Subscribe via RSS

Archives by Date
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009

See all Archives
Archives by Category
Afghan Update
Ammo and Munitions
Around the Globe
Av Week Extra
Axe in Iraq (and Elsewhere)
Blog Bidness
Body Armor Blues
Bomb Squad
Brownshoes in Action
Bubbleheads, etc.
Cammo Green
Catch the "Buzz"
Civilian Apps
Cloak and Dagger
Contingency Ops
Cops and Robbers
Data Diving
Defense Tech Poll
Defense Tech Radio
Dissent Tech
Door Kickers
DT Administrivia
Eat DT's Dust
Extra! Extra!
Eye on China
Fast Movers
FCS Watch
Fire for Effect
FOS Files
Friday Funnies
Gadgets and Gear
Going Green
Grand Ole Osprey
Ground Vehicles
Homeland Security
In the Weeds with Eric
Info War
Iraq Diary
Jarhead Jazz
JSF Watch
Just War Theories
Lasers and Ray Guns
Los Alamos and Labs
M4 Monopoly
Money Money Money
Most Wanted
Old Skool
Our Shrinking Planet
Planes, Copters, Blimps
Polmar's Perspective
Popular Mechanics
Rapid Fire
Raptor Watch
Red Team
Roll Your Own
Sabra Tech
Ships and Subs
Soldier Systems
Special Ops
Star Wars
Stray Trons
Tactical Development
Terror Tech
The Deadlies
The Defense Biz
The Peoples' Site
The Sunday Paper
The Tanker Tango
The View from Av Week
Those Nutty Norks
Training and Sims
Trimble on the Case
Video Lounge
War Update
Ward'z Wonderz
You can run...

See all Archives

Edited by Christian Lowe | Contact

Our Very Own Osprey Vid

A little shameless self promotion here folks, but as you know in January I spent a few days embedded with VMM-263, the first MV-22 squadron deployed to combat.

As my previous story subtly indicates, I was pretty impressed with the aircraft and was happier to fly 250 mph at 9,000 feet than 150 mph at 300 feet in a war zone situation. Even with the lack of armament -- which we can argue about later -- it seemed a lot safer going fast and high, than slow and low.

Well, I finally put together a video from the footage I shot doing a day of missions with a two ship formation. I posted it on's Shock and Awe sight, but I also wanted to show you all so you could slice and dice the performance.

I hope you enjoy it.

-- Christian


I would like to ask a question about Chuck Pitman. There is an email going around about him writing an apology to the Arab world. I have checked it out at, which says it is untrue, as well as other sites, but many are still circulating that as true.
Can you please tell me if it is false or true?
Thank you.

Posted by: MJacinta at July 7, 2008 08:55 AM


Posted by: jacob at April 21, 2008 08:27 AM


Posted by: jacob at April 21, 2008 08:26 AM

The early days of the CH-47 for the Army were pretty grim if you were around then or know anything about the history of that AC. This one will probably be no different.

The only thing that I feel has really changed, is AAA TECHNOLOGY. The MANPAD is all to alive and well and getting very CHEAP! $500 or less in some places for older models. The bad guys will buy them; the Ruskies will build and supply them (Where do you think all the AK style stuff came from)and the U.N. will find some reason to Blame America and George Bush for it all!! Nothing New there.

I'm starting to think more about robotic assault aircraft and VERY LARGE concussion type weapons to clear the LZ's prior to risking our guys in there. While helicopters are a bit slow, they are at least as reliable and much less costly and more proven at this time.

Perhaps this Aircraft needs to be rethought. It still appears to be a poorly defended hovering duck to me. The engines are failing along with other problems. More development is in order, not elimination.


Posted by: Jeff Dulin at April 16, 2008 09:08 PM


Use this link:

And you'll see it's the 3rd or 4th video in...

Good luck!

Posted by: Christian at April 16, 2008 03:19 PM

I am not able to see anything but a blank space up there using Firefox latest issue. Any suggestions (other than, switch to MSIE of course.) tx

Posted by: Neil B. at April 16, 2008 11:07 AM

pcfem: You didn't mention the problems with the engine fires and the unscheduled landings.

And of course the marines are giving positive feedback -- they're not about to turn around now. It's a great taxi, but it's ability to do anything of the things it is supposed to do (like, in combat) reamins to be seen.

I am very glad that one has not crashed during this deployment. That doesn't make it safe or mean that it will be safe next deployment.

Posted by: Wembley at April 15, 2008 07:39 AM


There have been several proposals for some kind of defensive armament on the V-22. Unfortunately budget priorities have prevented any from being implemented.

Posted by: pfcem at April 14, 2008 10:53 PM

The only thing i have against this wonderful A/C is that it has virtually no armanments, one MG out the back and a possible mini in the future. Why did the makers of the Osprey not design decent weapons sytems in it even if it is just for self defence

Posted by: Gotten at April 14, 2008 09:43 PM

Dennis Carr's comments made on April 11th just make me realize that unless you have been in the trenches and see your buddy needing transport, it is not understood that these machines not only serve our servicemen and women during wartime but they will also serve those in need when called upon in domestic disasters. Dennis, if you ever get into a jam and your life is at risk, if an Osprey comes to rescue you and your family, will you say no? Just keep your mind open and don't forget that you could have been born somewhere else and been under a government that practices something other than democracy. God Bless America regardless of her imperfections and God Bless You Dennis.
Shari Bradstream, Army Veteran, Viet Nam era

Posted by: Shari Bradstream at April 14, 2008 06:34 PM

Great film, I have been in love with the Osprey concept since I first saw the XV15 fly. I vividly remember LtGen Chuck Pitman,after having flown one of the early test models, saying that the V22 was going to be a great airplane (though he thought it could use a collective). Pitman had flown nearly every airplane in the Marine inventory when he retired. If he said it was going to be good . . . it is.

My nephew is flying phrogs now and he enjoys that the Ospreys, though few in number, are starting to take some of the burden off of these tired old airplanes.

Every airplane in our inventory has gone through evolutionary changes as will the V22. Expensive . . yes. Quantum leap from the 46's YES. Vulnerable on the ground . . . an F18 is vunerable on the ground and can't get back in the air as fast as an Osprey. Unstable . . show me a rotor airplane that is, they don't fly they beat the air in to submission.

Posted by: OldSquid64 at April 14, 2008 10:25 AM

Regarding the commentary on escorts...

we are still working on the X2 demonstrator (which was shown at Heliexpo in march, but not mentioned on Defensetech) at Sikorsky, and one of its potential missions is a high speed attack/escort for the V22. 250-300+ kts with level acceleration and deceleration.

@ Rocket Man
"If you can mount two rotors, you can mount two jet engines right?"

Spoken like a true layman.

Posted by: C. Foskey at April 14, 2008 08:43 AM

I would like to Thank You for the episode on the Flight of the V-22 Osprey in Iraq at Al Asad. You see my son is a crew chief on the Osprey VMM 162 and it was so interesting for my whole family to see what it is our son is doing over there. I would like to make one comment where someone states it is allot of money to spend for delivering mail!!!! Believe me it does allot more then delivers mail IF in fact it does.I wish I could buy a DVD of the program to send over to my son.
Thanks again,
A very Grateful Mom

Posted by: Terri at April 14, 2008 07:12 AM


Like I said just ask somebody who has actually flown in one how well they work...

With the exception of the engine manufacturer not being able to cost-effectively keep the engines running in top shape & some wishing for 360 dec suppressive fire (which is being addressed) most everything I have heard from the USMC indicates they are quite pleased with the V-22.

We just recently lost a B-1 & B-2 (we lose some F-15, F-16, F/A-18 every year), I supposed you are going to claim they don't work well either.

Posted by: pfcem at April 14, 2008 12:16 AM

Looks like VMM-162 will be falling in on the "Thunder Chickens" MV-22s, for a 2nd combat tour.

"Second V-22 Squadron Sent In"

I hadn't realized, "Over a hundred V-22s have been delivered so far, and the engines of the V-22s in Iraq each have about 400 hours on them.".

Posted by: Camp at April 13, 2008 10:59 AM

"Works well"? Wait a minute, is this the same V-22 that had forced landings on the Iraq deployment, has been suffering engien fires and needs new engines because of problems with the ones they have now?

What would 'works not well' look like?

Posted by: Wembley at April 13, 2008 05:37 AM

I have had many doubts about the Osprey - it is, after all, an incredibly expensive, aerodynamically unstable, slapdash assembly of highly stressed components with little margin for error. However the War Nerd (Gary Brecher) has given it his tick of approval, so I have changed my mind. It still needs a lot of work, though.

Posted by: CSS at April 12, 2008 03:52 PM

Why doesn't the fuselage have any windows? Wouldn't passengers get airsick?

Posted by: citanon at April 12, 2008 06:28 AM

@ Dennis Carr

I want to fly, but no matter how much money you throw at me, its just not gonna happen ;)

Posted by: TheBoogyMan at April 12, 2008 06:08 AM

Ya, that's great, billions for transport of mail!

I have never liked the concept, nor the cost!

Makes me believe that you can make anything fly, just throw enough money down a rat hole.

Posted by: Dennis Carr at April 11, 2008 11:40 PM


The V-22 works quite well - this is 2008, not 2000. Just ask Christian. :)



Compared to the total developement & production costs of the F-35 the cost of its stealth is minor. Assuming the cost estimates are at least ballpark accurate the F-35 will not cost much more than a new F-16 or F/A-18 built at the same time & in the same numbers (the same WOULD have likely been true for the F-22 vs F-15 but production was cut to ~1/4 the original requirement). The manuverability, armament, speed, range, survivability et cetera of the F-35 will exceed that of the aircraft it replaces so we are not anything in terms of capability even IF the F-35's stealth is SOMEHOW countered/defeated in the future.

Posted by: pfcem at April 11, 2008 10:29 PM

right im sure all that money would have been used by congress to buy chinnoks(which are cool btw) but has one problem chinoks are damned expensive to fly think its 5000 dollars a hour may be more. not saying we couldnt do it but come on seriously think theyd buye? i doubt it.

but look i think you have a point i think your wrong on the v22 being a waist but. not on everything the cost overruns on everything we seem to try to develope is insane.

one more thing as always off topic if i understand correctly the JSF is supposed to be stealthy....why its supposed to be a short range fighter that can be mass produced for many nations. look stealth is great but what is the cost of making a fighter stealthy? are we sacrificing manuverability armament speed COST survivability if in the next 10 yrs how much will that stealth be worth if a system that is cheap and reasonably effective comes to negate it?
just saying my 2 cents

waiting for the instant condemnation :)

Posted by: James at April 11, 2008 03:38 PM

Absolutely the tail gun would be useless at 9k but at 150 ft off the deck when the vehicle is at its most vulnerable you bet your butt I'd be thankful that gun is clearing my exit or entry into the back of that hotrod for the sky. Kicka$$ vid, I'd love to see more on this little beastie.

Posted by: Ablinken at April 11, 2008 11:22 AM


"of course it has problems of course it is expensive the point is it is the first of its kind....period. The cost sucks and yes there probbly wont be enough but why does this mean we should stop using them? so whats your solution? "

Errr - not continuing to throw billions into a program that clearly doesn't work that well?

There's plenty of new tech that doesn't take 50 years to get into the air. And a few billion would have bought a bunch of those much-needed Chinooks.

Posted by: Wembley at April 11, 2008 11:08 AM

At 9000 ft, that gun (M-249 Gulf, I think, not sure) is pretty useless (maybe). It would take two seconds for the rounds to hit the deck and at that speed, no time to correct. Then again, not many manpads or AAA will be able to target them either, so that is what it is.

And you have 'attached' escorts, where the fighter/gunship patrols alongside your formation, and 'unattached' escorts, where the fighter/gunship patrols the general area, responding like a 911 service.

Helos need attached escorts: they are slow and low, vulnerable to everything. Ospreys do not necessarily need babysitters, unless in a large strike package with other helos (53s, snakes). Even so, after the primary mission, many helos will perform backup missions (evac, CSAR) apart from the main body, or return to base to reload with new stix, while the snakes man attack points around the objective. The Osprey's speed gives it more flexibility, and can cut vital minutes from evac and from reinforcements. And that is powerful.

Posted by: Vercingetorix at April 11, 2008 10:49 AM

Is it really that quiet inside Christian or did you tweak the audio?

Thought the interior was larger. The gun mount is a joke. But she is a hot rod, no doubt about it.

Posted by: Grandjester at April 11, 2008 09:59 AM

I watched a program on the V-22's first combat mission in Iraq on The Military Channel a couple of days back. After spending most of the program discussing the Osprey's advantages over helicopters - speed and range - it then is sent on a mission being escorted by a Apache and a SuperCobra.
Which means that it is limited by its escort's speed and range, and you might have as well sent the combat team in via a helicopter.

Posted by: Pat Flannery at April 11, 2008 09:15 AM

All smart comments aside.

How effictive is that tail gun at that altitude?

Posted by: TheBoogyMan at April 11, 2008 08:01 AM


of course it has problems of course it is expensive the point is it is the first of its kind....period. The cost sucks and yes there probbly wont be enough but why does this mean we should stop using them? so whats your solution?

hell i think DDX looks cool....but i realy realy think its stupid....but its stealthy...ok if its over 300ft long..its still huge screw stealth i dont need a radar to shoot it.
Hell the superstructure is supposed to be made of wood partly.............WOOD. wtf hell did they think of observers near could target arty at them? so it has 2 or 4 antimissile got boat loads of cheap missiles.

anyways sorry i got off topic...osprey is and awsome aircraft but its not cheap, or armored enough in its preasent config. maybe the next type will adress these problems its guys like you who keep GIs using going to get nailed...oh well internet typing warfare

Posted by: James at April 11, 2008 06:20 AM

Nothing is going to make you admit that the Osprey has glaring problems, is it? You just like how cool it looks.

Looking cool is not the same as being useful.

The big problem with heavy-lift helicopters is that there are never anything like enough of them: blowing $15bn on R&D; and then $60m+ per unti on these things is a lot of the reason why.

Posted by: Wembley at April 11, 2008 02:37 AM

and wtf 70 as in mph? in a mrap you do what 35-40mph?

where as a asprey does somewhere around 300..... nuff said

Posted by: James at April 10, 2008 10:05 PM

Very nice. Its a unique video.

Posted by: Mike at April 10, 2008 10:04 PM

rocket its called the golden hour for doctors believe me if you where wonded which sounds like youll live 25min in a bumpy jolty ride threw streets or a 5min flight to a MH?

plus why does somebody always have to say this remmber the first mil copters in korea? scary crapy little things then came huey more speed lift armor etc, then cobra more armor firepower go up to the apache?

immage what the battlefeild would look like if the first guys looked at those crappy helos and said worthless lets just stick with jeeps?

how many men has the chopper peace and war?

Posted by: James at April 10, 2008 10:03 PM

Christian, Nice. Kinda a "semi truck" for tough spots? I will say it looked "cool."
But, there are some "glaringly" nonsensical, well, in the end, its just dumb. sorry. Heres why.. If you can mount two rotors, you can mount two jet engines right? going 70 in an unarmored air vehicle brings back images of the vietnam medevac chopper pilots.. even worse, what was the "life expectancy of a door gunner? ( it was 10 minutes in battle. no bs.)"

So, no armor, no jets, no speed, why not just buy more MRAPs and UPSCALE them, makem fourwheelers, and just drive 70 mph across the desert?

Its just one of those things that will never click as "common sense" with me. (not saying I have that much, but even though I was born at night, it twerent last nite!)

Best, D

Posted by: Rocket Man at April 10, 2008 08:00 PM

Great vid Christian. Regards takeoffs: is SOP for vertical (as a helicopter), or are rolling starts where the rotors are pitched forward say 20deg ever undertaken (similar to Harrier/AV-8)?

Posted by: Adam at April 10, 2008 07:49 PM


Posted by: Vercingetorix at April 10, 2008 07:05 PM


As you can see from the third clip that shows the Marines walking onto the back ramp, the gun swings out to the side on a mount to get out of the way. It's not attached directly to the ramp floor.

Posted by: Christian at April 10, 2008 06:32 PM

Some admissions are tougher than others, so here goes, "very, very, cool!" Yeah, boys and toys but still very, very cool.

Posted by: Phred at April 10, 2008 06:14 PM

Wow, I was just amazed at such a huge object being able to lift off vertically.
The rear gun looks like it blocks the back exit/entrance ramp a bit, so a gun mounted on the underside would help a lot. In addition, when 22 was landing, it looked really vulnerable to any kind of fire from the sides... Can anyone even see out the side? Lastly, I would agree with the high and fast except when enemy jets are involved (except there are no working enemy jets in Iraq/Afghanistan, so there would be no problem).

Posted by: TheFNG at April 10, 2008 06:05 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

Please enter the code as seen in the image below to post your comment.