Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

The scariest weapon in the U.S. inventory?

The V-22 Osprey, which takes off like a helicopter and then in flight tilts its engines forward to fly like an airplane, is an aircraft that just plain scares me. Basically, my problem is that it depends on levels of hydraulic pressure usually found in jet engines — if I recall correctly, about 5,000 pounds ...

585213_090605_osprey2.jpg
585213_090605_osprey2.jpg






The V-22 Osprey, which takes off like a helicopter and then in flight tilts its engines forward to fly like an airplane, is an aircraft that just plain scares me. Basically, my problem is that it depends on levels of hydraulic pressure usually found in jet engines — if I recall correctly, about 5,000 pounds per square inch. But unlike a jet, it flies into dirty places, where its rotors stir up flying dirt. And each little fleck of dirt that gets into the nacelles, which house the engines, can wear away at the hydraulic lines as they vibrate incessantly. This blog points out problems in the nacelles.

John H. Kim/Flickr

 





Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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