Osprey formation

The V-22 Osprey will reach the eight-year mark in its operational deployment history this September. The Osprey-enabled assault force is redefining ways to think about the insertion and withdrawal of force and new ways to engage, prevail and disengage. The program has reached a critical turning point – can the Osprey be purchased by allies, and be… Keep reading →

Gen. Hawk Carlisle

WASHINGTON: The Air Force is considering buying V-22s for search and rescue work, but Gen. Hawk Carlisle, head of Air Combat Command, made it pretty clear this morning that an Osprey buy has to come after the service buys the first 112 of the Sikorsky-built Combat Rescue Helicopters. Gen. Mark Welsh, Air Force Chief of Staff,… Keep reading →

A sailor aboard the USS Wasp (LHD-1) signals to the pilot of an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to land as it arrives for the first phase of operational testing, May 18, 2015.  The short take-off, vertical landing capabilities of the F-35B are crucial to the mission of the Marine Corps and necessary for operation aboard a Navy amphibious ship. The aircraft are stationed with Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, Marine Aircraft Group 31, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Beaufort, South Carolina and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Yuma, Arizona. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Remington Hall/Released)

WASHINGTON: As the Marines started doing operational testing of the F-35B aboard the USS Wasp, the head of Marine Aviation is visibly and demonstrably confident the aircraft will meet the date for the plane’s Initial Operational Capabiility. “To me the F-35 program is right on track where it should be,” Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the head… Keep reading →

AFSOC pilots Capt Brett Cassidy (l) and Maj. Taylor Fingarson, pilots of Rooster 75

When three CV-22s were riddled with 119 rounds of AK-47 and .50 caliber fire as they tried to land at Bor, South Sudan, 18 months ago to evacuate U.S. citizens from a civil war, four Navy SEALs in the lead Osprey were wounded. Now a Florida company is providing the program office at Naval Air Systems Command… Keep reading →

AFSOC pilots Capt Brett Cassidy (l) and Maj. Taylor Fingarson, pilots of Rooster 75

WASHINGTON: Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Shea sensed no danger as he stood with his .50 caliber machine gun ready at the open ramp of “Rooster 73,” one of three CV-22 Ospreys coming in to land on a small, rutted airstrip in Bor, South Sudan. A crowd of up to 10,000 people milled about a United… Keep reading →

Gen. Mike Hostage at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan in 2013.

“Our industrial base has eroded and we’re reducing our military down to a skeletal size at a time when the world is looking crazier by the day,” Gen. Mike Hostage told reporters Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference. “[But] there is nothing happening right now that is going to make sequestration go away, so… Keep reading →

F/A-18F Super Hornet

As the Air Force Association girds for its annual conference, which starts Monday here in Washington, I was struck by several comments from several experts that the traditional dichotomy between air power and ground forces — often the focus of internecine budget battles between the Army and Air Force — isn’t that relevant any more. Aircraft… Keep reading →

The Air Force plans to reinstate substantial formation flight training for CV-22 Osprey pilots that it eliminated four years ago, AOL Defense has learned. Reinstatement of the training four years after the service ended it is an implicit admission, V-22 aviators said, that better training might have prevented the June 13 crash of a CV-22B in Florida.

From now on, Air Force pilots going through initial Osprey flight training with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 (VMMT-204) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., will take a classroom course in formation flight, fly two formation flights of two hours each in a V-22 simulator, and fly one actual two-hour formation flight in the tiltrotor troop transport. Keep reading →

In the last few weeks the Air Force and the Marines have officially blamed pilot errors for two Osprey crashes. Given the plane’s dark past and the continuing controversies about whether it’s a safe aircraft I commissioned our regular contributor Richard Whittle, author of “The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey,” to interview as many experienced Osprey pilots as he could reach to see if they believe the Osprey is a flawed aircraft or not. His findings follow. The Editor

UPDATED: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 6, 2012 Keep reading →

WASHINGTON: The pilot in command of the Air Force Special Operations Command CV-22 Osprey that crashed at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida on June 13 was also the copilot of an AFSOC Osprey that suffered a fatal accident in Afghanistan on April 8, 2010, Breaking Defense has confirmed. Keep reading →

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