back to article V-22 Osprey downblast scatters spectators like skittles

Spectators were blown "thirty feet" along the ground and battered by flying debris including branches ripped from trees by downwash from a V-22 Osprey tiltrotor landing in a park at the weekend. The MV-22B aircraft, operated by the US Marines, was landing in Clove Lakes Park, Staten Island as part of Memorial Day festivities. …

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Coat

"We noticed nothing out of the ordinary. It was probably one of the best landings I've been on."

He went on to add "Almost nobody died at all!"

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Stu
Alert

Tee Hee

Watch the vid then wind it back to see a before-and-after look at two tallish trees just to the left of the house. The Osprey tore the top of the trees to shreds! That is some serious downforce. They might as well have brought in a harrier jump jet!!

I hope the military got a telling off from the emergency services for that stunt. Not that they'd care. Its conceivable he could have stayed twice, or three times as high as he was (the show off!) then only descended right over the field, that would have minimised damage to the trees and perhaps not have rustled up so much dust and debris around the area.

Such is forethought I suppose.

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Vortex Ring Avoidance

Is only one of the reasons the V-22 and helicopters make shallow approaches rather than descending vertically from height above the landing spot. You're also better placed to fly away if an engine fails rather than plummeting to the ground. Which hurts.

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Unhappy

Vortex Ring Avoidance

Is also the reason why I now avoid my local Indian restaurant, after a recent catastrophic failure mode. Bystanders were running away and screaming then as well. And holding their eyes. And calling the emergency services.

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Black Helicopters

Common sense

I take it that the kid heard screaming from the start of the video is "one-year-old, Katie", so one person there had some sense, even if no-one heeded the warning.

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Weaponised V-22 eh?

So it's designed to fly over insurgents and blow them off their feet?

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Black Helicopters

The wars come home...

...but the blowback is not exactly unmanageable.

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WTF?

Turn to the right...

Bloody plane spotters... everyone's running over to the right and this putz keeps the camera firmly on the Osprey.

I felt like shouting "turn to the right you freakin' idiot"!

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FAIL

following the odds

Given the probability of the Osprey having some sort of catastrophic failure the cameraman was probably just going with the best bet of a news story.

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Hear, bloody, hear...

Who cares about the Osprey, all the action was with the people down below.

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Scortched earth?

After what I'd read on earlier reports, I was expecting to see clouds of smoke as the rotor exhaust fried the turf as this thing landed. Still, blowing the Pres. 30ft across the White House lawn would also look good on uboob.

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Joke

Enemies send blankets aloft!

Entire fleet of Ospreys destroyed - News at 7

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Has Obama watched this?

These things are set to replace the presidential helicopters but i cant seem Barack wanting these within 200 yards of the whitehouse. They will have to park further down the lawn than the 50 yards the Seakings need.

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Happy

RE: Has Obama watched this?

The downdraft from a Seaking is hardly a mild breeze either. I've sat right beneath a Seaking hovering to pick up an injured hiker and the downblast knocked another hike right off his feet!

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Coat

Best landing?

Wonder what a 'normal' landing must be like!

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According to pilots...

...it's a good landing if you (ie. the pilot) can walk away from it. No information available about other crew members, passengers, bystanders, etc.

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Joke

re According to pilots...

It's a good landing if you can walk away from it

It's an excellent landing if you can reuse the aircraft

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Bronze badge

Good landings

If you can walk away from a landing with a flying boat, somnething weird is happening.

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Black Helicopters

er...

Oopsie. Sorry!

Love and kisses,

USMC*

* Unites States Marine Corps

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FAIL

What an idiot

He's been blasted by the downdraft, people are shouting and screaming round him, he can see medics with stretchers dashing to his right. . .

No, he keeps the camera on the aircraft, in case he might miss something important.

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Terminator

RoTM

(Unfortunately?) the video does not show the intense battle between the pilot and the V-22 during the landing. It must have been quite a feat to keep it in check and not have it scarf up the lowly fleshbags on the ground - the younger they are, the jucier we seem to be to them.

Kudos for the pilot, reigning in the youngster-hungry rotating-disc-o-death-dealer before it could masticate on the "bystanders". He caught it in time once he saw it was tumbling them around, obviously trying to find the source of the wailing of the choiciest morsel...

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Sweet.

Sweet.

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minor sentence structure snafu

"Also, the V-22's engine exhausts - according to US government sources powerful enough to buckle a warship's steel flight-deck - point downwards for landing, unlike those of normal copters."

US government sources are powerful enough to buckle a warship's steel flight-deck? A little disambiguation please! I'd suggest "which, according to US government sources, are powerful enough to buckle a warship's steel flight deck". I'm kinda out of it today, and had to read that a couple of times!

Agree on the "Bloody plane spotters" comment!

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Terrorist Prankster?

Shouldn't laugh!!! but that inconspicuous giant pile of sand was a bit unfortunate. Just thinking about it makes my eye's water.

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Alternate View

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bc3_1275329146

Whole tree felled

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Pirate

I know it's wrong...

...but watching that I couldn't stop laughing

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WTF?

Oh heck

What about this is remotely scientific? I hate to be the one to nitpick but surely this belongs in odds and sods? Just because it involves a troubled military aircraft doesn't make it science. Now if there had been a technical fault then you might have had a case but frankly this is just the reg misfiling stories again, bloody annoying. When I look under science I'm doing it because I want science, when I look under odds and sods its because I want random crap that might make me laugh. I do both but at different times, is it so much to ask that Mr Page actually put the damn things where they belong?

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lovely

You have to admire technology that can clear its own LZ.

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WTF?

20 years of test flights and *no* one realised this *might* be a problem?

Can't believe this is just the propeller's down wash. I think this strength is the jet engine exhausts. the *obvious* move is some kind of swivelling exhaust pipe (the exhaust seems to packing a fair bit of residual thrust) but with this vehicle it seems *every* change/test flight has thrown up *another* problem that just *never* showed up in analysis.

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Where should the exhaust go?

Err - where should the exhaust be sent then? It's probably hard enough trying to balance the 20-odd tons of hovering imminent death without having the jet exhaust swivelled off the thrust vector.

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Thrust is thrust

If you swivelled the exhaust to direct it's thrust somewhere else, you'd beed to increase the thrust from the rotors to maintain the same flight height/rate of descent. You'd also have to compensate for the new force introduced by directing the jet thrust somewhere else, which would mean tilting the rotors to counter it and producing more thrust from them to get the same amount of lift.

Having seen a Chinook spin a small patrol boat around in its downdraught I'd say this problem isn't restricted to the V-22, it's a result of any heavy powered lift machine forcing its own mass in air downwards.

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Happy

@James 63

OK I'll take a shot at this.

The generic problem is thrust diversion. In normal horizontal landing aircraft you typically use a scoop shaped bucket to "bend" the thrust under the aircraft to decelerate it.

The problems is trickier with a system falling. A similar situation occurs in the venting of cryogenic propellant tanks where you want to have zero net thrust. The basic answer is to stick a T connector on the end of the vent pipe. Thrust in 1 direction cancels thrust in other direction.

For this there would be some subtleties. Do you have the *whole* thrust of one engine cancel the whole of the others (massive thrust imbalance if one fails). Going with thrust balance on each engine would have a pair of "buckets" rotate into the direction of flow. There are again 2 options. 1/2 flow pointed at fuselage sides, 1/2 along wing or 1/2 each pointing forward and backward. One leaves the fuselage side a bit toasty (but with a *fairly* obvious direction to avoid getting cooked) while the other needs a throttle down period for the thrust to fall far enough to approach along the sides safely.

Part of it will depend how high above ground the engine nacelle and its exhaust are and of course how fast the flow disperses. Naturally it would add weight and complexity. However the short heating time suggests some creative thinking could keep the mass fairly low. I'm thinking some kind of fuel cooled metal structure or a carbon fibre structural components protected by some kind of rigid or blanket ceramic protection system.

It's pretty simple if you think about it.

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Black Helicopters

He ment to do that

It was a demonstration of how they clear a "Hot" LZ when landing.

Black Chopper, natch!!

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<rant>

The osprey is simply one of the most stupid ideas the DoD has come up with yet. Had they been smart, they would have just ordered a bunch of C-5's and covered them with JATO's to give them V/STOL. But no, some jackass decides the Osprey (who's engine exhaust has probably enough thrust to get it airborn) is a smart move. <Sarcastic thumbs up here>

But seriously, what happens if just one of the engines drops below optimum performance, especially when the vehicle is fully loaded with combat troops and it's either in the process of touching down or taking off? My guess is that it has the glide angle of a brick. What's more, what happens if an entire engine malfunctions, do they just fly around in circles until the other one get's fixed?

OK, all stupid jokes aside, the people who have experience with these aircraft have to know that there's going to be a significant amount of prop/jet wash. And at just about every OFFICIAL air show I've ever been to, there's been quite a distance between the spectators and where the aircraft actually take off and land....

I don't know who the bigger idiots are: the people looked at the design of this thing and said "Hey, this is a great idea!!!" or the Officer who authorized that particular stunt. What next, an amphibious version? With portholes?

</rant>

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FAIL

Uh oh.

Try landing a C5 vertically? I'd like to see a C5 take off vertically with JATOs too, that would be impressive to say the least.

A single engine faliure on an V-22 is not a problem, the props are linked by a driveshaft that runs through the wings, if one engine fails the other takes the strain. Much like any other dual engined helicopter really.

The V-22 gives the load capability, speed and range of an aircraft with the abilities of a helicopter. Why wouldn't the Marines want this? it's had a troubled history for sure, but then it was not an easy task to design the thing in the first place.

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FAIL

Nobody cares about the people

Notice how they continue pointing the cameras at the chopper and not at the injured people. It's like 'Oh wow look at that cool chopper. Oh people got hurt? Oh wow look at the cool chopper'.

Fail.

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WTF?

Why...

...is there no iPad angle on this story? Someone post a gratuitous Applecentric update please. It's just not El Reg otherwise.

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Woohoo!

That is one powerful machine! Nice!

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Jobs Horns

Well..

..looks like the good old US of A has found a new weapon. You don't need marines just fly the Osprey over the site, then come back and clean up.

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Anonymous Coward

I actually seriously like thi aircraft....

While it might have linked drive shafts...... between two engines and gearboxes...... and each rotor...

It does not have any fast restart when a rotor or one of it's blades takes a shit....

I mean people DO shoot at them...

And they don't have rocket ejection seats either.

Still like them tho'.

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Silver badge

Bah!

So anyone trying to ambush the troops being deployed will be bowled arse over tip by the downwash? I can see no downside to this machine.

"according to US government sources powerful enough to buckle a warship's steel flight-deck"

We have *very* powerful sources in the US it seems. We should use these "sources" against the terrorists, who must have steel plates they don't want buckled.

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Those steel plates?

They're called swashes. Yarr.

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Nanny state?

not in the US at least!

No sign of a multi page health and safety review on this occasion it seems... or even a sniff of common sense for that matter.

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