I'm not thinking of trying to make it look good - we should look at the mission first then worry about what machine is best for the job, in the same way that you should get your software first then buy the computer. There's no need to be ridiculous by bringing in the Bell 47. If a 609 had been available some years ago, I can guarantee that one of the corporates I was working for would have bought one.
What if you found out that the tilt rotor had a Catagory A landback distance could never fit in a heliport? What if your study showed that with the same payload and range, the helicopter always had an OEI envelope that was 1/3 the landback distance, and twice the rate of climb? What if you found out that the tilt rotor had 3 times the flight critical parts and took twice the maintenance? What if the helicopter had twice the interior volume These are not wise-guy comments, they are quite probably true (anyone ever seen a Cat A estimate for the 609?) and certainly important virtues for a people-mover.
I often discuss trade-offs in this way. The bottom line is that, to get the quite legitimate 50% increase in speed, you will pay in a number of ways. One way to make the penalties seem smaller is to compare the tilt rotor with a much smaller, cheaper, less powerful helicopter. This certainly "evens" the contest.
Please don't take my comments the wrong way, I believe there is a large tilt rotor market, and buyers will determine how large. Informed buyers.
Last edited by NickLappos; 16th Jul 2005 at 06:02.
With similiar logic, we'd be evaluating a Harrier against a Chinook and determine it's OEI performance is unacceptable, cargo capacity is unsatisfactory, etc.
The point has been made over and over again. The V22 is not a heavy lift helicopter. Like Nick said, there could be a very large tilt rotor market, but it won't be heavy lift.
I'm certain the people advertising capabilities of the V22 understand that it's limitations and capabilities quite well. Because it is replacing the H46, that leads people to compare the two. Not realistic, but understandable.
With the restructuring of Western Militaries towards littoral ops and smaller fighting forces the requirements of support helicopters are changing towards the capabilities of the V22. But that's a whole different thread that's probably more suitable at a different site.
The 609 market will be very interesting to see evolve. The points about Cat A performance may prove a point about safety legislation I tried to make some time ago. When Corporate Executives see the capability of a 609 from rooftop heliport in Dallas to rooftop heliport in New York they may quickly lobby to omit the Cat A requirements to place convenience over safety. (might want to check the distances involved, but you get the point)
As far as skill requirements for the pilots, the helicopter side is easily the critical training. Some fixed wing flying should occur, but single engine is sufficient. The sync shaft (?) ensures both proprotors will always be turning, so assymetric thrust is not an issue. That gives a basic skill set, the licences sought should be PPL(H) then CPL(V) (vectored?), with time on type requirements to upgrade to an ATPL(V). Credits given to dual licence holders at each level as well as special skills such as Harrier endorsements.
I guess the way the military looks at it is- the MV-22 doesn't "directly" replace anything, the way a 9mm Berretta could replace a .45 calibre 1911. The tiltrotor brings new capabilities to the table that have been heretofore unavailable. Yes, it may take over the roles of some aircraft that are being phased-out anyway (CH-46), but that is not the intention nor it's primary mission which may still be publicly and intentionally undefined.
Yes, it is horribly expensive...and horribly complicated. Yes, it's flight envelope may hold as-yet undiscovered "surprises." Yes, arming it is going to be a problem. But ultimately it is an interestingly capable device that no other military force has. And that just has to be irresistably tantalizing for the guys who work in that big five-sided building in Washington D.C.
I am not a big fan of the V-22, but when I look at it in this way I have to soften my stance.
More seriously, the customers I refer to would certainly not have bought a Blackhawk, even assuming your Cat A comments are correct, which a "source close to 609 development" tells me they are not. I'm sure they will improve the product.
Would the 609 necessarily use a heliport anyway? I spent a lot of time in Suffield (a strong competitior for the *rsehole of the world) operating a Beaver because the resident helicopters did not have the range to get to Calgary for casevacs. If the 609 is able to improve on that situation just a little in large countries like Canada, and take over where helicopters leave off, I can see a big market for it, especially where runway space is limited. Perhaps we are now talking about ESTOL (Extremely Short Takeoff & Landing).
"Is a special license required to pilot the BA609 Tiltrotor?
Yes. A BA609 pilot requires a FAA pilot certificate with a category rating in the "Powered Lift" category (this is an additional category which is different from the Airplane and Rotorcraft category ratings). In addition, a type rating in the BA609 is a required endorsement to the pilot certificate."
The first production CV-22 built expressly for the US Air Force has been delivered to the service. The tilt-rotor CV-22 was turned over to the Air Force on Monday, Sept. 19, at CV-22 production plant in Amarillo, Texas.
The CV-22 is the U.S. Air Force Special Operations variant of the V-22 and will be used for long-range special operations missions, contingency operations, and evacuations and maritime operations.
In addition to the standard V-22 nav and comms, the CV-22 has an advanced electronic warfare suite, a multi-mode radar which permits flight at very low altitude in zero visibility, a retractable aerial refuelling probe, four radios and flight engineer seat/crew positions in the cockpit.
This CV-22 will be assigned to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., the schoolhouse unit for CV-22 crews, Air Force officials said.
The Air Force is already flying two CV-22s as test platforms at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Those aircraft were originally built as Marine Corps MV-22s and then retro-fitted as CV-22s.
The two versions of the aircraft have several differences. For example, the Air Force version flies with a flight engineer while the Marine Corps aircraft doesn’t have an engineer crew position.
The Air Force Special Operations Command expects to acquire 50 of the aircraft, built by Bell and Boeing, to replace its MH-53J Pave Low helicopters and take over some missions now flown by MC-130 special operations airplanes.
Story from the Air Force Times Pictures added from various sources
Don't hold yer breath on a lot of success. The three engined CH-53 does all.....repeat....all of the SpecForces missions but the new fangled pipe dream does not. That is a step backwards in capability anyway you measure it.
The working stiffs who fly the missions want the upgraded CH-53 and not this new piece of crap.
For simple issues...compare the cabin dimensions and volume data....and compare it to either the CH-47 or the CH-53.
The missions capability that is being shifted to the US Army and the MH-47E from the Air Force will overwhelm the Army's capability to provide airframes. When that demand exceeds assets.....and it will....what happens then?
Politics has gotten in the way of reality in my view.
It does not matter how efficient the machine is on fuel...if it cannot accomplish the mission....it is the wrong aircraft for the job. The key point is the loss of mission by the Air Force and the overburdening of the Army as a result. Just why would a former Special Ops Squadron mission be going to a helicopter and one from another service of all things?
Throw in the consideration of Spec Ops missions in Afghanistan and other high altitude locations....just how is the Osprey supposed to do the work?
The MH-53M cannot...two engines...but the three engine version is the cats meow...or the Chinook with the right avionics fit.
I beg to differ. It's quite relevant how fuel efficient ANY aircraft is. From an operational standpoint, it's one of the least important issues, but from a ROI perspective it makes a difference. How can you completely ignore this aspect when you attempt to get the whole picture of the merits of the aircraft?
Not to mention the impact on pollution and depleting fossil fuel reserves!
I would suggest when one is engaged in the business of killing people and breaking things....depletion of fossil fuel reserves is way down on the list of priorities. Return on investment is an accounting concept and does not have much merit when considering warfighting capabilities beyond making sure enough money gets spent to buy the most effective kit possible so that one can achieve mission success.
The Osprey is not the solution to this puzzle....enhanced 47's and 53's are.
There’s one thing I’ve never understood about the anti tilt-rotor attitude from the rotary-wing community. Aren’t we all tired of flying around at 100-150kts? How many times during a flight do you look at the GPS ground speed readout, wishing you were going faster?
Any cursory examination of vertical flight R&D in the past 50 years will show a near complete focus on high-speed flight. Why? And then, when something comes along that is actually faster than a regular helicopter and goes into production, we piss and moan about it.
Looking ahead, do we somehow think Sikorsky is building X2 for cost efficient vertical heavy lift applications? Get real. They, like everyone else want to go FASTER. Why else would they revive the ABC technology? That’s why there’s that little pusher prop on the back end of that thing. Rest assured, if they ever sell an aircraft based on X2 technology it will have that prop on the back. Why? More speed. Otherwise, it’s just another helicopter. I can already hear the salesman now, “I know it cost twice as much, but it goes twice as fast as your old S-76.” If they’re able to build it cheaper than a tilt-rotor, fine. But the point of the exercise always was more speed.
One obvious problem here is there is no appreciation for being on the other end of a V-22, AB609 or for that matter, an X2 flight. Everyone likes to talk in terms of economics. Explain the economics of flying a couple of people in a Gulfstream G5 or S-76? Anyway, if you’re the SpecOps team in a firefight needing extraction or a fisherman hundreds of miles offshore needing rescue, what do you want to come get you? Don’t know about you, but if it was me I could care less about what it cost to buy or how much fuel it uses. At that point I’m saying to myself, “Man, I wish I was someplace else.” and just wanting my situation to change for the better as fast as possible.
There are a couple of things I accept. Tilt rotors or anything, for that matter, that goes faster than a helicopter will be expensive. Geez, fast helicopters are more expensive than slow ones are they not? They will crash, just like every other helicopter. So what? People paid the hefty price for a Concorde ticket because they wanted to be someplace NOW. Moreover, Concordes have been known to crash from known and fatal flaws as well.
I’m not ignoring the economics here. I just accept the fact there will always be someone willing to pay a higher price for speed and being “first adopter” of something new.
Therefore I welcome the V-22 as I will welcome any aircraft based on any technology which takes vertical flight to the next speed level.