Time’s blunt axe bounces off V-22

Time‘s attack on the V-22 Osprey has drawn surprisingly strong support for the US Marine Corps’ tiltrotor transport from several quarters. In case you missed some of the responses, here are a few:

US defence analyst Loren Thompson says: “Time says V-22 lacks the “autorotation” capacity that allows helicopters to descend to a survivable landing if engines fail. Well duh: V-22 isn’t a helicopter…”

Wired’s Danger Room blog says: “We need the V-22 to haul people and stuff between the Navy’s seabases and units ashore and to re-supply widely dispersed Marine teams engaged in counter-insurgency fights…”

Ward Carroll, who is quoted in the Time article and laments being protrayed as a critic, says on the Defense Tech blog: “That’s what I get for attempting a complete thought with a reporter who’s reverse engineering a story.”

If you want to see Time journalist Mark Thompson defend his article, watch this Fox News report (and persevere through the loading and advertisement).

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2 Responses to Time’s blunt axe bounces off V-22

  1. Scott Hamilton 4 October, 2007 at 2:39 am #

    Whatever the merits or demerits of the Time story the fact that the V-22 has been in development for some 20 years despite many efforts to kill the program only demonstrates that politics and jobs often override true defense considerations.

    Little known is also the fact that at one point Boeing floated the idea of offering the V-22 as a commercial transport, as it has from time to time with the C-17 (BC-17). These are two examples of how Boeing attempted to use aircraft development with DOD funding into commercial aircraft, a point of complaint by the EU in the current “illegal” subsidy case before the WTO (though not on these two aircraft specifically).

    Boeing has already talked about selling the BWB to commercial cargo airlines as well as conceptually discussing the BWB as a passenger plane. The BWB, of course, is being developed with NASA funding, another issue in general in the EU complaint before the WTO.

  2. The Woracle 4 October, 2007 at 3:02 am #

    Talk about mixing the worms from two different cans!

    Personally, I think it’s a matter of fairness: does the benefit to Boeing’s commercial business from DoD and NASA R&D funding outweigh the benefit to Airbus of European government launch aid? The WTO will decide.

    And Bell is developing a civil tiltrotor, but it’s not entirely clear the V-22 is helping!

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