Air Transportation: September 25, 2002


A decision on whether to proceed with the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport or abandon the program will be made next summer. The problem is that whatever solution is found for the "vortex ring state" (the problem that has caused the crashes) might eventually limit the aircraft's operations so much that it is no longer tactically useful. If the V-22 is cancelled, expect the Pentagon to swiftly pick a helicopter to replace it. Studies for a backup plan are considering the EH-101, Sikorski S-92, or the CH-53X and are expected to have picked the winner before the competition starts (if one does).--Stephen V Cole


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