Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jun 2003 - Waiting for the Next V-22 Crash - soaring costs too

     This is an update on the V-22 Osprey program since our article last October. This is our fifth article on the V-22 scandal over the past two years and the news is worse. The first three articles are linked from here: Keeping the V-22 Alive.  We discovered that has excellent background on the V-22, although it's a couple years old. Total FY 2003 Costs Soar to $165 million for each V-22
     The President's Department of Defense FY 2003 budget proposal shows $1323 million for 11 V-22 aircraft ($120 million each) plus $497 million for testing.  The new Navy MH-60S will cost $372 million for 15, or $25 million each for an aircraft that can lift as much as the V-22 and carry almost as many Marines.  So if they took the $1820 million from the V-22 accounts, the Marines could buy 73 MH-60S.  V-22 advocates claim costs will fall as production rates increase, yet the MH-60S production rate is only 15 helicopters a year.  In addition, while the overall inflation rate hovers around 2%, the V-22 unit cost rose 16% last year, from $103 million each in FY2002 to $120 million!       The Marine Corps says it needs 360 V-22s, but at a rate of 11 per year the 40-year old CH-46Es will have to fly another 33 years until the last is retired.  Hopes for increased production levels are doubtful since the overall Navy/Marine Corps aviation plan calls for increasing aircraft procurement from 83 aircraft in FY2003 to 193 aircraft in FY2007, which is extremely unrealistic.  In addition, development of the V-22 is scheduled to continue until FY2008 when Blocks B and C are finalized with key components like the gun and hoist.  As a result, the Corps will need a billion of so additional dollars to send the first 60 V-22s back through the production line for upgrades.   
     The Corps has been losing around two CH-46Es a year to attrition and many squadrons have just 8 aircraft, rather than 12.  Clearly, the Marine Corps aviation plan is completely unrealistic, especially considering its desire to begin purchases of F-35 aircraft in FY2006.  The $1820 million for the V-22 this year leaves little for the the rest of the Marine Corps.  No other aircraft are purchased except four KC-130Js funded for the Marines by DoD's Emergency Response Fund.  All that is left for grunts on the ground is $45 million for SRAW shoulder-fired rockets and $380 million for new trucks. 
Unsafe Fuel Tanks
      The first V-22 squadron commander, LtCol  Odin “Fred” Leberman, had complained to the Inspector General that test results were withheld and that unsafe fuel tanks may have killed his Marines.  The Inspector General's report called Leberman a liar, but this Aviation Week article reveals that unsafe fuel tanks were used during operational evaluation by Marine crews.  They were lightweight composite (e.g. plastic) tanks that break from minor impact and are not considered crashworthy.  Despite this known problem, Marines went ahead with operational testing and 19 Marines were incinerated in two crashes, although it is unknown if any would have survived if the V-22s had crashworthy fuel tanks required by well-established Navy safety regulations.
Poor Lift Performance
      The reluctance to incorporate heavier crashworthy fuel tanks was an attempt to keep the growing V-22 from exceeding its contract guaranteed empty weight of 33,140 lbs. The V-22 program is seeking a waiver up to 33,531 lbs, although "Aviation Today" reported the recent redesign will add over 2200 pounds to the V-22; up to 35,375 pounds.  This means the Osprey program can be cancelled without payment of billions of dollars in termination costs to Bell-Boeing.  As a result, they are eagerly seeking a waiver, yet there is no reason the Marines should grant one until a design is finalized and proven.
     This explains why the troublesome lightweight titanium hydraulic lines were retained in the redesign, and why the NBC protection system and the passenger oxygen system were deleted.  However, the Marines have refused to delete the long-delayed hoist and gun, which explains some new schemes to improve performance, like a magical piezoelectrically reconfigurable blade. This may allow the program manager to claim that failures to meet performance guarantees are only temporary until new technology is developed in the coming years. 
    A basic program contractual requirement for the V-22 is the ability to lift 10,000 lbs vertically and drop it off 50 miles away.  Although they advertise the V-22 can lift 15,000 lbs vertically, last year a V-22 pilot mentioned that only 11,000 lbs has been demonstrated, and that 15,000 lbs is just a goal.  A direct inquiry to NAVAIR eventually produced this response from Gidge Dady:
"With respect to the question on "maximum vertical lift" a 12,000 lb, steel sled, dual hook, inverted "V" sling suspension on Aircraft 8 was flown from pick up to hover out to 120 kcas and back to hover on 20 May 1999, Patuxent River, Maryland. Also of interest was a 10,000 lb load suspended from the forward hook and flown out to 220 kcas in airplane mode on 13 August 1998 at  Patuxent River."

     There was no independent confirmation of this single "steel sled" test, whose compact size minimized realistic drag which reduces performance.  Notice the claimed pounds are nice round numbers, not something like 11,867 lbs., as though it was weighed.  You'd also think that demonstrating maximum lift would be hailed as great news, but nothing was ever released by NAVAIR public affairs or Boeing's fully staffed "Tiltrotor Times" newsletter, which was renamed "Osprey Facts" after the fourth V-22 crash uncovered numerous lies by the V-22 program.  A direct inquiry to the editor about the maximum lift demonstrated produced an evasive response which only mentioned that approval for a 15,000 lbs test is pending.

     The only news report of a heavy lift was a replica of the new LW155 howitzer.  This NAVAIR news release says the Osprey lifted 9320 lbs just 4.5 feet off the ground and hovered for 25 minutes.  A real test would have lifted the howitzer some 50 miles away.  An experienced helicopter pilot told me that this careful hover test is an indication that the V-22 was near its max weight and pilots were afraid to move with the load since aerodynamic drag will increase the pull weight.  Since lifting objects vertically is a primary mission for the V-22, why hasn't it conducted hundreds of heavy lifts with different objects during its decade of testing?  Equally suspicious is that during the entire year of operational evaluation by Marine crews in 2000, nothing heavy was lifted.
      Keep in mind that such tests occurred before additional weight was added during the latest redesign, so it will probably fail its requirement to lift at least 10,000 lbs vertically and move it 50 miles; if tests are ever performed.  In comparison. the CH-53E weighs 33,226 lbs empty and can lift 32,000 lbs vertically, and has more range than the V-22.  The Navy MH-60S Knighthawk has an empty weight of just 11,516 lbs and can lift 9000 lbs vertically.  The V-22's lift is limited because its smaller rotors have blade twists like a propeller for higher speeds, and its wings disrupt airflow while rotors are vertical.  
V-22 Lift Performance is Dismal
  Empty Weight lbs. Payload Vertical lbs. Unit Cost millions$
CH-46E 15,537 10,000* NA
V-22 33,531 9,000* $120
CH-53E 33,226 32,000 $21 SLEP*
MH-60S 11,516 9,000 $25
*The Marine Corps has imposed a load limit of 4000 lbs on the CH-46E due to the aircraft's age.  It can carry 25 troops or 10,000 lbs of cargo (see Boeing technical stats).  It's newer cousin, the CH-47F, has a payload of 16,000 lbs. 
*This is an estimate for the redesigned V-22 with greater empty weight.  
*The Marines plan to upgrade and overhaul only 111 of their 165 CH-53Es due to funding shortages caused by the V-22 program.  In fact, funding for this SLEP has been continually delayed as the V-22 swallows up more funds each year.
Wing Induced Rotor Stall
     The fundamental flaw with the V-22 is that its tiltrotor design can cause a wing induced rotor stall.  This is unique to tiltrotors and the cause of what the V-22 program calls "vortex ring state".  As a tiltrotor descends vertically, each wing pushes the airflow away from half its rotor.  The faster it descends, the greater the vacuum the wings create resulting in less lift.  As the pilots maneuver a V-22, they may shift the airflow causing one rotor to lose so much lift that it literally falls and flips the aircraft over.
      This is what occurred to the V-22 during the April 2000 crash.  The JAG investigation concluded the pilots erred by descending too fast.  However, it's likely the pilots could not slow their descent even by applying full power.  This probably surprised the pilots because they were carrying 15 combat-equipped Marines, or about 4000 lbs more weight than during testing.  Therefore, when the V-22 begins high rate of descent tests next Spring, it must carry 4000 lbs of deadweight to simulate a combat assault.  Actually, since the program continues making false claims the V-22 can fit 24 combat equipped Marines into a cabin 40% smaller than the CH-46E, it should carry 6000 lbs internally.  This extra weight can cause a wing induced rotor stall to occur even at moderate rates of descent. 
      This happened to the Corps' most experienced V-22 pilots during the April 2000 crash.  How many times will it happen to younger pilots who must fly in formations, in bad weather, and may be distracted by radio chatter and even anti-aircraft fire?  A helicopter cannot flip over from a minor pilot error.  All four V-22 crashes were the result of a total loss of control which led to the complete destruction of the aircraft.  This fundamental problem makes the V-22 unsafe to fly, especially for use as an assault transport.  V-22 pilots have developed a technique to regain control should a V-22 begin to roll over.  A change in the nacelle angles of as little as 15 degrees is enough to recover and regain power, however, the aircraft must be at least 2000 feet off the deck to allow time to regain control.  This will be of no use to V-22s approaching a landing zone, especially if they fly below 1000 feet  the entire mission to avoid anti-aircraft systems.
     This also explains why the program has avoided lifting heavy objects externally.  Ideally, the V-22 makes a "non-hover landing" where it glides onto a hard surface for a rolling stop to utilize the lift from its wings and to keep solid airflow under its rotors.  However, external cargo must be set down vertically.  As a V-22 descends with external cargo, the wings begin to disrupt airflow and reduce performance.  A V-22 carrying near its maximum load and descending vertically can easily lose enough lift to plunge to the ground.  As a result, many experts have concluded that a "tiltwing" is much better since the wing also tilts to avoid wing induced airflow disruptions.  This is also why Boeing has no plans for a commercial tiltrotor and is working on a new VTOL canard wing design where the entire wing can also spin like a big helicopter blade.  Meanwhile, the V-22 is stuck with dangerous and poor performing tiltrotors.
Deck Pig and Fuel Hog 
     As we noted last year, since the V-22 is as large as a CH-53E, the Corps will be unable to operate a composite MEU squadron with 12 V-22s from each flattop amphibious ship as it now does with CH-46Es.  Ships must limit the amount of weight up on the flight deck for stability reasons.  The Corps would probably be limited to a mix of 4 CH-53Es with 7 V-22s, whereas it could carry 4 CH-53Es and 14 MH-60S instead.  This was confirmed by the Center for Naval Analysis in its recent 26-page report "Marine Corps Operations in Afghanistan: Key Themes and Implications for Transformation".  This Marine Corps funded study also noted the V-22 burns twice as much fuel as the CH-46E, so it would have been a hindrance at Camp Rhino where all fuel was flown in by KC-130 tankers.  Burning twice as much fuel will also greatly increase operating costs for Marine Corps squadrons.
      Some V-22 supporters had suggested the V-22s were ideal in Afghanistan because they can fly higher.  This is true, but they cannot land higher because of their smaller rotors.  In addition, several helicopters were damaged while landing in "brownouts" from swirling sand and dust caused by their downwash.  The smaller V-22 rotors produce three times more downwash, so the problem would have been much greater.  In fact, the V-22 has never been fully tested at "unimproved sites", and the program suggested in its April 2002 Congressional report that this can be avoided with "non-hover landings".
Deck Roll Problem Ignored
      The roll of a ship or gusts from nearby aircraft can cause a V-22 on ship to tilt over on the deck and squash sailors and Marines nearby.  A NAVAIR report by Kurt Long -pdf states this danger is "VERY significant" and "...could prohibit ALL shipboard ops."  The V-22 program office recently decided this problem, which they call "roll perturbations", can be fixed with software.  How?  I can only assume that the engines will be revved up automatically to keep it from teetering over.  That will continually knock down ground crews with unpredictable blasts of downwash, and doesn't work when the engines are shut off.
Evading the Gun Issue
      Our May report revealed the V-22 will fly unarmed because of the difficulty in adding a defensive machine gun as promised.  The redesign plan was to delay adding the gun until FY2008.  This criticism had some impact:
Inside the Navy, September 30, 2002

Osprey to get firepower sooner
     In the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, special forces aboard Marine Corps helicopters often had to shoot at al Qaeda and Taliban fighters on the ground as the helicopters exited "hot zones." That realization is stirring the Marines to rethink, accelerate and expand long-deferred plans to arm V-22 Osprey tiltrotors with defensive weapons.

    "One of the things we've been asked to look at from headquarters is to put an interim gun in sooner," Marine Corps Col. Dan Schultz, the Osprey program manger, told Inside the Navy in a brief interview last week. Unlike previous plans to mount a three-barreled .50 caliber turreted machine gun under the front of each Osprey, the interim gun would go in the rear, near the ramp that opens to let troops enter and exit. In addition to the new ramp gun effort, the program has been directed to study putting guns on both sides of the aircraft's cabin.

     The original plan for a a chin mounted gun was dropped because it was heavy and couldn't be fired effectively by the co-pilot.  The odd idea of a gun mounted on the rear ramp is under consideration, yet it impedes personnel egress and doesn't allow a vehicle to easily drive off.   Moreover, a formation of V-22s approaching a landing zone can provide no suppressive fires if all guns are pointed to the rear.  As a result, side mounted guns are gaining favor, so long as the problem of very limited fields of fire due to the wings and rotors is ignored.  Whatever awkward system is adopted, V-22s will be heavily dependent on Cobra attack helicopter escorts, so they will have to fly as slow as helicopters and negate their only advantage.  In contrast, the MH-60S can carry various machine guns and mount rocket pods or up to 16 Hellfire missiles for attack missions.
     The gun study linked above also noted another problem with the Osprey's unique tandem rotor design.  As the tiltrotor nears the ground, the downwash from the two rotors swirl debris up toward the fuselage. This is so bad that any gun on the V-22 must include a side bag to catch shell casings as they fall, lest they are thrown back up at the fuselage.  This implies that V-22s landing at unimproved sites may pelt themselves with rocks and other debris.
High Rate of Descent Tests
     Despite the outrageous cost and poor lift performance, the biggest problem with the V-22 is its lack of stability which can lead to total destruction of the aircraft.  V-22s will wait until next Spring to conduct high rate of descent tests to see if they can match assault helicopter performance.  In a Crucial Test  three years ago, seven times during 21 high-altitude test flights at the Navy's Patuxent River air base, a V-22 suddenly began to roll when it was flown in an assault mode like the craft involved in the Arizona crash.  In one case, a V-22 reached an 84-degree bank, its wings nearly perpendicular to the ground, according to a Bell/Boeing presentation to the Pentagon's "Blue Ribbon Panel," which investigated the aircraft after the 2000 accidents.  A Pentagon source familiar with the V-22 testing says the aircraft lost 2000 feet of altitude before pilots regained control - a margin for error that would not exist in a low altitude military operation.  Since the V-22 already failed high rate of descent tests and recent modifications did not address this fatal flaw, the results of the current tests should be similar, assuming they are fully disclosed.  
        However, the 12-23-02 issue of "Aviation Week" revealed that high rate of descent tests will not begin until mid-Spring.  The current phase limits test pilots to 800 feet per minute, which will test nothing.  The February 2002 issue of Armed Forces Journal, explains: "since the V-22 has asymmetric rotors on its wing tips, if one of them encounters the vortex ring state phenomenon before the other, the aircraft will be inclined to roll over.  That's one of the reasons why V-22s are presently limited to a rate of descent of less than 800 feet per minute.  While that would be adequate for a commercial operation, it's far short of what the military needs -- several thousand feet per minute -- during tactical insertions."  This was hidden in an article about Optical Air Data Systems, where Phil Rogers  describes his efforts to develop a low forward airspeed indicator for the V-22 program. 
     There is no doubt the V-22 is very unstable at high rates of descent, but the V-22 program manager thinks that pilot training, a newly invented "low ultrasonic low airspeed sensor", and a warning device like a "seat shaker" can prevent pilots from accidentally causing one rotor to stall and the V-22 to immediately roll over because of its tandem rotor design.  However, pilots are often distracted for the same reasons you may allow your car to drift out of its lane while driving.  If a pilot makes an error while flying a helicopter, it may result in a hard landing, even if he encounters a vortex ring stall; which is extremely rare with large rotors.  However, an error by a V-22 pilot, or even minor damage to a rotor gearbox, can cause an immediate loss of control where the aircraft flips over and everyone dies. 
     To hide these problems, the test program will avoid them, as it did in the past.  Instead, it has announced it will disprove handling problems, noted by "critics", by flying a V-22 around flattop amphibious ships with one rotor off the deck.  There is no doubt a V-22 pilot can perform this task if he is aware a rotor imbalance is about to occur, like during a test.  The danger arises when pilots are distracted by other aircraft, radio chatter, cockpit commotion, rain, or fog while the imbalance among the rotors occurs.  This will surprise pilots as the V-22 begins to roll.  A report on the V-22 sea trials by V-22 test pilot LtCol John Rudzis mentions this danger: "A left seat landing under relative winds over deck of 355 deg relative and twenty-five knots resulted in a roll excursion of thirty-seven degrees angle of bank while only ten feet above the deck level. Only that the left rotor was over the water and full power had been applied to initiate a climb, prevented the nacelle or rotor from impacting the ship. Further testing in these conditions was suspended until this event could be thoroughly investigated." 
Mean Flight Hours Between Failures
     Another problem is that helicopter mechanics consider the V-22 too complex and too fragile to maintain.  In November 2000, "Aviation Week" reported the V-22 breakdown rate is 0.7 per hour between any component on the aircraft failing, only half the goal of 1.4 per hour.  Can you imagine having a different component on your new car failing every 40 minutes of driving time?  Press leaks revealed the Corps first V-22 squadron could keep only 5-6 of its 10 new Ospreys mission ready during 2000, a much lower rate than the Corps 35-year old CH-46 helicopters.  This is shocking because the V-22 is maintained by the Corps best mechanics with direct contractor support at permanent base facilities, while many of the old CH-46s operate from ships where they are continually exposed to harsh weather.
     Since testing resumed in May 2002 with upgraded V-22s, the fully staffed V-22 team has been unable to meet the new (lower) objective of 1.2 mean flight hours between failures.  The Bell-Boeing team claims the V-22 can self-deploy long ranges by loading a supplemental fuel tank in its cargo bay and aerial refuel, just like the CH-53E.  However, helicopters rarely attempt extremely long-range missions over water because there is nowhere to land should a problem arise.  With a mechanical problem every 1.2 hours of flight time, no sane commander will routinely send his $120 million V-22s across oceans.
The Criminal Conspiracy Continues
     There is no doubt the V-22 is fundamentally unsafe and exorbitantly expensive.  It has become the greatest scandal in US military history, but is kept alive by the Marine Corps' political machine described in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times.  If the FBI would begin a probe, it will find ample evidence of fraud and racketeering.  This environment is so demoralizing that the Corps is refusing to allow Marines to leave the program.  Retired Air Force helicopter pilot Colonel Harry Dunn has studied the V-22 program for over two years and consulted with numerous other rotorcraft experts about the tiltrotor's fundamental flaws.  He became so angry at the waste and likelihood of further deaths from this program that he recently sent an open letter to President Bush demanding action.  
     While discussing when the Osprey will be fixed, a Marine Cobra pilot mentioned this on-line report from "Inside Defense":
"According to one former Boeing employee, interviewed on background last week, the prime contractor's early approach to the program was, “We've got to sell this son-of-a-***** first; we'll fix it later.”  Hydraulics problems and other failures were quietly put on a back burner for years in the confidence the government would pay to fix them later on, under “engineering change proposals,” this source said. One Boeing test pilot resigned in late 1992, citing just such problems in the company's V-22 program. “We promote the 'good old boy' who's been there the longest and will follow the mold,” states the pilot in a Dec. 15, 1992, resignation letter, obtained by ITP."
     That was over ten years ago and they still plan to sell that son-of-***** first, then hope to fix it later.  At a formal ceremony on October 31, 2002, Marine Commandant General James Jones bestowed the title "honorary Marine" on Boeing Senior Vice President Gerald Daniels for his commitment to the V-22 Osprey program.  Given the dismal performance of the V-22, seniors leaders of the Corps must be unaware of the facts.  They often repeat the myth that the V-22 can fly twice as fast helicopters and has three times their range.  The V-22 can cruise at 240 knots, while helicopters like the old CH-53E are limited to 172 knots, so its 40% faster, not 100%.  However, helicopters can descend three times faster into landing zones than the unstable V-22; which is where 91% of combat losses occur.
      The V-22 has about the same range as modern helicopters, like the new Navy MH-60S.  In those rare cases when Marines need to fly long distances for a raid, the MH-60S can be equipped with external fuel tanks and far outrange the MV-22.  The Special Operations command already operates the MH-60G "Pavehawk" (right) with a range of 445 nautical miles, almost twice the range of the V-22.  The Marine Corps' old CH-53E has twice the range of the V-22, which can be verified at the Marine Corps' own website
      The simple solution to end this mess is for the Secretary of Defense to order the Army to prepare a 10,000 lbs external load at Fort Eustis and tell the V-22 program office to send their best V-22 to pick up the load and fly it back.  This V-22 will also be required to carry extra weight internally to simulate the gun with ammo and hoist.  I suspect the V-22 will not be able to pick it up.  This will allow immediate cancellation with no penalty to the taxpayer.  Otherwise, we'll just wait for another V-22 to flip over and more "non-honorary" Marines to die.
                                      Carlton Meyer
The V-22 is robbing the Marines
Thank you for publishing this article. I was an active duty Marine Corps machinegun squad leader that refused to reenlist in Jan. 1999. My largest fear was that I would be in charge of a stick assigned to fly into battle on a V-22. As you pointed out in your article the V-22 has many fundamental flaws. As a Marine I followed the course of development of the V-22 and my concern has carried over into my civilian life. With the threat of war upon our nation. I am appalled at the reluctance to drop the V-22 from the Marine Corps budget.  As a Marine I was continually made to do with what was there, because of the lack of funds to provide essential needs for myself and my Marines. In one instance my company was left at a secluded training area for 2 weeks longer then scheduled because the Marine Corps couldn't afford to pay for the fuel to fly us home. When we did return to our home base the civilian DOD employee's were on strike because they hadn't been paid in over a month. I would hate to think that the V-22 project could create a similar situation to our current Marine infantry forces.
In my four years in the Marine Corps I never once felt neglected. Today I find it appalling and indecent for our government to allow such an atrocity as the V-22 to continue to drive the Marine Corps into the ground. Thank you again for providing this valuable information to the public.
Ed: Each month a new $160 million V-22 comes off the production line and is rolled into storage since its unsafe to fly.
MH-53J is Better
I'm in the USAF and work as maintainer on the MH-53M and MH-53J PAVLOW Helicopters for the past 3 years. The V-22 is a great idea Key word being "IDEA". I gotten a good look at one when they brought it around on a show and tell tour before it was grounded for the like 100th time. It is way small, I'm 5'10" and can't stand up strait inside it. I can reach out and touch both side wall at the same time. SOF troop carrying capacity is cut by 2/3 and all their toys like boats and ATVs will have to be replaced with new and smaller ones.  I as well have talked to pararescue guys, and they say the rotor wash put out by the twin rotors is so great, that it makes the fast ropes spin about like a cyclone flinging troop off. Plus when landing the engines exhaust sometimes starts ground fires.  Question what happens if the engine nacelles get stuck in the down position how does it land without doing millions upon millions of dollars worth of damage to the rotors, engines, and gear boxes? Give me a new MH-53E its the big 7 bladed 3 engined bastard with a tilted tail rotor and pylon. PAVE it out with the latest IDAS/JTIDS and a new TF/TA RADAR and both the pilots and maintainers would be happy.
V-22 Scandal Homepage


Col. Harry Dunn Letter - to President George Bush

Subject: Distribution List
“Open Letter” to President of the United States
From : Harry P Dunn, Col. USAF (ret)
Coordinator: V - 22 Red Ribbon Team
202 Harpers Ferry Dr, Locust Grove, VA 22508
To:  President of the United States, George W. Bush
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Wash. D.C. 20500
Vice President of the United States, Richard Cheney
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Wash. D.C. 20500
Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld
1000 Defense, Pentagon, W ash. D.C. 20301-1000
Attorney General, John Ashcroft, U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave. Wash. D.C. 20530-0001
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller, J. Edgar Hoover
Bldg. 935 Penn. Ave. N.W. Washington D.C. 20535-0001
Secretary of Transportation, Norman Y. Mineta, Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street S.W. Washington D.C. 20590
Secretary of Veteran Affairs, Anthony J Principia
Department of Veteran Affairs, Washington D.C. 20011
Office of Management and Budget, Director Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.

St Washington D.C. 20503
Comptroller General, David W. Walker
U.S. General Accounting Office, Washington D.C. 20500
Undersecretary of Defense, Edward.C.”Pete” Aldridge
3010 Defense, Pentagon, Washington D.C. 20310-3010
National Transportation Safety Board Headquarters , Chairmanof Board
490 L’ Enfant Plaza , N.W. Washington D.C. 20594
Federal Aviation  A dministration, Marion C Blakey, Admistrator
800 Independence Ave S.W. Washington D.C. 20591
Senator John Warner, Senate Armed Services Committee
225 Russell Bldg. Washington D.C. 20510
Congressman Duncan Hunter, House Armed Services Committee
2120 Rayburn House Office Bldg. Washington D.C. 20515
1. Introductory  Letter To The President/ Commander in Chief
2. Open Letter concerning the flawed V -22 Program
3. Biographica/Experience  -notes re the Author
26 November, 2002
Mr. George W. Bush
President of the United States,
The White House,
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President and Commander in Chief,
As the Coordinator of a group of former Military Combat Helicopter Pilots, Flight Test Pilots, Aero
Engineers and Researchers, who are known loosely as the “V-22 Red Ribbon Team, I am writing the
attached “Open Letter” to you following two years of studies, investigations and reports concerning the
flawed and wasteful V-22 Program.
The results of our work have exposed a great deal of fraud, abuse and waste over a twenty year
period; with numerousproblems which have shown that the V -22 is NOT either safe nor the “new
technology” as claimed by the Contractors  andother supporters such as the USMC and many in the
Congress.It is in fact an aerodynamically unsafe design with several Major Safety of Flight Design
Flaws;which havealreadycaused the death of 30 innocent men  –the majority being members of the
During the past two years we have sent copies of all of our findings and work to OSD (A cquisit ion), the
GAOand the DOD/IG. We have found little or no interest and a great deal of ignorance or cover-up at
all levels of Management .  
We, as mostly retired former Military men, supported by some of the  nations  outstanding AeroEngineers, Flight Test Pilots (including 2 former V -22 pilots) and academic researchers; request that
you direct an in-depth investigation to be conducted by organizations which have no vested interest in
the V -22 Program.
Because of the deadly seriousness of our efforts and findings, we are taking the liberty to forward
copies of the attached “Open Letter” ,to  the Vice President, the Secretary  of Defense and  o ther
Admini strative Offices, which should be made aware of the realities attached to the V -22, and may be
of significant assistance in your decisions as to our final recommendation that the V -22 should be
terminated immediately.
The V-22is neither safe as a Combat Military Aircraft, nor airworthy or certifiable by the FAA  . It is now
in its’ third design life, wasting literally Billions of Taxpayers Money and a twenty year waste and
disgrace to all involved.  The Contractors have spent several Millions of dollars in avoiding discovery
through the technique of sealing negotiations and funds paid to  30 wives and families, who have tried
un-successfully to be told why and how their husbands and fami ly members were killed. 
Harry P Dunn,
Coordinator, V-22 Red Ribbon Panel
Col Harry P Dunn (USAF Ret)
202 Harpers Ferry Dr
Locust Grove, VA 22508
An Open Letter to President, Vice President, Secretary of Defense,---Attorney General, and Director of the FBI
(A wake-up call about 30 dead Americans, the V -22 and Inspector General and
other cover-ups.)
President Bush, Comander in Chief of U.S Arm ed Forces,
I am writing to you on behalf of a group of about 120 former Viet Nam
Combat helicopter pilots, test pilots, and professional rotorcraft aerospace
engineers known as the V -22 Red Ribbon Panel.
As coordinator of our group, I can readily say the near unanimous majority
of our researchers, writers and supporters were proud and pleased of your
election which brought a new ethical and moral leadership in the White House
and in the Department of Defense following some eight years of degradation of
the US Military under the prior Administration .
We have tried to use a responsible approach and communication with messages,
studies and research findings related to the V -22 Program, with the current members of
the current Administration.
However we have had little success or response from any of the normal channels
including DOD, DOTE, the GAO and the DOD/IG.
We reported on May 14, 2000 that we had found Major Safety of Design Flaws
related directly to the V -22 and its propensity to become unstable, loose control and
kill Marines who never should have been flying the aircraft in the first place.
We have collectively spent several thousands of hours researching and
examining the engineering and design of the V -22 Osprey Tiltrotor Aircraft, and found
the work by the official panel created by prior SecDef Cohen to be seriously lacking in
fulfilling their Charter..
The V-22 Program Is A Matter of Life and Death!!!!
The bizarre behavior of the people responsible for the V -22 Contractor
and Government Offices to avoid any discussion of these safety issues,
while throwing money (at a rate of about $ 1.7 BILLION a year) on a very
sick and ir-repairable aircraft, caused us to go beyond our engineering
and safety analysis.
We then took a look at some of the internal and external pressures
working on DOD and other government agencies such as the GAO and the
Inspector General's Office. Several of us have worked with the aerospace
industry over the years, and in my own case, have spent seven years working
in the Pentagon in Legislative Liaison for both the Secretary of Air Force
and the Secretary of Defense in areas of Procurement, R&D and Appropriations.
We have also found it interesting that the national news and television media
appear to avoid discussing the V -22 and the innocent deaths of the 30 men
killed in the V -22 -or anything about their wives and children and how they have been
The V-22 Program
Despite the fact that each of the four crashes were initiated differently (gyros,
hydraulics, fuel, and other failures) ---all of them ended up crashing in essentially
the same manner. The side-by-side propeller configuration suffered a Rotor Stall
or Vortex Ring State on one side, followed by a rollover (or snap roll), with
subsequent crashes, and in the case of the last three, the loss of all lives on board.
As a transport aircraft, the V -22 was required by lawto be certified by
the FAA (for potential civil use). There was  originally a Memo of Understanding
signed by both the Navy and FAA, which would have required the FAA Flight
Test Crews to participate directly in the V -22 test Program. A few years ago, the
Navy unilaterally terminated the MOU, which in essence left the Flight Test Program in
charge of the Bell/Boeing Integrated Test Team, with the Navy in a secondary
position. This decision was somewhat like putting the fox in charge of the hen
One of the major results, as reported by both the GAO and the IG, was
that most of the seriously critical testing ----in the low altitude/low speed
areas ----had been deleted/deferred. Two years later has still not been faced.
We had submitted a standard helicopter test for maneuverability/agility to DOD
a year ago (prepared by rotary -wing flight test experts), which could have been
accomplished in less than a month or two –which was in ignored!
As of this month, we have been informed by friends in NavAir, that the current
ITT leadership has still not submitted a test plan in response to Sec Aldridge’s
direction nearly a year ago. The nearest test plan they created (which we received
from Navy friends), very carefully avoided the clear intent of the actual testing required.
If the FAA had been directly involved as originally planned by law, they would not
have concurred in avoiding testing in the most critical areas and, would have refused
certification, because of the same design flaws which we had reported.
Note: It is important to understand that almo st ALL so -called flight testing recently
Reported to the press by NavAir and the USMC have been related to training and
maintenance checks, which misrepresent the claims of “flight testing” which is normally
related to validating the actual aerodynamic testing.
We suggested on more than one occasion that DOD should request
assistance from both the FAA and the NTSB to review the engineering and
design aspects of the V -22 and to review the four accident reports. We are
certain that their investigations would have reached several different conclusions.
The current system of accident investigation within the DOD and services
leaves the commanders of the affected organizations in charge of their own
investigations, rather than using non-interested officers from other
commands and organizations.
This is a major flaw which results in pressure from "up the chain", and
vulnerable to "cover-ups". The NTSB does not have this problem. Its
investigations employ people from several different organizations --not
in their own control or 'chain of command'. In the case of the V -22 we have
found several instances of errors overlooked, generally in favor of the
V -22 aircraft program, while concluding errors on the side of the crews.
DOD should consider changing to an Accident Investigation Organization
more similar to that of the NTSB/FAA to avoid any appearance of malfeasance
----intended or not ----by the interested military organization.
Three Major Safety of Flight Design Faults
First, the use of a poorly designed propellerwhich was designed to optimize
V -22 speed and range, while dangerously degrading its’ operation in the
Combat helicopter mode. The impact of this decision has had serious consequences  –
to the extent that its performance in terms of the maneuverability/agility
required in the combat terminal mission areas, are worse than any military
helicopter in the world!
Another major result of the propeller design choice resulted in the
impossibility of making safe emergency landings, because it does not
produce sufficient stored inertia/energy to allow autorotation --as do all
other rotorcraft, helicopters or auto-gyros!
This is absolutely unacceptable!
At first, practicing autorotation in the V -22 was "Prohibited".
The normal flight test of autorotation capability –such as that used routinely
by the pilots of the Presidential helicopters and ALL other military and
civilian rotorcraft –was first deferred, then delayed and finally deleted as a
“requirement” because of the fatal safety of flight design flaw reported earlier
by our group.
Recently, the V -22 Program Manager explained that autorotation is not
really necessary and was deleted --under the premise that the V -22 could
convert to airplane mode!! He explained that since the majority of flight in the
V -22 would be in Airplane mode, that autorotation capability wasn’t needed!
Such a premise is false and deadly for the pilots/crews, who will be exposed to
the need of autorotation in numerous conditions when flying in the helicopter mode.
We are certain that the majority of the Presidential HMX pilots would disagree with
both the decision and the rationale provided.
The second major problem we found was that the close juxtaposition of
the two side-by-side lateral propellers produce a downwash twice that of
normal helicopters. This can and does result in asymmetric thrust conditions,
which create unstable and irregular vortex flow -producing stalls and/or VRS -which in turn can result in total loss of control of the aircraft in several different
situations --mostly associated with low airspeed/low altitude maneuvers
in hover mode of operation.
The third major problem involved the decision to use "new technology"
involving a Fly -by -Wirecomputer-controlled flight system. In essence it
replaces pushrods, pulleys, and other hardware with computer driven
electronic and hydraulic controls. These systems have been in use for
quite a few years in ”normal” aircraft. They are basically "linear" in
The flaw in the case of the V -22 is the use of "linear" solutions and
control systems which were never validated in actual full-sized wind
tunnels. If this had been done, it would have been found ----before we
killed innocent pilots/crews  ----that the first two flaws can without any
notice, produce air flow which can become unsteady and irregular.
These situations have been declared to be what is called "Non-Linear"
or “chaotic”.
Current computer codes and computers cannot yet be made to handle
non-linear mathematical solutions to handle irregular behaviors. The
current efforts attempt to force linear solutions which result in failures
and a lack of ability to properly produce control solutions.
A relatively new science still in its infancy is trying to find a way to
find mathematical solutions for what is known as "Chaos" events. It will be
many years before this science can produce systems which can handle rapidly
changing non-linear vibrations, turbulence, irregular and unpredictable air
flows inherent in the downwash and vortices produced by the V -22 during
some descents and maneuvering.
We find it completely irresponsible that the entire V-22
supporter/contractor/military community has done everything it can to
avoid acknowledging these three safety of flight design flaws, while billions
of taxpayers' dollars are spent to produce more V -22s ----which are them
placed storage. It is an outrageous and expensive farce.
The the reports we studied indicated that 91 percent of all Rotory -wing
Aircraft lost during and since Viet Nam, occurred in combat-terminal areas.
These are the exact areas of greatest susceptibility and vulnerability of the
V -22 tiltrotor to asymmetric failures, rollovers and crashes.
Using data from the actual Bell/Boeing/NavAir/USMC Flight Test Data,
the US Navy V -22 NATOPS Pilots Flight Manual, and a few briefing Charts
presented (but apparently missed) to the Cohen Blue Ribbon Panel, we have
found many anomalies, errors and absolute false -hoods, which support our
findings and validated our conclusions.
Even after receiving our findings, based entirely on Government Documents,
neither the OSD, GAO nor the DOD/IG have initiated any actions based on our
findings or reports. More importantly, none of them have ever rebutted any
of our findings.
In addition we have talked and worked with numerous combat experienced
pilots, flight test pilots (including a couple of former V -22 pilots), crew members
and research/design experts. We feel fairly comfortable in stating that there has
been a long and persistent heritage of misinformation, misrepresentations
and a continuing effort by the contractors and others to deflect our findings
while criticizing and belittling our work.
Example: We discussed with one of the former Boeing V -22 Chief Flight Test
Pilots the fact that false information was provided in the V -22 Flight Manual which
was in direct conflict of Boeing/Bell Flight Test Data.
The deaths of the19 USMC men killed at Marana, AZ were directly the result of
flight control movements, when the Pilot attempted to maneuver during a formation
descent. He was well within the maneuvering envelope as limited by the flight
manual -BUT -well outside of the actual Envelope provided by flight test data!
When we showed this former V-22 flight test pilot the actual differences in test
data and the fact that line pilots religiously follow the limits provided in the Flight Manual,
--he told us that whoever had put those limits in the flight manual --
“should be hanged!”
Although this critical information (supported with direct data from US Government
data) was passed on to the DOD, IG and GAO, no action was taken by anyone to
correct the findings of the USMC Mishap Investigation, nor to clear the blame
placed on the pilot. “Silence is THE king!”
The Inspector General
Early this year I contacted the Acting Director of the Inspector General. I learned
that the material we had sent to the IG, which was filed under DOD/IG Case Number
80377for over a year, had been signed off as --"No Action Required"!
He was somewhat surprised and was not aware of our work. He assigned an
investigator from the CID section to work with us. We were pleased to find that he
was a former US Army Helicopter Pilot, who readily found the seriousness of our work
and the need to continue with an in-depth investigation. Unfortunately “other priorities”
have precluded the DOD/IG from following up onour more important findings.
(We feel that spending money with the very high probability of killing more
troops un-necessarily is about as high a priority as the Government can get.)
Wives, Families and Legal Cover-ups
At that time, our folks were preparing a study showing that there were some
"mistakes" ( or dangerously fraudulent information) in the V -22 NATOPS Pilots Flight
Manual --which were directly at variance with the actual Flight Test Data. This
information indicated a direct co nnection with the crash at Marana, AZ and most
probably the other three accidents which had occurred. Our study was immediately
passed to all of the offices noted earlier and were followed again by –SILENCE!
Recently the last wife of one of the 30 men killed finally succumbed to
the pressure of contractor lawyers who kept negotiating with “taxpayer” funds
to accept an undisclosed amount of money, with all facts hidden behind a seal!
By avoiding any discovery process, the contractors simply paid their way out and
left the 30 wives and families in ignorance of WHY their loved ones had died!
(Is THIS the American way ?????). Is a flag, a check and cover-up how we honor
Military families, to avoid responsibility??
We became more concerned and convinced that it was obvious that the
cover-up which had grown in the past 15 years or more, had become an endemic
reality. There are not one, or two or a few people to point to----but an entire
generation of people protecting their turf, power and pretended innocence.
We have found:
Maintenance experts whose officers don't make accident reports or other important
information available to them; 
Senior officers and Program Officers peddling false and inaccurate information
about the V -22 to the public and Congress.
"Palace Guards" in numerous government offices not passing messages or
our information to their supervisors, bosses or Members.
For reasons unknown, the blind support and continued waste of billions of dollars
V -22 Ai rcraft -Hard to maintain
Many people we talked to are knowledgeable about the complexity and faulty
parts design problems of the aircraft and its’ truly high maintenance level. We were
told by active maintainers that the V -22 simply isn't maintainable --regardless of what is
done to it –or how much money is spent!
The people whose livelihoods are dependant on hanging on to their jobs can
only speak anonymously to former military --who they still respect.
The unbelievable evidence of the loss of morals and ethics at various levels of
management –both civilians and military ----has been replaced with hiding the truth
at all costs! (We have recently learned of similar problems experienced by the SecDef
which was reported recently in the news)
We have turned to you our Commander in Chief and Vice President to tell you that you
are surrounded with a growing disease of cover-ups, falsehoods, lying and fraud which
is laden with both internal and external politics in all areas
The pro-V -22 supporters continue the funding of a killing machine which has unresolvable aerodynamic design problems. They pretend to do testing, while at the same
time dumping taxpayers cash to contractors, in the name of “fixing” problems which are
in no way connected to the real aerodynamic flaws  --at a rate of about $1.7 billion
a year!
Perhaps you might ask a few Navy admirals why the V -22s they purchase are
placed into storage, while pro-V -22 propagandists offer unknown 'solutions' to the
killing machine's many truly fatal design problems. Fixing wires, tubes, fasteners,
fuel cells, seats, lights, computer programs and dozens of other faulty components
under the guise of ‘flight testing” –while ignoring the most important fatal designs
are somewhat laughable to many of us who have worked on major programs.
Again, even though repetitive, the Military -Congressional-Industrial complex
negotiates behind the curtains of silence to withhold information from open courts
which would expose exactly why theMarines died in V -22s., and in most cases
allow the families to know why and how their loved ones died serving their country.
The contractors have paid millions of dollars  ----under seal ----to the families of
the killed USMC !! The total amount of blood money (provided by taxpayers) and
spent by the contractors to do this was probably less than the amount that they
have contributed to Congressional PACs annually.
We would ask all of you --What happened to President Eisenhowers' admonition
to curtail the growth of the Military -Industrial Complex? Today, we must also add the
members of Congress who supply blind support for unknown and unsafe systems!
The prior Presidents’ admonitions have been ignored all to long!
When a major US Corporation can hide several hundreds of Millions of dollars from
The Government, DOD Secretary and his acquisition teams for over a year (as recently
reported in the F-22 case) we the public need to understand and be told by our leaders
just how deep co rruption can be sustained and ignored, before it is stopped! 
It is time now to (after 20 wasted years and 30 deaths) to cut the tethers from the
greedy and self-grandizing interests, and to terminate/cancel the V -22 Albatross.
A twenty year, essentially non-stop R&D program such as the V -22 –which is still
Involved in redesigning countless pieces and -parts while avoiding the truly dangerous
testing which would cause the termination of the program, has become a National
disgrace of irresponsible management at all levels. It is an ongoing 20 year farce –
driven by internal and external politics  -which we are sure the Presidential HMX
Pilots still smile at even today. They do not feel the V -22 is safe for use by yourself
nor other members of the Administration –leave alone the USMC itself.
It IS time to get the FBI, the Attorney General and the FAA and NTSB involved to expose
this costly –in both taxpayers money as well as human lives  –misguided
Experiment! LIVES are more important than flawed Contracts!
God Bless you in your efforts!
A Sincere and Dedicated Military Servant,
Harry P. Dunn (Col USAF ret)
Coordinator, V -22 Red Ribbon Team
202 Harpers Ferry Dr
Locust Grove, VA 22508
Col Harry P Dunn , Command Pilot,(USAF ret)
1931 - Born, Eagle Grove, Iowa
1949 - Grad, Roosevelt High School, Des Moines, Iowa
1950 - Pre- Engineering, Iowa University
1954 –B.S.Engineering, US Naval Academy.
1954 - Commissi oned 2
/Lt US Air Force
1955 - Graduate, Flight Training; Fixed wing and helicopters
1956 - Married,Evelyn Gantz, Wash D.C. (6 Children)  
1956 - 60 Misc Flying assignments in Europe
1962 - MS Aero Engineering, Univ. of Colorado
1962- 70 Post grad work:
Wittenburg Univ: Gen Psychology.
American Univ: Legal Environment of Business, Business Finance,
Quantitative Decision Making, Man a gerial Statistics.
Ind. College of Armed Forces (ICAF): National Security Management  
1962- 65 Hdq. Aeronautical Sy stems Div WPAFB
H/HH- 3E (“Jolly Green Giant”)Program Office.
Flight Test Director - First All- Weather IFR Amphibious
Military Helicopterfor  use of  USAF Search and Rescue
Initiated and Directed - World First In - Flight Helicopter Refueling Program
Director of Operational Test  Training Program  ( Proj. Bueckeburg   )
for German Army/AF Pilots in the FRG
Lead flight of  first helicopter s  non - stop across Mediterranean ;   followed
by a   non - stop 770 mile  flight from  Cairoto  Jedda, Sau di Arabia, with final 
delivery to M il  Airlift C md for  use in Earth  Triangulation Project in Ethiopia.
1965- 70 Hdq AFSC.
Conducted Special Source Selection for urgent SAR ROC (HH - 53/HH- 47).
Systems/Operational Analysis /Stud ies for  AV- 8 Harrier, Boeing Light Intratheatre Transport (LIT), SAR testing for XV - 142, USAF WW- FAC ROC and
SEA  Asia Special Operational Requirements(SEORS).Wrote Tech Reportfor
AHS Convention on Aerodynamics for Helicopter In - Flight Refueling.
1967- 68- Viet Nam
SVN - Special assignment for AFSC systems coordination. Flew combat missons
with various USAF Organizations.( HH- 3, UH- 1, A - 1,A- 37,C- 123, HC - 130,
ABCCC).Analysis of SEA Operational Requirements for rapid reaction changes..
1969- 70 -Korea –Chief of Flight Operations, Osan AirBase Hdqtrs.
Wrote 5
AF Urgent Requirement for USAF support H- 3 replaceme nt for  Korea.
Teacher: Math and Aerodynamics for Univof Maryland for  ( USAF/AFITnight
1971- 73 SecAF/Legislative Liason, ( Investigative  Division  –Procurement/R&D,
Programs /Issuessupport for Authorization Committees) )
1974- 77 OSD/L egislative Affairs (Dir Authorizations/Appropriations,
Procurem ent/R&D).Supported Atomic Energy, DCA, DARPA, NRO.
Prepared Annual Briefing Books For Sec Def Congressio n al
Briefings/Appearances. Coordinated Army/Navy/USAF - Auth/Appn
Committee Support and Daily reports  for the White House.
1977- SecAF/Legislative Liason  (Director, Systems Division  –Managed
Procurement/R&D Congressional Authorization Issues))
1977- Retired with “Legion of Merit “ a wards from both  USAF and OSD
1977- 1991 Director of Congressional Affairs, Martin - Marietta. I nstrumental in
successful Congressional funding of: Titan, Pershing, Patriot, Copperhead,
B- 1,Titan IV and Lantirn programs 
1991- Retired from Martin - Marietta. Awarded “Jefferson Cup” for significant
contributions toCongressional funding  goals.
Pres ident -  Federal City Chapter,American Helicopter Society
Lecturer- Defense Systems Management School
Member - Republican Club, AIAA, Air Force Association , US Naval Institute,
“Jolly Green Giants” Assn (RVN Search and Rescue), Treas:USAF Helicopter
Pilots Assn , U S Naval Institute, Air Force Associa tion , Charter Member –
Aviation Hall of Fame.
Pilot –Instructor  & Instr ument Qual. Flying since 1952. Multi - Single Engine,
Recip/Jet Eng, Aircraft and Helicopters. Flight operati ons in some 35 countries
outside the United States .
Founder and Coordinator: V - 22 Red Ribbon Panel (Investigation, Research, Studies
and informal Reports to the US Government).


V-22 Update - this scandal just grows and grows

      This is an update on the V-22 program since our article last May:  Keeping the V-22 Alive  Since then, the long-time V-22 public affairs man, Dick Spivey, retired after a career with the V-22 program.  This program has been "in development" for so long that some people literally made it a career.  The promised aggressive flight testing became just 38 hours of safe flying by a single V-22 over the past three months.  The V-22 project manager, Colonel Shultz, sent out a highly misleading letter to rebut criticism in the press.  G2mil was mentioned as: "a website, not a magazine."  Harry Dunn was so outraged by these new lies that he dissected this letter, which is linked below. 
       For example, Shultz compares the mishap rate of the V-22 with helicopters during their first five years of operation.  He doesn't compare flight hours since the V-22 has been grounded most of the time, or that only six production V-22s have flown.  He compares them with the total mishaps of much greater numbers new helicopters which flew hundreds of hours each, and counts those shot down in Vietnam as "mishaps".  Last May, G2mil learned from someone involved in the test program that V-22 lift specs are only goals, and the heaviest vertical lift demonstrated by a V-22 was 11,000 lbs, not the 15,000 lbs claimed.  Compare that to the 28,000 lbs of vertical lift for the upgraded CH-53X and even 9000 lbs for the small MH-60S.  
     Last year, I noted the V-22 had a smaller internal cabin than the CH-46.  Using the specs from the NAVAIR website, I wrote: "The V-22s interior cabin dimensions are (H-5.5ft W-5.7ft L-20.8ft ) which is smaller than the CH-46E (H-6ft W-6ft L-24.2 ft).  With a height of only 5.5ft, the V-22s will have many hunched-back crew chiefs and a lot of passenger head banging." It appears this criticism was noted because NAVAIR revamped its website two months ago and the V-22 cabin dimensions miraculously expanded to match the CH-46!  To find the true specs, Harry Dunn asked a good man at NAVAIR to grab a tape measure and reveal the true (stressed, e.g. weight bearing) cabin space, which is listed here:
The V-22 has 40% less cabin space than the CH-46!
                    V-22                    CH-46            NAVAIR V-22 Lie

Length      16.84 ft                      24.17 ft                        24.17 ft

Width          5.7 ft                             6.0  ft                         5.92 ft

Height         5.42 ft                          6.0 ft                           6.0 ft
size sq ft    96 sq ft                  145 sq ft                     143 sq ft                     

Cabin vol    520 cu ft               870 cu ft                     856 sq ft

      After a decade of testing, the maximum payload the V-22 has demonstrated is 13,000 lbs internally and 11,000 lbs externally.  However, NAVAIR's website also lies when it claims the V-22 can lift 20,000 lbs internally and 15,000 lbs externally.  NAVAIR once explained those are just "goals" but fails to note that on its website or briefing sheets.  In addition, V-22 test pilot Marine LtCol John Rudzis has written the maximum STOL take-off weight demonstrated for the V-22 is 47,300 lbs, yet NAVAIRs website lists 55,000 lbs. The V-22 is the largest scandal in US military history, and G2mil will keep America informed on this criminal activity.

Crucial Test - an article by Bob Cox which details the V-22s fatal flaw
Eased standards "fix" Osprey - an article by Joseph Neff which reveals numerous shortcomings
Dissecting Colonel Shultz's Excuses (pdf) - Harry Dunn replies
MH-60S Enters Full Production - the Marines can buy these today
Helicopter Wings and Rings - superior to tiltrotors
Finally, even the first V-22 squadron commander reports the is V-22 unsafe:
Marine Times                         September 9, 2002
Report: Osprey crash records not falsified

By Christian Lowe
Times staff writer

No evidence supports a former MV-22 Osprey squadron commander’s accusations that records were falsified and omitted by Navy and Marine Corps officials who examined the April 2000 crash of the tilt-rotor aircraft, Pentagon investigators found. Officials from the Defense Department Inspector General’s office looked into allegations detailed in a letter sent to Marine Commandant Gen. James Jones in December 2001 by Lt. Col. Odin “Fred” Leberman, former commander of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204, a Marine official confirmed.
Leberman alleged “critical information was omitted” from an investigation report on the April 8, 2000, crash, which occurred during operational testing with infantry Marines in Marana, Ariz., according to a copy of the Aug. 19 DoD investigation report. He also wrote that information regarding the actual cause of death of the 19 Marines was removed and that crucial test results were omitted from the overall operational evaluation report sent to Marine officials regarding the aircraft’s combat viability, the report states.
His letter did not call into question the cause of the crash, which investigators attributed to “human factors.” The former squadron commander sent the letter about three months after he received a punitive letter of reprimand for his role in the squadron’s falsification of Osprey maintenance records.
After conducting interviews with Leberman and those he said brought the omissions to his attention, “the Defense Criminal Investigative Service found no evidence to support these allegations,” the IG report states.
Leberman also questioned the crash-worthiness of the Osprey’s fuel cells. The IG office is conducting a separate investigation into that matter.
The Osprey was grounded for nearly 18 months after the second of two crashes in 2000 that killed a total of 23 Marines. The second crash, which occurred Dec. 11, 2000, came just days before the Corps was set to begin full production of the transport aircraft. The Corps plans to buy more than 300 Ospreys to replace its Vietnam-era CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters.
As a result of the crashes and subsequent investigations, program officials were forced to revamp aspects of the aircraft’s design and now are conducting further flight testing. Aviators with VMMT-204 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., are expected to resume flight operations next spring, program officials say.
No surprise
The IG’s findings weren’t a surprise, Marine officials said.
“The Corps realized immediately that the only way to get to the bottom of this was to have an impartial third party evaluate the merits of the allegations,” said Marine spokesman Maj. Matt McLaughlin. “We now have seen the investigation come back finding the allegations had no merit.”
In his letter, Leberman claimed the squadron flight surgeon for VMMT-204 told him that the 19 Marines killed in the Arizona crash were burned to death when fuel cells ruptured. He also said the information had been withheld in the Aviation Mishap Board report.
The unidentified flight surgeon denied he told Leberman records had been omitted, saying the AMB report was “accurate and complete,” the IG report states.
Leberman went on to question the safety of fuel cells in the Osprey.
“At no time has a fuel cell passed the drop test,” he wrote. The fuel cells “will burst and flood the cabin with fuel, dramatically increasing the likelihood of a fire and/or explosion.”
After interviewing dozens of officials, Pentagon investigators found no indication that information concerning the fuel cells had been left out of the accident report.
“No one improperly influenced or directed the AMB members to remove or change information in the AMB report regarding fuel cells,” the IG report stated.
The assistant inspector general for auditing is conducting a separate review of the issues related to crash-worthiness of fuel cells.
Operational evaluation
The IG report also debunked allegations that crucial information was withheld from the operational evaluation report forwarded to Marine aviation officials Oct. 10, 2000. The report was a crucial part of the decision to go ahead with full production of the aircraft.
Leberman’s letter stated that a Marine lieutenant colonel from the operational test team told him the information had been withheld, according to the IG report. Pentagon investigators interviewed the unnamed officer, who told them he “did not recall such a discussion” and said “nothing critical was missing from the report.”
The Marine officer did, however, issue “strongly worded” sections on desert landings and the Osprey’s use in direct action missions that were removed from the report.
Again, after interviewing 20 individuals connected to the operational evaluation report, investigators found “that no critical, key or substantive information was improperly deleted from the report, falsified or hidden within the report."
                                      Carlton Meyer
MH-60S is better than the V-22
You and I must be on the same wavelengths.  I was thinking the same thing about the V-22 - it can fly high but can it LAND high?  I think not....  It simply runs out of power - and the situation is made worse by the fact that the tiltrotor blade is not as efficient as a rotor: is a compromise between a rotor and a propeller.  A good example to compare it to is the Chinook: both have roughly the same weight and power but the blade area of a Chinook is much greater which means it can handle landings at a high altitude much better.  This high blade loading is also a problem in maneuvering - it may get out of a zone in a hurry due to sheer power but I'm betting its an airliner coming in to a zone.  As you know, there is a big debate over vortex ring state in a side by side rotor configuration.
Also, I will have to see a photo of 24 fully loaded Marines in the back of the Osprey before I believe they will all fit.  I carried 18 in a Phrog [CH-46] once and we were packed.  Of course, since the Osprey carries no weapons, there might be more room.  The MH-60 would be a perfect fit: you could replace the 46 and the Huey with it.  Another problem with the Osprey is you can't do split-ARG with it.  If you had 60's, you could put 4 to 6 on the LPD and use them as either transports or gunships - whichever is needed.  The Osprey is basically a subsidy to Bell Helicopter since they haven't built anything worthwhile since the Cobra.
Obviously, the VTDP holds great promise.  IF it works (I believe main rotor flapping is the biggest hurdle), then the Cobras, 53's, and 60's could all be converted at the same time and you would have a all helicopter fleet with comparable range.  As of now, there is nothing that can reasonably escort the V-22.
If you are looking for waste and abuse, look no further than why Marine Reserves are flying brand new Gulfstreams (they got rid of C-12's.)  The answer is that a lot of these LtCols are trying to build hours to go to the airlines (not that its going to help them now.)  The Gulfstreams are not combat related, nor are they support.  It is using up money and personnel that could be better used to support actual combat units.  Thought you might have fun with that.
                                                                                  Name Withheld
The V-22 is Great  I work for V-22 as civilian engineer for about 10 years.  I read your V-22 update.  Nothing like irresponsible biased reporting...anything for a buck.  The V-22 cabin height is not 5' 5"'s way over six feet-I'm 5' 9" and there's at least 2 ft. above my head when I work in the cabin.  Funny, you must talk to disgruntled ex pilots or former employees.  All the pilots I talk to and work with (and they are many) tell me the osprey is the easiest handling and smoothest bird they have ever been in.  Pilot tell me they'd rather be in a V-22 than in a disintegrating CH-46.  Don't know who you are lobbying for, but our competitors have been taking potshots at us for over 15 yrs. now...and we're still here.  Everyone wants a piece of our pie.  I'll have the last laugh at you idiots when we start fielding squadrons next year.
                                                                                          Justin M Nuyda
Ed: Be sure to inform your co-workers that the V-22s interior height is 7'9" tall, they list just 6 feet.  Last year they listed 5.5 feet.  This official Navy report from 1999 confirms what we say (200 inches long (16.66 feet), 66 inches high (5.5 feet, and 68 inches wide (5.66 feet).  The problem with inventing new lies is not everyone knows to erase the evidence.
Are you proud that your gang has made a living by "developing" the V-22 for 15 years with funds taxpayers thought were going to Marine Corps aviation?  And you already fielded a V-22 squadron in 1999.  It crashed two of the first eight V-22s within a year, and now that squadron commander says the V-22 is unsafe.  The next time you send a V-22s to operational evaluation, be sure to include the hoist and gun.  Yes, I know that will push your empty weight far over your contract guarantee and drag vertical lift below 8000 lbs, but its the honest thing to do.
Colonel Shultz's Lies
I read your excellent and highly informative expose' of Col Schultz's lies.  The S-67 Blackhawk that crashed at the Farnborough air show was an ATTACK HELICOPTER completely different from the UTAAS transport helicopter which became the UH-60 Blackhawk using the same name.

RAND [a military research group] absolutely HATES tilt-rotors from their computer simulations where their RCS gets them shot down. RAND hates Army After Next (now called "transformation) BS about "FTR" quad-tilt rotors transporting Army FCS vehicles, you might want to tap into their wargaming which shows the tilt-rotor is dead meat under 15,000 feet with modern air defenses what they are.  Peter Wilson and John Gordon absolutely detest the tilt-rotor and are good sources of reasons why.

RAND report

Analysis of Air-Based Mechanization and Vertical Envelopment Concepts and Technologies
J. Grossman, J. Matsumura, R. Steeb, J. Gordon, T. Herbert, W. Sollfrey

I believe in Air-Mech-Strike as per our group's efforts to compound helicopters to get higher flight speeds/ranges and parachute airdrop and aggressive STOL airlanding from fixed-wing aircraft.

                                                                                       Mike Sparks
V-22 Scandal Homepage

V-22 Update - this scandal just grows and grows

An Expose' of V-22 "Facts" - Col. Dunn refutes the program manager

An Expose’ of V-22 “Facts”
A Review of Paper written by Col Schultz (USMC), Criticizing the Press.
This review by the V-22 Red Ribbon Panel was prepared with the intent to clarify and
correct many of the “views”, outright falsehoods and Contractor Public Relations material
used by Col Schultz in his treatment of the Press. (Our Comments are in BOLD face after
each statement of “facts”.)
Harry P Dunn (Col USAF ret)
Coordinator, V-22 Red Ribbon Panel
19 June, 2002
PMA-275, 301-757-5161
Col Dan Schultz
V-22 Program Manager
Subject: There have been several allegations made against the V-22 in the press
recently. The allegations and the facts are presented below.
Article 1: "
Eased Standards Fix Osprey"
Raleigh News and Observer - Mr. Joseph Neff
A careful reading of this article clearly refers to the numerous System Requirements on the V-22 that have
been deferred or deleted.
Opening Statement:
The V-22 has met or exceeded all key performance parameters (KPPs). No KPPs have been deleted from the
current ORD.
Mr. Neff did not address the ‘KKP’s as suggested here by Col Schultz - this Marine Corps tactic has
been a stock in trade technique of changing the focus in defense of actual, real problems.
Changes were made to the ORD to delete unnecessary requirements as well as add new, more stringent
requirements. This is part of the normal requirements maturation process that takes place in every aircraft
development program.
When did Col Schultz
unilaterally decide that requirements associated with autorotation, combat
maneuvering, protection from Nuclear, Biological, Chemical design, and others, were “unnecessary

? Exactly what were the un-stated new
“more stringent requirements” added, and by what
authority? His last statement is gratuitous to sidetrack the reader from the issues addressed in the article.
1. Allegation
"The Navy has lowered its performance requirements"
All Operational Requirements Documents (ORDs) undergo periodic review to keep pace with user
requirements. The V-22 is no exception.
The Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development and Acquisition endorsed the Panel to Review
the V-22ís recommendation that the requirements be validated and prioritized, and those that rank poorly in cost/
benefit be deleted. The Joint Requirements Oversight Council approved these changes, and concurs with the
Joint Requirements Review Working Group and the Program Managers plan to continue identifying the potential
high payoff/cost benefit requirement trades throughout the ORD development
process. The use of time-phased
requirements in support of evolutionary acquisition will best serve joint warfighting needs.
These statements are gratuitous given that after an expenditure of some $13+ Billion of taxpayer money, the
Program Office has now reduced several safety oriented aspects and requirements, while at the same time
increasing unit costs.
2. Allegation
: "
The Navy no longer requires that the V-22 be able to land safely in helicopter mode without
This refers to the requirement of autorotation when in helicopter mode
a fundamental and critical safety
requirement for ALL military and civilian rotorcraft, which has now been deleted from ORD at the V-22
Program and NASA requests!
The V-22 spends 70 percent of its time in airplane mode where it has the capability to perform a survivable all-
engine out landing.
This is an untested, invalidated effort to justify the deletion of autorotational capability
with the subsequent
direct risks to Pilots/Crews of the V-22.
We see here the change of specific subject, a standard approach by
the USMC in responding to the many questions/statements on the V-22.
The inference is that since the V-22 spends more time in the airplane mode, it is therefore not necessary to
be able to autorotate in helicopter mode. What about the guys who are flying the 30 percent of the time?
Tough. I Guess.
Equally IMPORTANT is the fact that an emergency “survivable” all-engine out landing is not exactly
a routine operation - which all pilots must learn to do in flight training as is done in other transport aircraft. This
rationale for deleting a requirement for autorotation has not been demonstrated. Perhaps someone will tell us
exactly when and how this will be done. A safe landing with two engines out is totally dependant on at least
two factors to preclude a catastrophe.
After dual engine failure, it is mandatory that some hydraulic/electric function is available to rotate the nacelles
to about 60 degrees to make a landing in airplane mode; because the V-22
cannot land
without tilting the two 38 foot diameter propellers without a disaster
. Equally important is that a
a relatively hard surface is required to attempt a landing a safe landing. This is hardly a good reason to claim
that this is justification for deleting an autorotation requirement.
If this is what we call “new technology”, the entire concept of developing safer aircraft has taken
a severe backward 100 year turn!
In addition, the V-22
demonstrated the capability to autorotate.
This is “technically” true. The V-22 has demonstrated the ability to fly in helo mode without any power applied
to the rotors. The critical phases of autorotation however, entry and the flare, have
been demonstrated.
No abrupt power- cut has ever been done in V-22, nor will ever be done, because it is extremely dangerous and
probably not survivable.
A flare in the V-22 has in fact been
in flight test
(Note that this maneuver-- in all helicopters -- can initiate a flare during autorotation and reduce the sink rate
to zero and land safely before the rotor(s) stop.
In testing, the V-22 managed to reduce the autorotation sink rate from 5600 ft/min (that is correct 5600, not
the 3800 as stated by the NASA panel in their report) -- to initiate a flare to a nice manageable 3200 ft/min --
before the power had to be restored to prevent a complete rotor stall -- ending in a catastrophe.
The bottom line here is that they did in fact
an autorotation -- they simply found that they
could not
initiate a flare and land safely!!
So much for the other 30 %.
No similar sized rotorcraft has ever had to demonstrate a full autorotation landing.
This is a complete falsehood. The USMC’s own CH-53, as well as all other military helicopters were tested and
required to demonstrate full autorotational landings safely to the ground at maximum gross weight, as
required under contract. The H-53 has essentially the same empty weight and power as the V-22, and has
demonstrated SAFE autorotational capability to the ground.
Likelihood of needing to conduct an autorotative landing in the V-22 is far less than the platforms it's replacing
(i.e. CH-53E losing its tail rotor).
Here we see another change of subject. This “claim” is presumably based on engine failure probability
statistics, and ignores real combat helicopter experience where battle damage and fuel starvation drive the
need for a safe autorotational capability, increasing greatly the probability that an autorotation will need to be
The likelihood of surviving an autorotative landing in the V-22 is comparable to a rotorcraft of similar weight. In
addition, the V-22s crashworthy design features far exceed all conventional rotorcraft.
Completely untrue. Two more “facts” that are both incorrect. That the H-53 has demonstrated safe, survivable
autorotational landings is the real fact. The likelihood of a rotorcraft (V-22) with almost
twice the disk loading
and a rotor inertia less than 1/4 that of an H-53
makes Schultz’s statement misleading and wishful thinking,
and completely contrary to even a basic engineering analysis of the autorotational problem..
3. Allegation
: "
Required protection from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons
has been eliminated."
NBC overpressure was a very expensive option that did not make sense because:
- Once the aircraft door is opened in an NBC environment, the interior of the aircraft becomes contaminated.
Again, this WAS an ORD requirement from beginning --it has now been eliminated!
The V-22 is NOT
pressurized and, therefore, could not sustain any of the required capabilities without significant weight
penalties. A
similar/related problem involves the lack of oxygen
which is NOT available to troops, and so
with troops on-board, the mission
altitude envelope of the V-22 is severely curtailed.
pressurization, and with Oxygen Stations for only the 4 crew members, carrying troops above about 8-
10,000 feet is a severe/foolhardy problem for missions requiring long distances which in turn are normally
accomplished at higher altitudes, where the V-22 is more efficient.
(A close review of the requirements which have been dropped or delayed (e.g. minigun turret), all tend to be
related to the need for additional reduction of
the V-22 weight problems.)
- Troops and aircrew deployed in anticipation of any potential NBC threat will already be wearing protective gear.
This is very reassuring, but it does not address limits for altitudes without pressurization, nor oxygen
requirements for troops; and which would have been required if the FAA/Navy MOU had not been canceled by
the Navy.
It is even more important to realized that
this makes V-22 a daytime only NBC environment aircraft, --
night vision devices - (NVD)s are incompatible with NBC protective gear! This was one of the main reasons for
the requirement in the first place.
Since the typical USMC mission is at night (by definition), you can surmise the consequences, and the real
reason why "this didn't make sense".
The statement “will be wearing protective gear” is a much larger problem which Col. Schultz does not appear
nor desire to discuss. The “gear” mentioned is very bulky and restrictive for all the crew and troops, and
requires advance preparation and practice for realistic application. The bulk alone will require reduced useful
payloads of combat loaded troops, who already have no place to store their excess combat gear.
4. Allegation
“Reliability standards have been changed and lowered.”
Reliability standards on the V-22 remain higher than current fleet transport helicopters today.
This is patently absurd. DOTE, GAO
and maintenance
data, when correctly compared, i.e. not with “goals,”
which are far from ever being demonstrated, are in actuality worse than those of the CH-46E, CH-53D, and
even the heavy lift CH-53E.
See attached charts comparing Reliability and Maintainability of Block A & B MV-22s with the two aircraft it is
replacing (CH-46E and CH-53D), and the heavy lift CH-53E.
These Charts are attached.
(These two charts were not available, but show Objectives of differing dates in the
future, compared to current data for other helicopters.)
The Panel to Review the V-22 recommended the standardization of Reliability, Availability, and Maintenance (RAM) parameters. Mean Flight Hours Between Failure Logistics (MFBFlog) became the primary measure of logistic reliability. MFBFlog of 0.9 hours (Threshold) and 1.2 hours (Objective) is the current standard. Mean Flight Hours Between Abort was restated as Mean Repair Time (Abort) of 4.8 hours. These standards equate to the original mission reliability rate of 85% per 3-hour mission.

Changing parametric measurements not used by other aircraft is a nice way to pick you own FUTURE capabilities. It should be asked at Pax River exactly how many total hours of maintenance work has been done by the contractor and military crews during the first 15 flights and “near 35 hours” as reported by the V- 22 Program Office last month. Given that only 15 flights during some two+ months were accomplished, the total maintenance work and costs would be constructive and useful information.
The changes reflect NAVAIR Systems Engineering study of the previous Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF)
rate. The original 1.4 metric was based on a selection of various legacy fixed wing and helicopters that were