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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The Martians have landed…

and they is US!

Ospreys landing in Jordan
US Marine MV-22 Osprey’s landing in Jordan.
Photo: courtesy of US DOD

17 comments to The Martians have landed…

  • I feel safer already!

  • permanentexpat

    Are the hickies really & truly out?

  • nick g.

    HG Wells was right- them martians is ugly crittures!

    This raises a point of discussion- aren’t you really glad that we seem to be the only technological species in this solar system? If there were Technology-wise Martians, wouldn’t we already be in a resources war, putting armed bases on the moon to defend not just our way of life, but our very life-forms? And all those juicy metal-rich asteroids would belong to THEM!!! We’d be stuck with the inner system.
    And the Mss Universe contest would need to accept more than one species as contestants. If I had children, I wouldn’t want my daughter to marry one!

  • Russ

    I know this will date me movie-wise, but I just couldn’t help but think…
    (quote) “Don’t worry, Ripley! I am the ultimate badass! State of the badass art! And me and my fellow badass marines are here to protect you! You see this…. we got nukes, knifes, sharp sticks…”

    Granted, it’s not meant for atmospheric penetration…. yet.

  • Does this extraordinary thing have any potential as a civilian carrier? Or is it too bizarre and expensive to run?

  • Dale Amon

    As a previous poster noted, Fairey tried to push a similar idea for commercial use in London in the sixties but it never really went anywhere… and that design was much more failsafe than this one.

    Others will argue the case differently… a pilot of one strenuously disagreed with me… but in my book it is indeed probably safer flying this and landing under fire than it is doing the same in a Chinook.

    If you are a pilot or an engineer or physicist… just try to imagine what would happen if one of those big hulking props stopped turning.

    Now this is not as big an issue in a combat aircraft as it is in a commercial one. Commercial aircraft pilots are trained on type for engine out emergencies and the planes are designed such that the asymmetric thrust can be dealt with using reasonable control forces, feathering or stopping another engine on the other side (in craft with more than two engines) and so forth.

    As an example on the military side, take the Mossie (a fine deHavilland product!) Some say that an engine out during take off was a near sure killer. To be fair, I have heard it argued by others that it could be handled.

    The Osprey uses all sorts of tricks and redundancies to ensure that it can transfer power from one side to the other. But that still leaves lots of .50 calibre failure modes. Lose a prop on a Lanc (or even three if war time claims are accurate) and you come home. Get a prop blade blown off this thing and you had better cut power and pray. I have no idea how well (if at all) this thing would work on a dead stick emergency landing.

    But again, it is fit to its purpose. In combat it is safer than the alternatives.

  • JonB

    As an example on the military side, take the Mossie (a fine deHavilland product!) Some say that an engine out during take off was a near sure killer. To be fair, I have heard it argued by others that it could be handled.

    If I might use a motor racing analogy, I think that disagreement can possibly be explained.

    Engine failure on take-off is one of the unexpected things. Suddenly your aircraft is going to change its behaviour, quite possible doing something you’ve never experienced before.

    Now, in racing, I know that the first time you hit an unexpected wet patch/oil slick flat out on a race track and the back end flies out quicker than ever before, survival is a bit of a lottery. If you’re lucky, you react quickly enough, ride out the slide, and hope there’s enough grip on the outside of the turn to keep you on the black stuff. If you’re unlucky (especially if you get a touch of understeer just before the rear goes, very tricky), you’re not fast enough, there’s not enough room, and you end up having to extricate the kart from the tyre wall. The first time it happens is usually a bit like this. The more it happens, the better you get. Generally though, even when you fail you live.

    For the Mosquito pilot, you’ve got an analogous situation but higher stakes. With a little altitude and therefore room to manoeuvre, on a nice clear day with a lightly loaded plane, it may well have been possible to handle an engine failure. Certainly, if you survive once your chance of surviving it a second time would be improved.

    But on a filthy night, with your Mossie loaded up with fuel and munitions, the engine goes when you’ve barely cleared the ground and this has never happened to you before. Well, the Mosquito wasn’t really designed to crash, and the ground is not a tyre wall. So you die.

    I suppose this is one area where the use of simulators must be invaluable. You can put pilots through absolute worst-case scenarios, the sort that nine times out of ten they’ll crash first time round, without endangering lives or aircraft. And maybe if it actually does happen to them they’ll have a better chance of surviving.

    Returning to the MV-22, have they got round the vortex ring state problems I seem to recall it experienced in development?

  • Brian: Read here. Simple answer, yes, a civilian version of this thing called the Bell 609 is being sold for very rich people to fly to and from their evil lairs.

    Very disappointingly the 609 did not fly on the Sunday at Farnborough when I was there. It was on the program, but there was some really feeble excuse about how it had to be prepared for its flight home and thus would not be flying today. Presumably the sorts of people who would buy one are not the sorts of people who would pay for a ticket to the air show and come on one of the public days.

  • Thomas

    The Osprey’s what is landing? It seems to me the whole Osprey is landing.

  • Laird

    Thank you, Thomas. Misplaces apostrophes are one of my pet peeves, too.

  • Laird

    Obviously, that should have been “misplaced“. (Misspellings are another peeve!)

  • The apostrophe is used perfectly correctly. Landing is being used as a noun. Over zealous grammar cops are one of my pet peeves.

  • Laird

    It is clearly being used as a plural, not a possessive (there are three of the critters), so the apostrophe is incorrect.

  • Well, I read it as a possessive, and took it as applying to the front Osprey only. It never even occurred to me that it might have been meant as a plural. This may be just me.

  • Laird

    Rather a strange interpretation, it seems to me, but I can see how it could be read that way. Also, I suppose one could also read it as being a contraction (for “US Marine MV-22 Osprey is landing in Jordan”), which would also make it correct usage. But I still think the intent was as a plural. If Dale wrote the caption, perhaps he will enlighten us as to his intent. (If it came from the DoD, I’m certain that it’s a grammatical error!)