I received this from Capt Meixell (USMC), when I asked him what it’s like to fly the [MV-22] Osprey… (transitioned from the Phrog)
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From: Meixell Capt Christopher D
The CH-46 is a wonderful aircraft and it sure was nice having guns blazing out the sides when the tracers started flying up at us. The Marine Corps wouldn’t be what it is today without the Sea Knight delivering troops into harm’s way. But her time has come to get propped up on a stick to be admired by the aircrew who flew them as they point out the intricacies of the handmade classic to their grandsons. Every day I fly the V22 I’m having the time of my life; the capabilities are mind blowing. It has the legs and speed of a large turbine-powered airplane, and contrary to what the naysayers might tell you, it can land in any zone a Phrog can. The width and length of a V22 are almost identical to the length and width of a Phrog. And the sensors we have inside (FLIR, velocity vector, digimap with drift cue, hover-couple capability) just about nullify the effects of brown-out.
As each of us who’s ever turned a wrench or wiggled a stick on a rotary winged aircraft knows, helicopters don’t want to fly. You have to deal with the forces of torque, gyroscopic precession, and retreating blade stall to force them to fly. The V22 wants to fly. It wants to fly in airplane mode as fast as it can, and is very comfortable cruising straight and level at 250 knots (max in a dive is 280 KCAS). Every time we do approaches at civilian fields we’re a controller’s dream, since we can fly our approach at any speed which suits the flow of traffic. Once we were bearing down on a Cessna flying our approach at 170 KCAS and the controller started freaking out, wanting us to do a turn in holding to sequence in behind an other aircraft. We offered to fly the approach at 90 KCAS and pretty much made his day. We’re constantly getting solicited for low approaches at out-of-the-way civilian fields just so they can get a show. If we do bounces for more than 10 minutes, crowds form up. Recently at Florala Municipal, SC, after operating out of there for an afternoon, doing mostly short takeoffs and roll-on landings, they finally cleared us for a departure from present position (the taxiway in front of the tower) without us asking–just so they could see us take off vertically. I’ve wanted to fly this thing since I was a 19-year-old crew chief in HMH-772 and now I’m fortunate enough to be living the dream every day.
Capt Christopher “Bernie” Meixell
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204
MCAS New River, NC