Presidential Ospreys Get a Paint Job

Osprey Marine One 1The first MV-22 Ospreys set to fly presidential support missions for Marine Helicopter Squadron One have arrived at Quantico, Va., and they received a new paint job.

The Ospreys will not be white tops like the VH-3D Sea King and VH-60 White Hawks, which get their nickname from the white paint job up top. These are the helicopters that carry the President of the United States. Instead, the Ospreys were painted green as they will carry presidential support staff and the media.

The Marines started flight operations with the Osprey on April 26, however the tilt-rotor aircraft will not start carrying reporters and presidential support staff until later in 2013, according to the Marine announcement.

Questions remain how the Ospreys will work together with the Sea King and White Hawks. The Osprey is significantly faster than either the Sea King or the White Hawk. The tilt-rotor Osprey flies at 280 knots, according to a Marine fact sheet. The Sea King has a maximum speed of about 166 knots and the White Hawk has a maximum speed of 159 knots, according to Navy statistics.

If anything, the support staff will be able to arrive much earlier than the president depending on where they are flying.

Of course, the Osprey has faced a checkered crash history. However, Marine officials now refer to it as their safest aircraft after it’s faced a rigorous operations tempo for the past four years in Afghanistan. The Osprey has been able to prove the Osprey’s worth delivering Marines and supplies over the long distances between forward operating bases in Afghanistan.

Osprey Marine One 2


About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at
  • Musson

    The Osprey was the clear winner in the search for a replacement aircraft for the Presidential entourage. Of course the only criteria they were judged on was: What is the most expensive way to get from point A to point B.

  • Frank

    There is absolutely no need for this type of aircraft in the Presidential fleet. This is a case of some idiot gov’t employee just wanting the most expensive aircraft to show off to everyone.
    And people wonder why America is almost 20 trillion dollars in debt….

  • Jayson

    I believe the old birds can fly only so long till the airframes age so much they can’t handle the stresses anymore and fall out of the sky with a catastrophic failure. They frankly need replacing bad, why not have the whole entourage and president have the Osprey? If the Marines love them to death and demonstrated operations stability and reliability … it’ll be foolish to put it off. Then the speed, the faster the better right? Then sell the old retired heli’s to Canada. They’ll buy anything if verbally “packaged” right to justify the purchase.

    • jamesb

      They DID sell the 101’s to Canada….

      But I’d bet you knew that, eh?

      • blight_

        What’s funny is that the civilian version does come in a VIP version.

        Would it have been so hard to buy COTS and upgrade them aftermarket? Betting that’s how Stealth Blackhawk came to be: I doubt it could’ve been kept under wraps by writing an RFP…

    • Ajjax

      I agree. This type of platform will show dubious needs regarding presidential mission support. The helos work fine so why fix something that’s not broken. These platforms are designed for in theater operations at best. Any type of pseudo civilian applications wouldn’t be touched with a ten foot pole.

  • jamesb

    If you want sell an a/c type ?

    Why not put where the media can see it?

    The current actual helo’s transporting the President are as old as the hills….

    Look for an American type from Boeing or Sikorsky to get picked to succeed the SeaKnights….

    Don’t cross you fingers when the new Presidential Helo’s are gonna get here….Could be more than a decade out….

  • jamesb

    Cause his handlers are SMART….


    Well, got my wish to see the paint job. Not bad looking!

  • Lance

    Well its better to get support staff there first any way before the Pres. he need security and equipment ready. So its good to keep the Sea King flying but use ospreys for support crews.

  • Lance

    Oh I agree I wouldn’t trust USMC Brass since they wanted the MV-22 anyway and lead to it being rushed to service with fatal consequences for crew and marines flying it. Its not the safest bird out there by far.

  • Restore Palestine

    This is truly a poorly designed and ugly looking plane. It’s fuel inefficient, and aerodynamically unstable.

  • Rick Eriksen

    Great new look for the Osprey. Suk on that Finland!

    • Juuso

      What Finland has to do with Presidential Osprey?


      Uhm. Finland. A country with better education. Yeah, connection?

  • hammer6048

    What a waste of precious military resources. How come this was not cut for sekester reasons?

  • sandra

    the president is a waste of resources… the military would do a much better job of running this country.

    • blight_

      Pinochet agrees, along with the ghost of Colonel Hugo Chavez and Sergeant Idi Amin, who ran their countries as military dictators.

      I have nothing against military men running as civilians, but being in the military isn’t an automatic guarantor of virtue. The problem is that we assume generals have a monopoly on virtue, and so those are the guys civilians turn to for advice. We are learning now that they are…human.

      • SJE

        Also Mao Tse Tung, Kim Il Sung, Pervez Musharraf, Saddam Hussein, Assad, Ghaddaffi…..

        The brilliance of the US is that General Washington hung up his sword before becoming commander in chief, and that he left when his term ended.


      Let me direct your attention to North Korea. Yeah, does military rule still look appealing now?

    • joe

      The military fights the enemies of the state, the civil government serves and protects the people. When the former and the latter become the same, historically “the enemies of the state” and “the people” tend to become the same as well…

    • Eternal Patriot

      Sandra, What a great idea! I totally agree. Unfortunately, I fear politics would get in the way of deciding which 4-star general should be in charge, with the result that we would be right back to where we are today! :-(

    • wlodell


  • Dfens

    I’m not a big fan of Obama, but I still hope Biden gets more time in this vehicle than the president.

  • Diego

    I’m just wondering why it’s not the new model? Maybe testing isn’t done yet or manufacturing. I know they have a new model with the props that move without taking the whole engine with it. It’s supposed to be much safer.

  • Colgate
  • Russell

    They need to recall all the Ospreys from the AOR and repaint them if they will be flying Obama and his staff.


      Why? It has the right markings. It doesn’t have a Maple Leaf accidentally painted on the side.

  • haloguy628

    Dear Leader must be scared so only support staff will fly the Osprey. He will gladly lead from behind in the 40 years old helo.

  • Vitsing

    The White House, Department of Defense and Media all need a Long Time Out here. I find it amazing that we have money for this effort to fly Presidential support staff and the media all around the country and probably the world; however, we don’t seem to have money to allow our children to visit our White House or continue the airshows and static displays of the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds and Golden Knights that are a part of America’s tradition.

  • wlodell

    I would wish the new aircraft with a full load of politicians to exceed the VRS-vulnerable descent rate but out of respect for the pilots and crew, I will not.