On Its Way

The V-22 copter-plane hybrid hasn't had it easy in recent years, as readers of this site are no doubt aware. But Inside the Navy today brings good news to program supporters: Navy testers, at least, think the beleaguered tiltrotor is ready for prime time. (Reuters gets in on the act here, rightly giving credit where it's due.)v22.jpg

Naval operational testers have recommended declaring the Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft operationally suitable and effective for military use, meaning it is now up to the Pentagons operational testing directorate to decide whether to endorse the recommendation. . . .Last month, the MV-22 finished its operational evaluation, which went quite well, according to Pentagon, naval and industry sources. The official results of the testing have not yet been publicly announced, but Inside the Navy has learned the Navys operational testing command issued a summary report to defense officials June 30.According to government sources familiar with the report, it recommends declaring the MV-22 operationally suitable and effective and introducing the aircraft to the fleet. The report also cites some deficiencies that must be corrected. For instance, there are issues with certain radios, passenger seat restraints and electronic combat equipment, said a Pentagon source.The Defense Departments operational testing office has made no final decision yet on whether to declare the MV-22 operationally suitable and effective. But in the Pentagon and among program proponents, it is considered likely that DOD will support such a declaration, based on positive data from the recent testing.
As the story notes, however, Navy testers gave the same thumbs-up back in 2000 -- and that turned out to be, well, a bit premature.THERE'S MORE: Wired does the V-22 story right in its July issue.And here's a little something for the kids.-- posted by Dan Dupont
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