Feeds

Obama gets personal V-22 Osprey tiltrotor

Plane-copter combocraft take on 'Marine One' role

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

President Obama's personal helicopter fleet will soon include the famous, controversial V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, according to reports. However it seems unlikely that the amazing plane-copter combo craft will land on the White House lawn very often.

A V-22 Osprey coming in to land at the Pentagon. Credit: US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brandan W Schulze

It's OK for the Pentagon. Is it OK for the White House?

Military.com reports that HMX-1, the US Marine aviation squadron which provides the presidential helicopters – such a chopper assumes the callsign "Marine One" when the president is aboard, just as any airforce plane becomes "Air Force One" – is soon to get V-22 Ospreys. However the tiltrotors will not be replacing the VH-3 Sea Kings and VH-60 Blackhawks which are normally seen lifting the leader of the free world on and off his front lawn: rather the V-22s will replace the squadron's monster Sea Stallion heavy-lift copters.

The Stallions don't normally carry the president, but are used to shift presidential kit or in other utility tasks. The wider Marine Corps has a large fleet of these monster helicopters, now under some strain due to combat operations in Afghanistan, and the presidential Stallions will now supplement the regular fleet. Some 14 Ospreys will be assigned to VIP support duties in their place.

The Sea Kings which actually fly the president about are getting very old and should have been replaced some time ago. Under the Bush administration the official plan was to use a specially modified version of the Merlin helicopter now in service with the Royal Navy, RAF and other European forces. The Merlin was chosen in part because it is one of the larger choppers which could set down on the White House lawn without causing too much destruction.

But the Merlin isn't particularly strong in the matter of lifting power*, and it struggled desperately to carry any reasonable number of people along with the communications and protective kit required in the presidential role. The project's costs climbed to the point where it became an issue in the presidential election, with both candidates vying to condemn it. The Merlin was duly axed shortly after Mr Obama took office, and since then the Marines have been scratching their heads and looking for something else.

Rotary-wing colossus Boeing suggests that the Osprey could replace the Sea King as well as the heavy-lift Stallion at HMX-1: it has previously been reported that the tiltrotor could physically fit onto the White House lawn. The Marines would love the idea of using their often-criticised flagship aircraft in their most prestigious task, and the V-22's aeroplane capabilities could save time and add security.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.