“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Osprey is Fit for Duty

V-22 Osprey deploys to Iraq
October 9, 2007 9:35 AM PDT

The Osprey has landed--in Iraq, and in the history books. One of the most controversial aircraft in recent aviation history, the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey has come in for criticism over the many years of its development for reasons ranging from financial costs to fatal crashes to its novel and rather ungainly design: it flies like both a helicopter and a fixed-wing plane.

The U.S. Marines Corps Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263--known more colorfully as the "Thunder Chickens," after the Osprey--arrived Sunday at al-Asad airbase in Iraq, according to a story Tuesday from McClatchy Newspapers. The arrival wasn't without incident: McClatchy reports that a malfunction en route forced one of the aircraft to land in Jordan for repairs--twice. The unit and its 10 Ospreys departed a North Carolina port aboard a ship in mid-September. The Pentagon has hailed this as the first-ever tactical deployment by the world's first tilt-rotor squadron. In this photo from late September, an Osprey lands on the USS Iwo Jima while crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

At a briefing in April to discuss the upcoming deployment, Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, the Marine deputy commandant for aviation, proclaimed the Osprey fit for duty. "It's been through extensive operational testing and evaluation," he said, according to a transcript of the briefing, "and it is our fervent feeling that this aircraft is the most capable, survivable aircraft that we carry our most important weapons system in, which is the Marine riflemen, and that we will successfully introduce this aircraft in combat."

Caption text by Jonathan Skillings, CNET

Credit: Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda M. Williams, U.S. Navy


  1. I got a Baaaad feeling about this.

  2. You guys take the Osprey,
    I'll fly the old, outdated
    The falcon has landed

    Steve Farrell, PhoenixBird handler, pulls 'Mustang' out of his box after arriving at Manas AB from the United Kingdom Sept. 13.
    The lugger falcon is now on duty helping keep the skies clear of bird strike threats at Manas.

  3. "Bird Strike Threats?"

    This IS a Joke, Right?


  4. If you cant secure your supply routes by land you're in too deep.

  5. You know, I could see, in a year, or two, having a couple dozen of these scattered around three or four Big Bases as part of a fast reaction force.

    I can, also, see all sorts of other things that don't make a lot of sense.

    I think it's called, "Being Certifiable."

  6. There are times when you've gotta get "too deep;" otherwise we wouldn't have "Airborne."

    This thing, though, ain't nothing like what was "envisioned" when they first "conceived" the idea.

    I doubt we'll build too many - In it's present "iteration," anyway.

  7. Land Routes ARE secure Mat!
    Take Pakistan, for example!
    Elijah's links point to at least a half dozen AIRfields sprinkled about!
    Manas Air Base

  8. No joke on the Bird Strikes:
    C-17's shouldn't eat birds.

  9. Oh Crap! THAT kind of bird strikes. Sheesh. I'm gonna go take a nap, now. I've completely lost it.

  10. Cutler:
    You could chime in at BC, where wretch linked that.

  11. You just wait, Rufus:
    Our next Mass Casualty Disaster will come in the form of Anthrax carried on wave after wave of Pigeons!

    WMD Bird Airstrike.

  12. Most bird strikes are non-damaging simply because they involve smaller birds such as sparrows, swallows, starlings, etc. Larger birds--crows, rooks, kites, ducks, geese, pigeons, etc--present a serious threat to airplanes and aircrews. Fortunately, these birds have a common enemy--the lugger falcon.

    A strike can cause an engine to fail; pierce through a cockpit window; and other materiel failure creating a hazardous situation for the plane and the crew.

    The U.S. Air Force became even more serious about the bird threat to airplane operations after a flock of Canadian geese struck an E-3 AWACS operating out of Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, in September 1995. All on board were killed.

    Since that time, bases with large bird populations have taken measures to reduce the number of strikes by employing various methods: proper grass cutting, dogs, pyrotechnics, acoustics, and birds of prey.
    Manas has the highest concentration of birds in CENTCOM, as well as the highest occurrence of strikes.
    "Last year, our strikes numbered around 50, resulting in roughly 100 thousand dollars of damage," said Capt. Cory Lane, flight safety officer. "By employing 'Mustang' in the mix of other mitigation efforts, our hope is to drive down the number of strikes, as well as the cost, to the absolute minimum."

  13. Business as usual at BC:
    Hold EVERYONE Accountable,
    ...except the CIC!

  14. " As to the charge that the President has not “named the enemy “ – shut the EF up, General, what the hell do you think the statement “You are either with us or against us” did? "
    My post included naming that which was unacceptable, only to watch it happen, over, and over, and over.
    Beauty is in the Eye of the beholder, I guess.
    ...and some people don't seem to have any problem with W and Karen suckin up to CAIR, or W and his Pal Sutton Putting the Cops in Prison and paying off the Perp!
    Big Time.

  15. Teresita,
    Yon now says exactly the opposite thing, re:
    Military stopping reporters from entering Iraq.
    ...don't know if the A-Hole that kept him out is now gone, or what.

  16. I wonder (no, I really don't) what Sanchez thinks about This. The Shia Awaken!

  17. A government agency actually does something right...

    A Better Way To Save The Worm

    AP--Costello, local opinion writer

    OK, so perhaps the giant Palouse earthworm won't turn out to be the snail darter that the left had hoped it would be.

    Earlier this week, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declined a petition from local enviro-tyrants to have the giant Palouse earth worm declared an endangered species. That designation would have precipitated unpredictable, but almost certainly catastrophic economic harm to local farmers, and would have arrested just about any deveopment in the area. In other words, it would have served the same purpose for environmental extremists here and now as the snail darted did in the 1970's.

    goes on to talk about the snail darter...

    For this reason, when an example of the giant Palouse earthworm, which was previously believed to be extinct, was discovered north of Albion, farmers and developers everywhere in the region had to be quaking as their livelihood was threatened. If the worm was designatged as "endangered" then one could not pull a plow or pour a foundation with out first proving that the earthworm's beauty sleep goes undisturbed.

    goes on to suggest that the enviros might start worm farming these critters and sell them for bait.

    The Endangered Species Act is in sore need of a major, major overhaul.


    That Osprey must have set some sort of record for cost over runs by now, a hard thing to do in a competitive arms market of waste.

  18. Craig joins

    Pappy Boyinton
    Lana Turner

    in Idaho Hall of Fame tonight.

    For shame, Idaho Hall of Fame

  19. Sorry, Pappy Boyington for the mis spelling.

  20. "He was nominated well before this happened,” says Hall of Fame president Charles Indermuehle.
    “We will have our dinner, and we’re looking forward to it.

  21. Doug, with a name like Indermuehle, don't expect him to make any sense.

  22. "We thought, 'It's kind of going back on your word,'" he said before the event.

    "Once a person has been sent a letter and voted into the Hall of Fame, it would be kind of like breaking a promise."
    Craig's only done it over and over since he got stung in the toilet.

  23. By the way, a poll published today showed over 2/3 of Idahoovians against inducting this c........r into the Hall of Fame.

  24. Citizen Indermuehle:

    "Craig ist Mein Fuhrer!"

  25. You do not have to know anything about aircraft to look at those three planes in flight and not see their vulnerability in combat. How much is flight pay these days? Forget the Wheaties and get your Mutual of Omaha.

  26. The ultimate test of the industrial military complex. Unlike the B-2 and F-22 they cannot hide these in well guarded bases while not in the stratosphere. Every muddy boot guy I ever met seems to reckon the Osprey will be a turkey, while technogeeks love it. We shall see but the USMC shall pay, and pay.