21 January 2010

Update: V-22s Deploying to Haiti Aboard USS Nassau

In a previous post, I echoed the sentiments of Jamie McIntyre from The Line of Departure, who found it quite puzzling that the US Marine Corps' V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft was--at the time--absent during the relief efforts in Haiti.

Well, thanks to Dr. David Ucko (you know, the guy with a great book), I know that the Marines are quickly rectifying this issue--sending about a dozen V-22 Ospreys to Haiti aboard the USS Nassau, an amphibious assault ship. While I've expressed my concerns about the V-22 on a few occasions, it's not the widow-maker its detractors claim it is. In fact, Haiti might be one additional theater where the Osprey can showcase its talents...flying a limited amount of cargo and supplies to numerous different locations in the span of a few hours. The speed of the Osprey allows it to make more stops during a crew's duty day than conventional helicopters, and the Osprey's vertical-landing capabilities allow it to land in more locations than fixed-wing aircraft. It may not have the lift capacity of the CH-47 or the CH-53, but it certainly has a bit more speed on its side. If you need to move sheer tonnage, the CH-47 or -53 is probably the best bet; if you need to get to more places in the span of a crew's duty day, the V-22 is the better option.

You can read more in today's Early Bird if you have a *.mil account.


Anonymous said...

I read that it was just flying around doing safe aerial recon. Any news of pics of it unloading things. I suspect they fear the massive downwash will blow everyone away while the engine exhaust may cause fires.

Starbuck said...

I haven't seen any word about its actual mission in Haiti, so I really can't comment.

It's odd that they'd use the V-22 for that purpose. The UH-60 is usually one of the choice VIP aircraft, due to the fact those side doors give the passengers excellent visibility.

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