James Ferguson comments

Posted in: Okinawa residents demand all U.S. military Osprey aircraft in Japan be grounded See in context

Actually this has very little to do with the Osprey and much more to do with resentment by Okinawan's of having to play host to virtually all American personnel stationed in Japan, it takes very little to provoke thier opposition to anything associated with the American military. I can sympathize with their frustration, however the U.S is stationed their at the request of the Japanese Government for our mutual security and what ever dispute exists is strictly between Okinawa and Tokyo. As far as the Osprey V-22 is concerned, the Tilt Rotar has greatly exceeded the Marines expectations and like many aircraft that offer revolutionary capibilities it has not been an easy road to travel. It's costly development was mostly due to the limited production run after the U.S army withdrew from the program. It's reduction in payload capibilities was due to engine nacelle placement on the wingtips resulting in a greater then 10% growth in total weight, the next generation tiltrotar the Valor under consideration by the US Army eliminates this shortcoming. It's early crashes were due to vortex generation at low altitude during transitional flight. The incorporation of a device to monitor this phenomenon eliminated the problem and of course it's flight characteristics are now much better understood then was the case during initial testing and evaluation. Almost all U.S military aircraft have had crashes, with F-14's, F-15's, F-16's, 18's etc, all being grounded at different points in thier careers. Also rotary wing aircraft generally have higher accident rates due to thier unique abilities and the requirement to operate at lower altitudes. Drawing conclusions based on no facts or evidence almost always leads to embaressment and will likely be the case here for many who do so.

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