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When I was a private in the Army in 1989 I was stationed a Ft. Campbell, KY and they had a mock up there that everyone was looking at to see what the new comanche might look like. At that point they didn't even know which of the two designs was going to be picked. Anyway, I overheard a general happened to be in looking at the information being presented and said to his counterpart "this would a really good aircraft. Too bad it is only being presented so we can get better funding for a better Apache and a reasonable replacement for the 58D."

 

When they decided on an airframe and them made a prototype I remembered that conversation and thought the general was wrong but when they scrapped the program and shifted funding to other projects, I again thought about those words and wondered what he really knew.

 

It is a cool aircraft, too bad it was so expensive.

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I disagree. A helicopter that can fly at 200 mph, whoop-tee-do. Brand new tilt rotor technology, that can fly well over 200 mph, carry a bunch of payload, and preform vertical landing and take off, now that is the future of aviation in my opinion.

 

 

The speed of it is kind of a waste since on almost every mission it's escorted by Cobra attack helicopters... It's poorly armed and an absolute death trap if it should lose power on a real world mission. Now before you throw the chances of losing both engines argument, it CAN happen and if it does below 3,000 or at a low forward airspeed that thing is going to drop out of the sky like a rock and everyone will die. The inability to autorotate is something that I as a helicopter pilot cannot and will not over-look and it amazes me how any pilot can. If the v-22 is the future of aviation then I want nothing to do with it!

Edited by jfcorey
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The speed of it is kind of a waste since on almost every mission it's escorted by Cobra attack helicopters... It's poorly armed and an absolute death trap if it should lose power on a real world mission. Now before you throw the chances of losing both engines argument, it CAN happen and if it does below 3,000 or at a low forward airspeed that thing is going to drop out of the sky like a rock and everyone will die. The inability to autorotate is something that I as a helicopter pilot cannot and will not over-look and it amazes me how any pilot can. If the v-22 is the future of aviation then I want nothing to do with it!

 

 

Wouldn't the same thing happen in the event of a conventional fixed wing engine(s) failure?

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Wouldn't the same thing happen in the event of a conventional fixed wing engine(s) failure?

 

I am talking about when the "thing" is operating in helicopter mode.

 

According to a paper written by Col Schultz (USMC), "The V-22 spends 70 percent of its time in airplane mode where it has the capability to perform a survivable all-engine out landing."

 

This is an untested, invalidated effort to justify the deletion of autorotational capability with the subsequent direct risks to Pilots/Crews of the V-22. We see here the change of specific subject, a standard approach by the USMC in responding to the many questions/statements on the V-22.

 

The inference is that since the V-22 spends more time in the airplane mode, it is therefore not necessary to be able to autorotate in helicopter mode. What about the guys who are flying the 30 percent of the time?

 

Equally IMPORTANT is the fact that an emergency "survivable" all-engine out landing is not exactly a routine operation - which all pilots must learn to do in flight training as is done in other transport aircraft. This rationale for deleting a requirement for autorotation has not been demonstrated. Perhaps someone will tell us exactly when and how this will be done. A safe landing with two engines out is totally dependant on at least two factors to preclude a catastrophe.

 

After dual engine failure, it is mandatory that some hydraulic/electric function is available to rotate the nacelles to about 60 degrees to make a landing in airplane mode; because the V-22 cannot land

 

without tilting the two 38 foot diameter propellers without a disaster. Equally important is that a relatively hard surface is required to attempt a landing a safe landing. This is hardly a good reason to claim that this is justification for deleting an autorotation requirement.

 

If this is what we call "new technology", the entire concept of developing safer aircraft has taken a severe backward 100 year turn!

 

In addition, the V-22 has demonstrated the capability to autorotate.

 

This is "technically" true. The V-22 has demonstrated the ability to fly in helo mode without any power applied to the rotors. The critical phases of autorotation however, entry and the flare, have NOT been demonstrated.

 

No abrupt power- cut has ever been done in V-22, nor will ever be done, because it is extremely dangerous and probably not survivable.

 

A flare in the V-22 has in fact been attempted in flight test!

 

(Note that this maneuver-- in all helicopters -- can initiate a flare during autorotation and reduce the sink rate to zero and land safely before the rotor(s) stop.

 

In testing, the V-22 managed to reduce the autorotation sink rate from 5600 ft/min (that is correct 5600, not the 3800 as stated by the NASA panel in their report) -- to initiate a flare to a nice manageable 3200 ft/min -- before the power had to be restored to prevent a complete rotor stall -- ending in a catastrophe.

 

The bottom line here is that they did in fact initiate an autorotation -- they simply found that they could not initiate a flare and land safely!!

 

So much for the other 30 %

Edited by jfcorey
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V-22 and Comanche...apples and oranges.

 

The USMC developed the Osprey, the Army developed the Comanche. While both services may have looked over the fence with slight interest at the other's project, the Marines did not sign on to the Comanche and the Army did not sign on for Osprey.

 

For 18 years of active development, from LHX to Comanche, two whole functioning helicopters have been built. At the end of the expenditure for Osprey development, the Marines actually have a fielded airframe. There have been more than two prototypes developed over that twenty or so years of development, although three crashes and a handful of other accidents have helped increase the costs (incidentally, none of them have been related to a lack of autorotational capability). Mostly, these problems have been related to the complexity of the system and a lack of understanding of the difference in aerodynamics between powered lift rotorcraft and helicopters.

 

Regarding engine failure in the Osprey, if I have the altitude to establish a survivable entry into autorotation, and the auxiliary power exists for hydraulics, why wouldn't I transition to forward flight which is more efficient than terminating an autorotation? Another question that seems to be missing in the discussion is what is the height-velocity curve of the Osprey in relation to a conventional helicopter. If we understand helicopters and automatically assume that the Osprey can or should accomplish the same maneuvers given the same profile, then perhaps we're discussing the issue in our ignorance.

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It would sure look nice at the Ft Rucker museum. They can park it next to the Cheyenne.

 

The Cheyenne is gone now too. When I left Ft.Rucker in October the blades were off. I thought they were just going to paint it. It needed it. I am back at Ft.Rucker now for MTP course and the Cheyenne is GONE. The OH-58 and Cobra are back up against the museum wall sporting new paint jobs. Maybe the Cheyenne will show up again with a new paint job.

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The Cheyenne is gone now too. When I left Ft.Rucker in October the blades were off. I thought they were just going to paint it. It needed it. I am back at Ft.Rucker now for MTP course and the Cheyenne is GONE. The OH-58 and Cobra are back up against the museum wall sporting new paint jobs. Maybe the Cheyenne will show up again with a new paint job.

 

Too bad. I remember the Cheyenne was sitting in the parking lot (before they built the new museum). They also had an OH-58D sitting in front of the O Club.

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THIS Commanche?

IMG_0692.JPG

 

It was at the aforementioned Ft Rucker museum's annex. I've heard it's gone now, but can't confirm. I just know that it was there back in 2007.

 

Cool, I've never seen it. Whether it made it into production or not, I think it deserves it's place in history. It is certainly the next logical progression of military RW technology - whether we need it now or not.

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The Cheyenne is gone now too. When I left Ft.Rucker in October the blades were off. I thought they were just going to paint it. It needed it. I am back at Ft.Rucker now for MTP course and the Cheyenne is GONE. The OH-58 and Cobra are back up against the museum wall sporting new paint jobs. Maybe the Cheyenne will show up again with a new paint job.

 

errr....do you mean the OH-6 at the front door?

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errr....do you mean the OH-6 at the front door?

No. But I had to go back to check to make sure. If I recall, the OH-6 was there last fall before they moved the Cobra from the side of the building near the Skycrane.

 

BTW, I found the Cheyenne. It is behind a warehouse in a fenced area behind and across the street from the simulator. It looks very sad.

post-2481-1235429696_thumb.jpg

post-2481-1235431437_thumb.jpg

Edited by Rob Lyman
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No. But I had to go back to check to make sure. If I recall, the OH-6 was there last fall before they moved the Cobra from the side of the building near the Skycrane.

 

BTW, I found the Cheyenne. It is behind a warehouse in a fenced area behind and across the street from the simulator. It looks very sad.

 

Yeah, the -6 was definitely there before. Didn't know they replaced it with a -58.

 

Is the Cobra up against the wall still/again?

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I think it would have been a much better investment than the V-22, talk about a money pit AND a death trap. Just my opinion...

When I was in the Marines in the late 80's, the CH53E had just come out. It was called the "widow maker" because of all the fatal crashes that occurred. I don't think the Navy/Marine Corps could live without that machine today. New technologies always come with new challenges, but their benefits can be revolutionary. The V22's capabilities are just too significant to abandon, and it fits right in with the Marine Corps' mission.

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When I was in the Marines in the late 80's, the CH53E had just come out. It was called the "widow maker" because of all the fatal crashes that occurred. I don't think the Navy/Marine Corps could live without that machine today. New technologies always come with new challenges, but their benefits can be revolutionary. The V22's capabilities are just too significant to abandon, and it fits right in with the Marine Corps' mission.

 

You mean like the UH-60 "Lawn Dart"?

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You mean like the UH-60 "Lawn Dart"?

From everything I have gathered, the "Lawn Dart" reputation is undeserving. I have spoken to someone from Sikorsky, several MEs, each with more than 10000 flight hours of which a great deal is in the UH-60, and read a post by one of the Sikorsky's chief test pilots. Here is Nick Lappos post on the subject below:

 

At least try to be an accurate bigot! This ancient Black Hawk urban legend

needs correcting yet again.

 

The H-60 family has had two accidents where the stabilator was implicated.

One involved a maintenance error where airspeed info was disconnected from the

system, and the other involved flight into icing conditions with no pitot heat

on, where the airspeed indications fell to zero and the crew did not

understand what was occurring.

 

No stab failure per se has caused an accident, but the urban myth persists....

 

You can read through the entire thread here.

 

And to keep it more on the original subject, the link above is actually about the V-22 and tilt rotors. Funny how the debate has been going on since at least May of 2000.

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From everything I have gathered, the "Lawn Dart" reputation is undeserving. I have spoken to someone from Sikorsky, several MEs, each with more than 10000 flight hours of which a great deal is in the UH-60, and read a post by one of the Sikorsky's chief test pilots. Here is Nick Lappos post on the subject below:

 

 

 

You can read through the entire thread here.

 

And to keep it more on the original subject, the link above is actually about the V-22 and tilt rotors. Funny how the debate has been going on since at least May of 2000.

 

Oh, I fly them. I completely agree that it's undeserving.

 

My first IP in flight school was so against them, he said he'd rather have "homosexual" in his medical records, than "blackhawk" in his flight records. I never really understood it because he had flown Hueys at one point... cranky old man :D

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At least try to be an accurate bigot! This ancient Black Hawk urban legend

needs correcting yet again.

 

The H-60 family has had two accidents where the stabilator was implicated.

One involved a maintenance error where airspeed info was disconnected from the

system, and the other involved flight into icing conditions with no pitot heat

on, where the airspeed indications fell to zero and the crew did not

understand what was occurring.

 

No stab failure per se has caused an accident, but the urban myth persists....

 

I need to look that up to find specific incidents, but I'm calling B.S. Explain all the countermeasures that Sikorsky installed after SERVERAL crashes caused by stab failures. As I said, Im not too sure how far I'm supposed to get into it as far as the cause, but the UH60 used to be quite deserving of the name "Lawn Dart. Currently, however, it's an amazing airframe with a great safety record.

 

J-

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I need to look that up to find specific incidents, but I'm calling B.S. Explain all the countermeasures that Sikorsky installed after SERVERAL crashes caused by stab failures. As I said, Im not too sure how far I'm supposed to get into it as far as the cause, but the UH60 used to be quite deserving of the name "Lawn Dart. Currently, however, it's an amazing airframe with a great safety record.

 

J-

I think the Army was responsible for most of the countermeasures, not Sikorsky. In the 10+ years I flew them, the Navy Seahawks never had the the cyclic mounted stabilator slew switch that the Blackhawks have. As far as I know, the newest Seahawk (SH-60R) still lacks the cyclic slew switch while the newest Blackhawk (M) is definitely fielded with the switch.

 

Without actual investigation reports in front of me, I am more inclined to trust the word of someone like Nick Lappos than the rumor mill. I heard a LOT of less than flattering rumors concerning the Army's operation of the aircraft with respect to these failures. Now that I have operated the Seahawk and the Blackhawk in both the Navy and the Army, I take a lot of that with a grain of salt and chock it up to interservice rivalry. Each service has their way of operating the 'hawk. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and each goes through it's growing pains with a new aircraft. Sometimes the lessons are learned from the previous mistakes, sometimes each service invents their own issues with the aircraft.

 

I pose this question:

 

In the early 1980s, suppose a pilot flying an agressive takeoff profile in a Blackhawk encountered a stabilator auto mode failure around 30 - 50 kts. If the stabilator kicked out of automode, it would remain at 34-42 degrees trailing edge down and the pilot would hear a beeping tone. If he reacted like he used to when he heard the UH-1 engine out tone (beeping) and lowered the collective, he might have very well become a "lawn dart". Would that havebeen an aircraft problem, a training problem or a pilot problem?

 

Also, just in case it needs carification, I did not call anyone a bigot. That was Nick's response to someone who called themself a Boeing Bigot.

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The issue most likely won't be found by looking for accidents, the issue may be found in DA-level groundings of the aircraft related to the stabilator function. IIRC, there was at least one fleet grounding for stabilator problems. The nickname most likely came from such a grounding, not that it has a proven track record of becoming a lawn dart. The potential for such an event is almost more foreboding, as if Sikorsky hadn't quite figured their own machine out to make it safe enough.

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