About Osprey Headed Into Combat
|February 28th, 2006||#1|
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Osprey Headed Into Combat info
Associated Press | February 28, 2006
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Marine Corps plans to send the troubled Osprey aircraft into combat zones within a year and is activating a squadron of the tilt-rotor planes this week.
"Obviously, due to operational concerns we don't want to tell exactly when they will deploy," said spokesman Master Sgt. Phil Mehringer at Marine Corps Air Station New River, where the squadron will be based. "But it's certainly going to happen in the near future. Definitely, within a year."
The Osprey, which takes off and lands like a helicopter and flies like an airplane, had a troubled start.
Four Marines died in a 2000 crash in North Carolina that was caused by a ruptured titanium hydraulic line. Nineteen others were killed in a crash that year in Arizona that investigators blamed on pilot error.
The Pentagon approved full production of the Osprey in a $19 billion program last year, and the Marines have been showing them off. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld flew aboard one last week.
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263, which will carry the Vietnam-era "Thunder Chickens" nickname of the helicopter unit it is replacing, is to be formally activated Friday. There are about 250 people in the squadron and nine aircraft, Mehringer said.
The Ospreys will replace the aging, Vietnam-era fleet of CH-46E twin-rotor helicopters. The newer aircraft can carry more cargo and fly five times farther at speeds around 300 mph.
"It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle." - Norman Schwarskopf, Commander of Desert Storm Operations
|March 2nd, 2006||#9|
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Weren't the original problems caused by a conflict between imperial and metric measurements in the craft and the software?
"Mankind, when left to themselves, are unfit for their own government." - George Washington