back to article Be the first millionaire on your block to go Tiltrotor

Everyone knows about the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor - the remarkable plane/copter combo craft around which the US Marines have based so many of their future plans, and which is at last in operational service after long a painful teething troubles. Relatively few, however, have been following the development of the Osprey's civilian …


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  1. SirHC

    $23m usd!?!

    I'll take 2!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who'd buy one of them?

    It would let the neighbours back on the mainland know that your island retreat isn't big enough for a landing strip for your Lear jet.

  3. TeeCee Gold badge
    Dead Vulture

    Not quite a flying car?

    Never mind the noise and such, I'd have thought that the sodding great wings and enormous, whirly, pedestrian/cyclist decapitating props are the more obvious drawbacks here.

    Not a flying car at all, more a helicopter with knobs on.

  4. DS

    Costs more than a chopper to maintain...

    That utterly kills it.

    How this thing costs more than a chopper to maintain is really incredible. This thing had to be cheaper to be worthwhile.

  5. Anne Bokma

    It might just....

    It might just fit on the landing pad of my yacht ;)

  6. Tim

    Fnar, fnar...

    ...he said knobs!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    But...will it blend??

    Alien cos' they know blending!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is Mr. Norman aware that the Osprey won't necessarily wait for the final 18 to crash and burn?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, yes I see..

    I see why you may want one rather than the other two, as its maintanance costs that kill you over the long term, and having a plane that can do one side of europe to the other with out having to stop at an air feild to change into a 'copter is nice.

    It also saves on air crew.

    I am sure it will do well (or certainly as well as most copter/private jet firms).

  10. Dave Jones

    Just a new improved dinosaur

    The problem with VTOL is that it takes about 4 times as much power as a fixed wing plane. Compare the engines in light 'copters with those in light planes. So you have 75% excess power, with all the extra weight involved, for most of your flight. The longer the range, the worse it gets! And all for the sake of landing and taking off in restricted space. VTOL craft are notorious fuel guzzlers because of this.

    The military have their reasons for wasting power and fuel. Civvies have to keep their eyes on the bottom line.

  11. Tawakalna

    I want one...

    ..but I want it to transform into a submarine and a gun and an Aga as well as a helio-coptor.

  12. Anonymous Coward


    "I'd have thought that the sodding great wings and enormous, whirly, pedestrian/cyclist decapitating props are the more obvious drawbacks here."

    If it kills cyclists I'll have one.

  13. Robert Hill

    @AC above...

    "If it kills cyclists I'll have one."

    Get back in your souped-up Corsa little boy racer, you have done enough damage to society already...

  14. Michael J Evans

    What happens if........

    In all the years this thing has been around I have never read anywhere anybody saying or asking what happens if one of the engines/rotors fails?

  15. mark11727
    Black Helicopters

    Cool, yes

    ...but not a cool as an autogyro.

  16. Ian Halstead

    If an engine fails?

    Rumour has it:

    Don't go to vertical.

    Feather prop on knackered engine.

    Apply a boot-full of appropriate rudder and find a runway quick.

    Tilt rotors a bit at the very last second on landing, to avoid those huge runway repair bills/bits of prop decapitating you.

    NOW you can worry about the trousers and the seat unholstery.

  17. Franklin
    Black Helicopters

    Yes, but does the civilian version...

    ...come with the military version's neat "flip over on landing and kill the pilot and passengers" feature?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Still waiting for the obligatory Rotodyne Fairey comment.

  19. Michael Heydon

    RE: What happens if........

    I'm fairly sure you can power both props from one engine.

    If one of the props failed, well you are still better off than if you were in a helicopter with a failed rotor and probably no worse than in a twin engine plane with a failed engine.

  20. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Market Research

    Having done some market research on a similar idea to this a few years back (i was an engineering student not marketing i swear!) this will succeed if its marketed to the right industries.

    Its faster then a helicopter so you get where your going faster, using less fuel along the way and then have the convenience of landing without a runway or if your doing something like search and rescue or geological survey hovering which you cannot do in a fixed wing. Yes maintenance costs are higher but a fixed wing cant hover and most of the fuel used by a helicopter is in getting to the destination you want to be operating at so by getting there faster you've just made the job cheaper.

    Looks like a winner to me. Will never replace the standard helo or fixed wing but there's defintiely a niche there for it.

  21. Michael J Evans

    RE If an engine fails

    More specifically, I meant what happens if an engine/rotor fails during a vertical take off or landing. When in the horizontal flight mode, yes, I'm sure it would handle like a normal plane. But VTOL?

  22. TeeCee Gold badge

    Re: Re: What happens.......

    Spot on! One of the reasons the original Osprey was so late was the implementation of the cross-shaft arrangement to allow this.

    I'd be more interested to see what would happen (from a safe distance or, ideally, on TV) if you got a prop or prop-drive failure. That buggers your two-for-one deal and with very large props mounted waaay outboard like that, anything that you can't feather is even more of a liability than usual.

  23. Grant
    Dead Vulture

    Power both props from one engine.

    That is not so much the problem; though helps asymmetric thrust 'issues' a lot.

    "If one of the props failed, well you are still better off than if you were in a helicopter with a failed rotor and probably no worse than in a twin engine plane with a failed engine"

    Not quite true; a twin engine medium turbo-prop with an engine out can cope with some asymmetrical thrust with enough rudder & trim, and perform a reduced power landing safely. A helicopter can (with enough height) go and autorotate with a rough landing.

    As far as I know, tilt-rotors can't land with engines horizontal; (another point of failure - they can't rotate the nacelles then horizontal landing is going to be a nightmare with the massive rotors) so they have to rotate & land on 50% power, which cannot be so easy. I guess with the right height, they could rotate to vertical mode (with ground effect?) and land vertically ; I presume with the remaining engine at emergency power for a rough put-down. Maybe they can collapse the rotors for power-off horizontal landing though...

    Still very sensitive to interconnected shafts; long, light-weight shaft's, handling thousands of horse-power coming on fast; one snaps with a power outage and the craft is going to flip very quickly with chances of survival being... not so good..

    icon: one sick bird

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