replacement for its CH-47 or H-60 helicopters. But given the continuing success of the Osprey, it seems inevitable that the V-22 or a follow-on tilt-rotor aircraft will supplant most of the now-in-service helicopters for heavy lift and troop transport.
Packed with more than 150 vivid photos and detailed line drawings, 80 pages.