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Gyps indicus breeds in south-east Pakistan and peninsular India south of the Gangetic plain, north to Delhi, east through Madhya Pradesh, south to the Nilgiris, and occasionally further south (Collar et al. 2001). The species was first recorded in Nepal in 2011 (Subedi and DeCandido 2013). It was common until very recently, but since the mid-1990s has suffered a catastrophic decline (over 97%) throughout its range. This was first noticed in Keoladeo National Park, India (Prakash et al. 2003), where counts of feeding birds fell from 816 birds in 1985-1986 to just 25 in 1998-1999. Just one tiny population in the Ramanagaram Hills of Karnataka is known to remain in inland southern India, and it is rare elsewhere within its former range (Prakash et al. 2007). Data indicates that the rate of population decline of G. tenuirostris and G. indicus combined has now slowed in India (Prakash et al. 2012).Extensive research has identified the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac to be the cause behind this rapid population collapse (Green et al. 2004, Oaks et al. 2004a, Shultz et al. 2004, Swan et al. 2005). This drug, used to treat domestic livestock, is ingested by vultures feeding on their carcasses leading to renal failure causing visceral gout (Oaks et al. 2004a,b; Swan et al. 2005, Gilbert et al. 2006). It is now rare in Pakistan, and although a colony of 200-250 pairs was discovered in 2003 in Sindh Province (A. A. Khan in litt. 2003). In 2007, the total Indian population, based on extrapolations from road transects, was estimated at 45,000 individuals, with a combined average annual decline for this species and G. tenuirostris of over 16% during 2000-2007 (Prakash et al. 2007). It is estimated that its relative abundance in Pakistan declined by 61% between 2003-2004 and 2006-2007, this was followed by a 55% increase by 2007-2008 (Chaudhry et al. 2012).

IUCN

 

Taken at Clocktree Park, Edloe (96, 147, 27)

 

Really liking the depth of field function.

 

MONDAY

 

The next version of software goes to a wider release tier today.

So, the new site for the docs will be announced.

All the conversion and cleanup has been completed. We think.

If there's any oopses, we'll fix them.

I've got to do a mass-change to the URL shortener data.

It's all in a spreadsheet I made, since I figured nobody else would plan it.

I frequently take a step back and wonder what could be missing.

But I'm not a project manager. Or the boss.

(Nor do I want to be?)

 

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

 

I was asked a very simple question this morning, but the answer has me wondering about a lot of things.

I suppose it all boils down to "What am I?"

I'm me... right?

 

ALL GOOD SIMS...

 

Botgirl's post about Extropia going away has me wondering if and when it will be curtains for The Five Islands.

Even though I'm covering three parcel's worth of the cost, I feel that I'm not taking on an unreasonable burden, and I'm getting value out of it.

Furthermore, I think we're at a point where everybody's long-term, and there's no severe neighborhood issues or conflicts like it was six years ago at the start.

However, one cannot fortell the future, and whatever happens, we'll deal with it.

Downsize? Rightsize? Sink it all?

What about catastrophic platform failure?

After all, if Linden Lab continues to pick up new mutts like M at the pound for screwing, well, I'm sure folks will scatter and reassemble as they wish.

Perhaps this time, I'll just let someone else be the organizer... but I highly doubt it.

This jet suffered a catastrophic gear failure on takeoff quite a few months ago and is now back in the skies.

  

:copyright:2015 Paul Carter

All Rights Reserved

That photo attribution means you need to ask me for my permission first, before you download this photo to use it for whatever reason you're thinking of. This photo includes my name and the date it was taken in the EXIF data, therefore, it is ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Pasted from Wikipedia: Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey

 

• • • • •

 

The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is a multi-mission, military, tiltrotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

 

The V-22 originated from the U.S. Department of Defense Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. It was developed jointly by the Bell Helicopter, and Boeing Helicopters team, known as Bell Boeing, which produce the aircraft.[4] The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began years of flight testing and design alterations.

 

The United States Marine Corps began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007. The Osprey's other operator, the U.S. Air Force fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Contents

 

1 Development

•• 1.1 Early development

•• 1.2 Flight testing and design changes

•• 1.3 Controversy

•• 1.4 Recent development

2 Design

3 Operational history

•• 3.1 US Marine Corps

•• 3.2 US Air Force

•• 3.3 Potential operators

4 Variants

5 Operators

6 Notable accidents

7 Specifications (MV-22B)

8 Notable appearances in media

9 See also

10 References

11 External links

 

Development

 

Early development

 

The failure of the Iran hostage rescue mission in 1980 demonstrated to the United States military a need[5] for "a new type of aircraft, that could not only take off and land vertically but also could carry combat troops, and do so at speed."[6] The U.S. Department of Defense began the Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program in 1981, under U.S. Army leadership. Later the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps took the lead.[7][8] The JVX combined requirements from the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army and Navy.[9][10] A request for proposals (RFP) was issued in December 1982 for JVX preliminary design work. Interest in the program was expressed by Aérospatiale, Bell Helicopter, Boeing Vertol, Grumman, Lockheed, and Westland. The DoD pushed for contractors to form teams. Bell partnered with Boeing Vertol. The Bell Boeing team submitted a proposal for a enlarged version of the Bell XV-15 prototype on 17 February 1983. This was the only proposal received and a preliminary design contract was awarded on 26 April 1983.[11][12]

 

The JVX aircraft was designated V-22 Osprey on 15 January 1985; by March that same year the first six prototypes were being produced, and Boeing Vertol was expanded to deal with the project workload.[13][14] Work has been split evenly between Bell and Boeing. Bell Helicopter manufactures and integrates the wing, nacelles, rotors, drive system, tail surfaces, and aft ramp, as well as integrates the Rolls-Royce engines and performs final assembly. Boeing Helicopters manufactures and integrates the fuselage, cockpit, avionics, and flight controls.[4][15] The USMC variant of the Osprey received the MV-22 designation and the Air Force variant received CV-22; reversed from normal procedure to prevent Marine Ospreys from having a conflicting designation with aircraft carriers (CV).[16] Full-scale development of the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft began in 1986.[2] On 3 May 1986 the Bell-Boeing partnership was awarded a $1.714 billion contract for V-22 aircraft by the Navy, thus at this point the project had acquisition plans with all four arms of the U.S. military.[17]

 

The first V-22 was rolled out with significant media attention in May 1988.[18][19] However the project suffered several political blows. Firstly in the same year, the Army left the program, citing a need to focus its budget on more immediate aviation programs.[20] The project also faced considerable dialogue in the Senate, surviving two votes that both could have resulted in cancellation.[21][22] Despite the Senate's decision, the Department of Defense instructed the Navy not to spend more money on the Osprey.[23] At the same time, the Bush administration sought the cancellation of the project.[23]

 

Flight testing and design changes

 

The first of six MV-22 prototypes first flew on 19 March 1989 in the helicopter mode,[24] and on 14 September 1989 as a fixed-wing plane.[25] The third and fourth prototypes successfully completed the Osprey's first Sea Trials on the USS Wasp in December 1990.[26] However, the fourth and fifth prototypes crashed in 1991-92.[27] Flight tests were resumed in August 1993 after changes were incorporated in the prototypes.[2] From October 1992 until April 1993, Bell and Boeing redesigned the V-22 to reduce empty weight, simplify manufacture and reduce production costs. This redesigned version became the B-model.[28]

 

Flight testing of four full-scale development V-22s began in early 1997 when the first pre-production V-22 was delivered to the Naval Air Warfare Test Center, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The first EMD flight took place on 5 February 1997. The first of four low rate initial production aircraft, ordered on 28 April 1997, was delivered on 27 May 1999. Osprey number 10 completed the program's second Sea Trials, this time from the USS Saipan in January 1999.[2] During external load testing in April 1999, Boeing used a V-22 to lift and transport the M777 howitzer.[29] In 2000, Boeing announced that the V-22 would be fitted with a nose-mounted GAU-19 Gatling gun,[30] but the GAU-19 gun was later canceled.[31]

 

In 2000, there were two further fatal crashes, killing a total of 19 Marines, and the production was again halted while the cause of these crashes was investigated and various parts were redesigned.[32] The V-22 completed its final operational evaluation in June 2005. The evaluation was deemed successful; events included long range deployments, high altitude, desert and shipboard operations. The problems identified in various accidents had been addressed.[33]

 

Controversy

 

The V-22's development process has been long and controversial, partly due to its large cost increases.[34] When the development budget, first planned for $2.5 billion in 1986, increased to a projected $30 billion in 1988, then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney tried to zero out its funding. He was eventually overruled by Congress.[32] As of 2008, $27 billion have been spent on the Osprey program and another $27.2 billion will be required to complete planned production numbers by the end of the program.[2]

 

The V-22 squadron's former commander at Marine Corps Air Station New River, Lt. Colonel Odin Lieberman, was relieved of duty in 2001 after allegations that he instructed his unit that they needed to falsify maintenance records to make the plane appear more reliable.[2][35] Three officers were later implicated in the falsification scandal.[34]

 

The aircraft is incapable of autorotation, and is therefore unable to land safely in helicopter mode if both engines fail. A director of the Pentagon's testing office in 2005 said that if the Osprey loses power while flying like a helicopter below 1,600 feet (490 m), emergency landings "are not likely to be survivable". But Captain Justin (Moon) McKinney, a V-22 pilot, says that this will not be a problem, "We can turn it into a plane and glide it down, just like a C-130".[31] A complete loss of power would require the failure of both engines, as a drive shaft connects the nacelles through the wing; one engine can power both proprotors.[36] While vortex ring state (VRS) contributed to a deadly V-22 accident, the aircraft is less susceptible to the condition than conventional helicopters and recovers more quickly.[5] The Marines now train new pilots in the recognition of and recovery from VRS and have instituted operational envelope limits and instrumentation to help pilots avoid VRS conditions.[32][37]

 

It was planned in 2000 to equip all V-22s with a nose-mounted Gatling gun, to provide "the V-22 with a strong defensive firepower capability to greatly increase the aircraft's survivability in hostile actions."[30] The nose gun project was canceled however, leading to criticism by retired Marine Corps Commandant General James L. Jones, who is not satisfied with the current V-22 armament.[31] A belly-mounted turret was later installed on some of the first V-22s sent to the War in Afghanistan in 2009.[38]

 

With the first combat deployment of the MV-22 in October 2007, Time Magazine ran an article condemning the aircraft as unsafe, overpriced, and completely inadequate.[31] The Marine Corps, however, responded with the assertion that much of the article's data were dated, obsolete, inaccurate, and reflected expectations that ran too high for any new field of aircraft.[39]

 

Recent development

 

On 28 September 2005, the Pentagon formally approved full-rate production for the V-22.[40] The plan is to boost production from 11 a year to between 24 and 48 a year by 2012. Of the 458 total planned, 360 are for the Marine Corps, 48 for the Navy, and 50 for the Air Force at an average cost of $110 million per aircraft, including development costs.[2] The V-22 had an incremental flyaway cost of $70 million per aircraft in 2007,[3] but the Navy hopes to shave about $10 million off that cost after a five-year production contract starts in 2008.[41]

 

The Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, Texas will design a new integrated avionics processor to resolve electronics obsolescence issues and add new network capabilities.[42]

 

Design

 

The Osprey is the world's first production tiltrotor aircraft, with one three-bladed proprotor, turboprop engine, and transmission nacelle mounted on each wingtip. It is classified as a powered lift aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration.[43] For takeoff and landing, it typically operates as a helicopter with the nacelles vertical (rotors horizontal). Once airborne, the nacelles rotate forward 90° in as little as 12 seconds for horizontal flight, converting the V-22 to a more fuel-efficient, higher-speed turboprop airplane. STOL rolling-takeoff and landing capability is achieved by having the nacelles tilted forward up to 45°. For compact storage and transport, the V-22's wing rotates to align, front-to-back, with the fuselage. The proprotors can also fold in a sequence taking 90 seconds.[44]

 

Most Osprey missions will use fixed wing flight 75 percent or more of the time, reducing wear and tear on the aircraft and reducing operational costs.[45] This fixed wing flight is higher than typical helicopter missions allowing longer range line-of-sight communications and so improved command and control.[2] Boeing has stated the V-22 design loses 10% of its vertical lift over a Tiltwing design when operating in helicopter mode because of airflow resistance due to the wings, but that the Tiltrotor design has better short takeoff and landing performance.[46]

 

The V-22 is equipped with a glass cockpit, which incorporates four Multi-function displays (MFDs) and one shared Central Display Unit (CDU), allowing the pilots to display a variety of images including: digimaps centered or decentered on current position, FLIR imagery, primary flight instruments, navigation (TACAN, VOR, ILS, GPS, INS), and system status. The flight director panel of the Cockpit Management System (CMS) allows for fully-coupled (aka: autopilot) functions which will take the aircraft from forward flight into a 50-foot hover with no pilot interaction other than programming the system.[47] The glass cockpit of the canceled CH-46X was derived from the V-22.[48]

 

The V-22 is a fly-by-wire aircraft with triple-redundant flight control systems.[49] With the nacelles pointing straight up in conversion mode at 90° the flight computers command the aircraft to fly like a helicopter, with cyclic forces being applied to a conventional swashplate at the rotor hub. With the nacelles in airplane mode (0°) the flaperons, rudder, and elevator fly the aircraft like an airplane. This is a gradual transition and occurs over the rotation range of the nacelles. The lower the nacelles, the greater effect of the airplane-mode control surfaces.[50] The nacelles can rotate past vertical to 97.5° for rearward flight.[51][52]

 

The Osprey can be armed with one M240 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 in caliber) or M2 .50 in caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun on the loading ramp, that can be fired rearward when the ramp is lowered. A GAU-19 three-barrel .50 in gatling gun mounted below the V-22's nose has also been studied for future upgrade.[31][53] BAE Systems developed a remotely operated turreted weapons system for the V-22,[54] which was installed on half of the first V-22s deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.[38] The 7.62 mm belly gun turret is remotely operated by a gunner inside the aircraft, who acquires targets with a separate pod using color television and forward looking infrared imagery.

 

U.S. Naval Air Systems Command is working on upgrades to increase the maximum speed from 250 knots (460 km/h; 290 mph) to 270 knots (500 km/h; 310 mph), increase helicopter mode altitude limit from 10,000 feet (3,000 m) to 12,000 feet (3,700 m) or 14,000 feet (4,300 m), and increase lift performance.[55]

 

Operational history

 

US Marine Corps

 

Marine Corps crew training on the Osprey has been conducted by VMMT-204 since March 2000. On 3 June 2005, the Marine Corps helicopter squadron Marine Medium Helicopter 263 (HMM-263), stood down to begin the process of transitioning to the MV-22 Osprey.[56] On 8 December 2005, Lieutenant General Amos, commander of the II MEF, accepted the delivery of the first fleet of MV-22s, delivered to HMM-263. The unit reactivated on 3 March 2006 as the first MV-22 squadron and was redesignated VMM-263. On 31 August 2006, VMM-162 (the former HMM-162) followed suit. On 23 March 2007, HMM-266 became Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (VMM-266) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.[57]

 

The Osprey has been replacing existing CH-46 Sea Knight squadrons.[58] The MV-22 reached initial operational capability (IOC) with the U.S. Marine Corps on 13 June 2007.[1] On 10 July 2007 an MV-22 Osprey landed aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious in the Atlantic Ocean. This marked the first time a V-22 had landed on any non-U.S. vessel.[59]

 

On 13 April 2007, the U.S. Marine Corps announced that it would be sending ten V-22 aircraft to Iraq, the Osprey's first combat deployment. Marine Corps Commandant, General James Conway, indicated that over 150 Marines would accompany the Osprey set for September deployment to Al-Asad Airfield.[60][61] On 17 September 2007, ten MV-22Bs of VMM-263 left for Iraq aboard the USS Wasp. The decision to use a ship rather than use the Osprey's self-deployment capability was made because of concerns over icing during the North Atlantic portion of the trip, lack of available KC-130s for mid-air refueling, and the availability of the USS Wasp.[62]

 

The Osprey has provided support in Iraq, racking up some 2,000 flight hours over three months with a mission capable availability rate of 68.1% as of late-January 2008.[63] They are primarily used in Iraq's western Anbar province for routine cargo and troop movements, and also for riskier "aero-scout" missions. General David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, used one to fly around Iraq on Christmas Day 2007 to visit troops.[64] Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama also flew in Ospreys during his high profile 2008 tour of Iraq.[65]

 

The only major problem has been obtaining the necessary spare parts to maintain the aircraft.[66] The V-22 had flown 3,000 sorties totaling 5,200 hours in Iraq as of July 2008.[67] USMC leadership expect to deploy MV-22s to Afghanistan in 2009.[66][68] General George J. Trautman, III praised the increased range of the V-22 over the legacy helicopters in Iraq and said that "it turned his battle space from the size of Texas into the size of Rhode Island."[69]

 

Naval Air Systems Command has devised a temporary fix for sailors to place portable heat shields under Osprey engines to prevent damage to the decks of some of the Navy's smaller amphibious ships, but they determined that a long term solution to the problem would require these decks be redesigned with heat resistant deck coatings, passive thermal barriers and changes in ship structure in order to operate V-22s and F-35Bs.[70]

 

A Government Accountability Office study reported that by January 2009 the Marines had 12 MV-22s operating in Iraq and they managed to successfully complete all assigned missions. The same report found that the V-22 deployments had mission capable rates averaging 57% to 68% and an overall full mission capable rate of only 6%. It also stated that the aircraft had shown weakness in situational awareness, maintenance, shipboard operations and the ability to transport troops and external cargo.[71] That study also concluded that the "deployments confirmed that the V-22’s enhanced speed and range enable personnel and internal cargo to be transported faster and farther than is possible with the legacy helicopters it is replacing".[71]

 

The MV-22 saw its first offensive combat mission, Operation Cobra's Anger on 4 December 2009. Ospreys assisted in inserting 1,000 Marines and 150 Afghan troops into the Now Zad Valley of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan to disrupt communication and supply lines of the Taliban.[38] In January 2010 the MV-22 Osprey is being sent to Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response relief efforts after the earthquake there. This will be the first use the Marine V-22 in a humanitarian mission.[72]

 

US Air Force

 

The Air Force's first operational CV-22 Osprey was delivered to the 58th Special Operations Wing (58th SOW) at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico on 20 March 2006. This and subsequent aircraft will become part of the 58th SOW's fleet of aircraft used for training pilots and crew members for special operations use.[73] On 16 November 2006, the Air Force officially accepted the CV-22 in a ceremony conducted at Hurlburt Field, Florida.[74]

 

The US Air Force's first operational deployment of the Osprey sent four CV-22s to Mali in November 2008 in support of Exercise Flintlock. The CV-22s flew nonstop from Hurlburt Field, Florida with in-flight refueling.[5] AFSOC declared that the 8th Special Operations Squadron reached Initial Operational Capability on 16 March 2009, with six of its planned nine CV-22s operational.[75]

 

In June 2009, CV-22s of the 8th Special Operations Squadron delivered 43,000 pounds (20,000 kg) of humanitarian supplies to remote villages in Honduras that were not accessible by conventional vehicles.[76] In November 2009, the 8th SO Squadron and its six CV-22s returned from a three-month deployment in Iraq.[77]

 

The first possible combat loss of an Osprey occurred on 9 April, 2010, as a CV-22 went down near Qalat, Zabul Province, Afghanistan, killing four.[78][79]

 

Potential operators

 

In 1999 the V-22 was studied for use in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy,[80] it has been raised several times as a candidate for the role of Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control (MASC).[81]

 

Israel had shown interest in the purchase of MV-22s, but no order was placed.[82][83] Flightglobal reported in late 2009 that Israel has decided to wait for the CH-53K instead.[84]

 

The V-22 Osprey is a candidate for the Norwegian All Weather Search and Rescue Helicopter (NAWSARH) that is planned to replace the Westland Sea King Mk.43B of the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 2015.[85] The other candidates for the NAWSARH contract of 10-12 helicopters are AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin, Eurocopter EC225, NHIndustries NH90 and Sikorsky S-92.[86]

 

Bell Boeing has made an unsolicited offer of the V-22 for US Army medical evacuation needs.[87] However the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency issued a report that said that a common helicopter design would be needed for both combat recovery and medical evacuation and that the V-22 would not be suitable for recovery missions because of the difficulty of hoist operations and lack of self-defense capabilities.[88]

 

The US Navy remains a potential user of the V-22, but its role and mission with the Navy remains unclear. The latest proposal is to replace the C-2 Greyhound with the V-22 in the fleet logistics role. The V-22 would have the advantage of being able to land on and support non-carriers with rapid delivery of supplies and people between the ships of a taskforce or to ships on patrol beyond helicopter range.[89] Loren B. Thompson of the Lexington Institute has suggested V-22s for use in combat search and rescue and Marine One VIP transport, which also need replacement aircraft.[90]

 

Variants

  

V-22A 

•• Pre-production full-scale development aircraft used for flight testing. These are unofficially considered A-variants after 1993 redesign.[91]

  

HV-22 

•• The U.S. Navy considered an HV-22 to provide combat search and rescue, delivery and retrieval of special warfare teams along with fleet logistic support transport. However, it chose the MH-60S for this role in 1992.[92]

  

SV-22 

•• The proposed anti-submarine warfare Navy variant. The Navy studied the SV-22 in the 1980s to replace S-3 and SH-2 aircraft.[93]

  

MV-22B 

•• Basic U.S. Marine Corps transport; original requirement for 552 (now 360). The Marine Corps is the lead service in the development of the V-22 Osprey. The Marine Corps variant, the MV-22B, is an assault transport for troops, equipment and supplies, capable of operating from ships or from expeditionary airfields ashore. It is replacing the Marine Corps' CH-46E[57] and CH-53D.[94]

  

CV-22B 

•• Air Force variant for the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). It will conduct long-range, special operations missions, and is equipped with extra fuel tanks and terrain-following radar.[95][96]

 

Operators

 

 United States

 

United States Air Force

 

•• 8th Special Operations Squadron (8 SOS) at Hurlburt Field, Florida

•• 71st Special Operations Squadron (71 SOS) at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico

•• 20th Special Operations Squadron (20 SOS) at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico

 

United States Marine Corps

 

•• VMM-161

•• VMM-162

•• VMM-261

•• VMM-263

•• VMM-264

•• VMM-266

•• VMM-365

•• VMMT-204 - Training squadron

•• VMX-22 - Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron

 

Notable accidents

 

Main article: Accidents and incidents involving the V-22 Osprey

 

From 1991 to 2000 there were four significant crashes, and a total of 30 fatalities, during testing.[32] Since becoming operational in 2007, the V-22 has had one possible combat loss due to an unknown cause, no losses due to accidents, and seven other notable, but minor, incidents.

 

• On 11 June 1991, a mis-wired flight control system led to two minor injuries when the left nacelle struck the ground while the aircraft was hovering 15 feet (4.6 m) in the air, causing it to bounce and catch fire.[97]

 

• On 20 July 1992, a leaking gearbox led to a fire in the right nacelle, causing the aircraft to drop into the Potomac River in front of an audience of Congressmen and other government officials at Quantico, killing all seven on board and grounding the aircraft for 11 months.[98]

 

• On 8 April 2000, a V-22 loaded with Marines to simulate a rescue, attempted to land at Marana Northwest Regional Airport in Arizona, stalled when its right rotor entered vortex ring state, rolled over, crashed, and exploded, killing all 19 on board.[37]

 

• On 11 December 2000, after a catastrophic hydraulic leak and subsequent software instrument failure, a V-22 fell 1,600 feet (490 m) into a forest in Jacksonville, North Carolina, killing all four aboard. This caused the Marine Corps to ground their fleet of eight V-22s, the second grounding that year.[99][100]

 

Specifications (MV-22B)

 

Data from Boeing Integrated Defense Systems,[101] Naval Air Systems Command,[102] US Air Force CV-22 fact sheet,[95] Norton,[103] and Bell[104]

 

General characteristics

 

Crew: Four (pilot, copilot and two flight engineers)

Capacity: 24 troops (seated), 32 troops (floor loaded) or up to 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of cargo (dual hook)

Length: 57 ft 4 in (17.5 m)

Rotor diameter: 38 ft 0 in (11.6 m)

Wingspan: 45 ft 10 in (14 m)

Width with rotors: 84 ft 7 in (25.8 m)

Height: 22 ft 1 in/6.73 m; overall with nacelles vertical (17 ft 11 in/5.5 m; at top of tailfins)

Disc area: 2,268 ft² (212 m²)

Wing area: 301.4 ft² (28 m²)

Empty weight: 33,140 lb (15,032 kg)

Loaded weight: 47,500 lb (21,500 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 60,500 lb (27,400 kg)

Powerplant:Rolls-Royce Allison T406/AE 1107C-Liberty turboshafts, 6,150 hp (4,590 kW) each

 

Performance

 

Maximum speed: 250 knots (460 km/h, 290 mph) at sea level / 305 kn (565 km/h; 351 mph) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)[105]

Cruise speed: 241 knots (277 mph, 446 km/h) at sea level

Range: 879 nmi (1,011 mi, 1,627 km)

Combat radius: 370 nmi (426 mi, 685 km)

Ferry range: 1,940 nmi (with auxiliary internal fuel tanks)

Service ceiling: 26,000 ft (7,925 m)

Rate of climb: 2,320 ft/min (11.8 m/s)

Disc loading: 20.9 lb/ft² at 47,500 lb GW (102.23 kg/m²)

Power/mass: 0.259 hp/lb (427 W/kg)

 

Armament

 

• 1× M240 machine gun on ramp, optional

 

Notable appearances in media

 

Main article: Aircraft in fiction#V-22 Osprey

 

See also

 

Elizabeth A. Okoreeh-Baah, USMC - first female to pilot a V-22 Osprey

 

Related development

 

Bell XV-15[106]

Bell/Agusta BA609

Bell Boeing Quad TiltRotor

 

Comparable aircraft

 

Canadair CL-84

LTV XC-142

 

Related lists

 

List of military aircraft of the United States

List of VTOL aircraft

 

References

 

Bibliography

 

• Markman, Steve and Bill Holder. "Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey Tilt-Engine VTOL Transport (U.S.A.)". Straight Up: A History of Vertical Flight. Schiffer Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-7643-1204-9.

• Norton, Bill. Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, Tiltrotor Tactical Transport. Midland Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-85780-165-2.

 

External links

 

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: V-22 Osprey

 

Official Boeing V-22 site

Official Bell V-22 site

V-22 Osprey web, and www.history.navy.mil/planes/v-22.html

CV-22 fact sheet on USAF site

www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/v-22.htm

www.airforce-technology.com/projects/osprey/

Onward and Upward

"Flight of the Osprey", US Navy video of V-22 operations

www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5Pit2WJ6dI

 

(This essay was a finalist for a 2013 National Magazine Award in the Essay category.)

 

Orion

 

State of The Species

 

by Charles C. Mann

 

THE PROBLEM WITH environmentalists, Lynn Margulis used to say, is that they think conservation has something to do with biological reality. A researcher who specialized in cells and microorganisms, Margulis was one of the most important biologists in the last half century—she literally helped to reorder the tree of life, convincing her colleagues that it did not consist of two kingdoms (plants and animals), but five or even six (plants, animals, fungi, protists, and two types of bacteria).

 

Until Margulis’s death last year, she lived in my town, and I would bump into her on the street from time to time. She knew I was interested in ecology, and she liked to needle me. Hey, Charles, she would call out, are you still all worked up about protecting endangered species?

 

Margulis was no apologist for unthinking destruction. Still, she couldn’t help regarding conservationists’ preoccupation with the fate of birds, mammals, and plants as evidence of their ignorance about the greatest source of evolutionary creativity: the microworld of bacteria, fungi, and protists. More than 90 percent of the living matter on earth consists of microorganisms and viruses, she liked to point out. Heck, the number of bacterial cells in our body is ten times more than the number of human cells!

 

Bacteria and protists can do things undreamed of by clumsy mammals like us: form giant supercolonies, reproduce either asexually or by swapping genes with others, routinely incorporate DNA from entirely unrelated species, merge into symbiotic beings—the list is as endless as it is amazing. Microorganisms have changed the face of the earth, crumbling stone and even giving rise to the oxygen we breathe. Compared to this power and diversity, Margulis liked to tell me, pandas and polar bears were biological epiphenomena—interesting and fun, perhaps, but not actually significant.

 

Does that apply to human beings, too? I once asked her, feeling like someone whining to Copernicus about why he couldn’t move the earth a little closer to the center of the universe. Aren’t we special at all?

 

This was just chitchat on the street, so I didn’t write anything down. But as I recall it, she answered that Homo sapiens actually might be interesting—for a mammal, anyway. For one thing, she said, we’re unusually successful.

 

Seeing my face brighten, she added: Of course, the fate of every successful species is to wipe itself out.

  

OF LICE AND MEN

 

Why and how did humankind become “unusually successful”? And what, to an evolutionary biologist, does “success” mean, if self-destruction is part of the definition? Does that self-destruction include the rest of the biosphere? What are human beings in the grand scheme of things anyway, and where are we headed? What is human nature, if there is such a thing, and how did we acquire it? What does that nature portend for our interactions with the environment? With 7 billion of us crowding the planet, it’s hard to imagine more vital questions.

 

One way to begin answering them came to Mark Stoneking in 1999, when he received a notice from his son’s school warning of a potential lice outbreak in the classroom. Stoneking is a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology in Leipzig, Germany. He didn’t know much about lice. As a biologist, it was natural for him to noodle around for information about them. The most common louse found on human bodies, he discovered, is Pediculus humanus. P. humanus has two subspecies: P. humanus capitis—head lice, which feed and live on the scalp—and P. humanus corporis—body lice, which feed on skin but live in clothing. In fact, Stoneking learned, body lice are so dependent on the protection of clothing that they cannot survive more than a few hours away from it.

 

It occurred to him that the two louse subspecies could be used as an evolutionary probe. P. humanus capitis, the head louse, could be an ancient annoyance, because human beings have always had hair for it to infest. But P. humanus corporis, the body louse, must not be especially old, because its need for clothing meant that it could not have existed while humans went naked. Humankind’s great coverup had created a new ecological niche, and some head lice had rushed to fill it. Evolution then worked its magic; a new subspecies, P. humanus corporis, arose. Stoneking couldn’t be sure that this scenario had taken place, though it seemed likely. But if his idea were correct, discovering when the body louse diverged from the head louse would provide a rough date for when people first invented and wore clothing.

 

The subject was anything but frivolous: donning a garment is a complicated act. Clothing has practical uses—warming the body in cold places, shielding it from the sun in hot places—but it also transforms the appearance of the wearer, something that has proven to be of inescapable interest to Homo sapiens. Clothing is ornament and emblem; it separates human beings from their earlier, un-self-conscious state. (Animals run, swim, and fly without clothing, but only people can be naked.) The invention of clothing was a sign that a mental shift had occurred. The human world had become a realm of complex, symbolic artifacts.

 

With two colleagues, Stoneking measured the difference between snippets of DNA in the two louse subspecies. Because DNA is thought to pick up small, random mutations at a roughly constant rate, scientists use the number of differences between two populations to tell how long ago they diverged from a common ancestor—the greater the number of differences, the longer the separation. In this case, the body louse had separated from the head louse about 70,000 years ago. Which meant, Stoneking hypothesized, that clothing also dated from about 70,000 years ago.

 

And not just clothing. As scientists have established, a host of remarkable things occurred to our species at about that time. It marked a dividing line in our history, one that made us who we are, and pointed us, for better and worse, toward the world we now have created for ourselves.

 

Homo sapiens emerged on the planet about 200,000 years ago, researchers believe. From the beginning, our species looked much as it does today. If some of those long-ago people walked by us on the street now, we would think they looked and acted somewhat oddly, but not that they weren’t people. But those anatomically modern humans were not, as anthropologists say, behaviorally modern. Those first people had no language, no clothing, no art, no religion, nothing but the simplest, unspecialized tools. They were little more advanced, technologically speaking, than their predecessors—or, for that matter, modern chimpanzees. (The big exception was fire, but that was first controlled by Homo erectus, one of our ancestors, a million years ago or more.) Our species had so little capacity for innovation that archaeologists have found almost no evidence of cultural or social change during our first 100,000 years of existence. Equally important, for almost all that time these early humans were confined to a single, small area in the hot, dry savanna of East Africa (and possibly a second, still smaller area in southern Africa).

 

But now jump forward 50,000 years. East Africa looks much the same. So do the humans in it—but suddenly they are drawing and carving images, weaving ropes and baskets, shaping and wielding specialized tools, burying the dead in formal ceremonies, and perhaps worshipping supernatural beings. They are wearing clothes—lice-filled clothes, to be sure, but clothes nonetheless. Momentously, they are using language. And they are dramatically increasing their range. Homo sapiens is exploding across the planet.

 

What caused this remarkable change? By geologists’ standards, 50,000 years is an instant, a finger snap, a rounding error. Nonetheless, most researchers believe that in that flicker of time, favorable mutations swept through our species, transforming anatomically modern humans into behaviorally modern humans. The idea is not absurd: in the last 400 years, dog breeders converted village dogs into creatures that act as differently as foxhounds, border collies, and Labrador retrievers. Fifty millennia, researchers say, is more than enough to make over a species.

 

Homo sapiens lacks claws, fangs, or exoskeletal plates. Rather, our unique survival skill is our ability to innovate, which originates with our species’ singular brain—a three-pound universe of hyperconnected neural tissue, constantly aswirl with schemes and notions. Hence every hypothesized cause for the transformation of humankind from anatomically modern to behaviorally modern involves a physical alteration of the wet gray matter within our skulls. One candidate explanation is that in this period people developed hybrid mental abilities by interbreeding with Neanderthals. (Some Neanderthal genes indeed appear to be in our genome, though nobody is yet certain of their function.) Another putative cause is symbolic language—an invention that may have tapped latent creativity and aggressiveness in our species. A third is that a mutation might have enabled our brains to alternate between spacing out on imaginative chains of association and focusing our attention narrowly on the physical world around us. The former, in this view, allows us to come up with creative new strategies to achieve a goal, whereas the latter enables us to execute the concrete tactics required by those strategies.

 

Each of these ideas is fervently advocated by some researchers and fervently attacked by others. What is clear is that something made over our species between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago—and right in the middle of that period was Toba.

  

CHILDREN OF TOBA

 

About 75,000 years ago, a huge volcano exploded on the island of Sumatra. The biggest blast for several million years, the eruption created Lake Toba, the world’s biggest crater lake, and ejected the equivalent of as much as 3,000 cubic kilometers of rock, enough to cover the District of Columbia in a layer of magma and ash that would reach to the stratosphere. A gigantic plume spread west, enveloping southern Asia in tephra (rock, ash, and dust). Drifts in Pakistan and India reached as high as six meters. Smaller tephra beds blanketed the Middle East and East Africa. Great rafts of pumice filled the sea and drifted almost to Antarctica.

 

In the long run, the eruption raised Asian soil fertility. In the short term, it was catastrophic. Dust hid the sun for as much as a decade, plunging the earth into a years-long winter accompanied by widespread drought. A vegetation collapse was followed by a collapse in the species that depended on vegetation, followed by a collapse in the species that depended on the species that depended on vegetation. Temperatures may have remained colder than normal for a thousand years. Orangutans, tigers, chimpanzees, cheetahs—all were pushed to the verge of extinction.

 

At about this time, many geneticists believe, Homo sapiens’ numbers shrank dramatically, perhaps to a few thousand people—the size of a big urban high school. The clearest evidence of this bottleneck is also its main legacy: humankind’s remarkable genetic uniformity. Countless people have viewed the differences between races as worth killing for, but compared to other primates—even compared to most other mammals—human beings are almost indistinguishable, genetically speaking. DNA is made from exceedingly long chains of “bases.” Typically, about one out of every 2,000 of these “bases” differs between one person and the next. The equivalent figure from two E. coli (human gut bacteria) might be about one out of twenty. The bacteria in our intestines, that is, have a hundredfold more innate variability than their hosts—evidence, researchers say, that our species is descended from a small group of founders.

 

Uniformity is hardly the only effect of a bottleneck. When a species shrinks in number, mutations can spread through the entire population with astonishing rapidity. Or genetic variants that may have already been in existence—arrays of genes that confer better planning skills, for example—can suddenly become more common, effectively reshaping the species within a few generations as once-unusual traits become widespread.

 

Did Toba, as theorists like Richard Dawkins have argued, cause an evolutionary bottleneck that set off the creation of behaviorally modern people, perhaps by helping previously rare genes—Neanderthal DNA or an opportune mutation—spread through our species? Or did the volcanic blast simply clear away other human species that had previously blocked H. sapiens’ expansion? Or was the volcano irrelevant to the deeper story of human change?

 

For now, the answers are the subject of careful back-and-forth in refereed journals and heated argument in faculty lounges. All that is clear is that about the time of Toba, new, behaviorally modern people charged so fast into the tephra that human footprints appeared in Australia within as few as 10,000 years, perhaps within 4,000 or 5,000. Stay-at-home Homo sapiens 1.0, a wallflower that would never have interested Lynn Margulis, had been replaced by aggressively expansive Homo sapiens 2.0. Something happened, for better and worse, and we were born.

 

One way to illustrate what this upgrade looked like is to consider Solenopsis invicta, the red imported fire ant. Geneticists believe that S. invicta originated in northern Argentina, an area with many rivers and frequent floods. The floods wipe out ant nests. Over the millennia, these small, furiously active creatures have acquired the ability to respond to rising water by coalescing into huge, floating, pullulating balls—workers on the outside, queen in the center—that drift to the edge of the flood. Once the waters recede, colonies swarm back into previously flooded land so rapidly that S. invicta actually can use the devastation to increase its range.

 

In the 1930s, Solenopsis invicta was transported to the United States, probably in ship ballast, which often consists of haphazardly loaded soil and gravel. As a teenaged bug enthusiast, Edward O. Wilson, the famed biologist, spotted the first colonies in the port of Mobile, Alabama. He saw some very happy fire ants. From the ant’s point of view, it had been dumped into an empty, recently flooded expanse. S. invicta took off, never looking back.

 

The initial incursion watched by Wilson was likely just a few thousand individuals—a number small enough to suggest that random, bottleneck-style genetic change played a role in the species’ subsequent history in this country. In their Argentine birthplace, fire-ant colonies constantly fight each other, reducing their numbers and creating space for other types of ant. In the United States, by contrast, the species forms cooperative supercolonies, linked clusters of nests that can spread for hundreds of miles. Systematically exploiting the landscape, these supercolonies monopolize every useful resource, wiping out other ant species along the way—models of zeal and rapacity. Transformed by chance and opportunity, new-model S. invictus needed just a few decades to conquer most of the southern United States.

 

Homo sapiens did something similar in the wake of Toba. For hundreds of thousands of years, our species had been restricted to East Africa (and, possibly, a similar area in the south). Now, abruptly, new-model Homo sapiens were racing across the continents like so many imported fire ants. The difference between humans and fire ants is that fire ants specialize in disturbed habitats. Humans, too, specialize in disturbed habitats—but we do the disturbing.

  

THE WORLD IS A PETRI DISH

 

As a student at the University of Moscow in the 1920s, Georgii Gause spent years trying—and failing—to drum up support from the Rockefeller Foundation, then the most prominent funding source for non-American scientists who wished to work in the United States. Hoping to dazzle the foundation, Gause decided to perform some nifty experiments and describe the results in his grant application.

 

By today’s standards, his methodology was simplicity itself. Gause placed half a gram of oatmeal in one hundred cubic centimeters of water, boiled the results for ten minutes to create a broth, strained the liquid portion of the broth into a container, diluted the mixture by adding water, and then decanted the contents into small, flat-bottomed test tubes. Into each he dripped five Paramecium caudatum or Stylonychia mytilus, both single-celled protozoans, one species per tube. Each of Gause’s test tubes was a pocket ecosystem, a food web with a single node. He stored the tubes in warm places for a week and observed the results. He set down his conclusions in a 163-page book, The Struggle for Existence, published in 1934.

 

Today The Struggle for Existence is recognized as a scientific landmark, one of the first successful marriages of theory and experiment in ecology. But the book was not enough to get Gause a fellowship; the Rockefeller Foundation turned down the twenty-four-year-old Soviet student as insufficiently eminent. Gause could not visit the United States for another twenty years, by which time he had indeed become eminent, but as an antibiotics researcher.

 

What Gause saw in his test tubes is often depicted in a graph, time on the horizontal axis, the number of protozoa on the vertical. The line on the graph is a distorted bell curve, with its left side twisted and stretched into a kind of flattened S. At first the number of protozoans grows slowly, and the graph line slowly ascends to the right. But then the line hits an inflection point, and suddenly rockets upward—a frenzy of exponential growth. The mad rise continues until the organism begins to run out of food, at which point there is a second inflection point, and the growth curve levels off again as bacteria begin to die. Eventually the line descends, and the population falls toward zero.

 

Years ago I watched Lynn Margulis, one of Gause’s successors, demonstrate these conclusions to a class at the University of Massachusetts with a time-lapse video of Proteus vulgaris, a bacterium that lives in the gastrointestinal tract. To humans, she said, P. vulgaris is mainly notable as a cause of urinary-tract infections. Left alone, it divides about every fifteen minutes. Margulis switched on the projector. Onscreen was a small, wobbly bubble—P. vulgaris—in a shallow, circular glass container: a petri dish. The class gasped. The cells in the time-lapse video seemed to shiver and boil, doubling in number every few seconds, colonies exploding out until the mass of bacteria filled the screen. In just thirty-six hours, she said, this single bacterium could cover the entire planet in a foot-deep layer of single-celled ooze. Twelve hours after that, it would create a living ball of bacteria the size of the earth.

 

Such a calamity never happens, because competing organisms and lack of resources prevent the overwhelming majority of P. vulgaris from reproducing. This, Margulis said, is natural selection, Darwin’s great insight. All living creatures have the same purpose: to make more of themselves, ensuring their biological future by the only means available. Natural selection stands in the way of this goal. It prunes back almost all species, restricting their numbers and confining their range. In the human body, P. vulgaris is checked by the size of its habitat (portions of the human gut), the limits to its supply of nourishment (food proteins), and other, competing organisms. Thus constrained, its population remains roughly steady.

 

In the petri dish, by contrast, competition is absent; nutrients and habitat seem limitless, at least at first. The bacterium hits the first inflection point and rockets up the left side of the curve, swamping the petri dish in a reproductive frenzy. But then its colonies slam into the second inflection point: the edge of the dish. When the dish’s nutrient supply is exhausted, P. vulgaris experiences a miniapocalypse.

 

By luck or superior adaptation, a few species manage to escape their limits, at least for a while. Nature’s success stories, they are like Gause’s protozoans; the world is their petri dish. Their populations grow exponentially; they take over large areas, overwhelming their environment as if no force opposed them. Then they annihilate themselves, drowning in their own wastes or starving from lack of food.

 

To someone like Margulis, Homo sapiens looks like one of these briefly fortunate species.

  

THE WHIP HAND

 

No more than a few hundred people initially migrated from Africa, if geneticists are correct. But they emerged into landscapes that by today’s standards were as rich as Eden. Cool mountains, tropical wetlands, lush forests—all were teeming with food. Fish in the sea, birds in the air, fruit on the trees: breakfast was everywhere. People moved in.

 

Despite our territorial expansion, though, humans were still only in the initial stages of Gause’s oddly shaped curve. Ten thousand years ago, most demographers believe, we numbered barely 5 million, about one human being for every hundred square kilometers of the earth’s land surface. Homo sapiens was a scarcely noticeable dusting on the surface of a planet dominated by microbes. Nevertheless, at about this time—10,000 years ago, give or take a millennium—humankind finally began to approach the first inflection point. Our species was inventing agriculture.

 

The wild ancestors of cereal crops like wheat, barley, rice, and sorghum have been part of the human diet for almost as long as there have been humans to eat them. (The earliest evidence comes from Mozambique, where researchers found tiny bits of 105,000-year-old sorghum on ancient scrapers and grinders.) In some cases people may have watched over patches of wild grain, returning to them year after year. Yet despite the effort and care the plants were not domesticated. As botanists say, wild cereals “shatter”—individual grain kernels fall off as they ripen, scattering grain haphazardly, making it impossible to harvest the plants systematically. Only when unknown geniuses discovered naturally mutated grain plants that did not shatter—and purposefully selected, protected, and cultivated them—did true agriculture begin. Planting great expanses of those mutated crops, first in southern Turkey, later in half a dozen other places, early farmers created landscapes that, so to speak, waited for hands to harvest them.

 

Farming converted most of the habitable world into a petri dish. Foragers manipulated their environment with fire, burning areas to kill insects and encourage the growth of useful species—plants we liked to eat, plants that attracted the other creatures we liked to eat. Nonetheless, their diets were largely restricted to what nature happened to provide in any given time and season. Agriculture gave humanity the whip hand. Instead of natural ecosystems with their haphazard mix of species (so many useless organisms guzzling up resources!), farms are taut, disciplined communities conceived and dedicated to the maintenance of a single species: us.

 

Before agriculture, the Ukraine, American Midwest, and lower Yangzi were barely hospitable food deserts, sparsely inhabited landscapes of insects and grass; they became breadbaskets as people scythed away suites of species that used soil and water we wanted to dominate and replaced them with wheat, rice, and maize (corn). To one of Margulis’s beloved bacteria, a petri dish is a uniform expanse of nutrients, all of which it can seize and consume. For Homo sapiens, agriculture transformed the planet into something similar.

 

As in a time-lapse movie, we divided and multiplied across the newly opened land. It had taken Homo sapiens 2.0, behaviorally modern humans, not even 50,000 years to reach the farthest corners of the globe. Homo sapiens 2.0.A—A for agriculture—took a tenth of that time to conquer the planet.

 

As any biologist would predict, success led to an increase in human numbers. Homo sapiens rocketed around the elbow of the first inflection point in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when American crops like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and maize were introduced to the rest of the world. Traditional Eurasian and African cereals—wheat, rice, millet, and sorghum, for example—produce their grain atop thin stalks. Basic physics suggests that plants with this design will fatally topple if the grain gets too heavy, which means that farmers can actually be punished if they have an extra-bounteous harvest. By contrast, potatoes and sweet potatoes grow underground, which means that yields are not limited by the plant’s architecture. Wheat farmers in Edinburgh and rice farmers in Edo alike discovered they could harvest four times as much dry food matter from an acre of tubers than they could from an acre of cereals. Maize, too, was a winner. Compared to other cereals, it has an extra-thick stalk and a different, more productive type of photosynthesis. Taken together, these immigrant crops vastly increased the food supply in Europe, Asia, and Africa, which in turn helped increase the supply of Europeans, Asians, and Africans. The population boom had begun.

 

Numbers kept rising in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, after a German chemist, Justus von Liebig, discovered that plant growth was limited by the supply of nitrogen. Without nitrogen, neither plants nor the mammals that eat plants can create proteins, or for that matter the DNA and RNA that direct their production. Pure nitrogen gas (N2) is plentiful in the air but plants are unable to absorb it, because the two nitrogen atoms in N2 are welded so tightly together that plants cannot split them apart for use. Instead, plants take in nitrogen only when it is combined with hydrogen, oxygen, and other elements. To restore exhausted soil, traditional farmers grew peas, beans, lentils, and other pulses. (They never knew why these “green manures” replenished the land. Today we know that their roots contain special bacteria that convert useless N2 into “bio-available” nitrogen compounds.) After Liebig, European and American growers replaced those crops with high-intensity fertilizer—nitrogen-rich guano from Peru at first, then nitrates from mines in Chile. Yields soared. But supplies were much more limited than farmers liked. So intense was the competition for fertilizer that a guano war erupted in 1879, engulfing much of western South America. Almost 3,000 people died.

 

Two more German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, came to the rescue, discovering the key steps to making synthetic fertilizer from fossil fuels. (The process involves combining nitrogen gas and hydrogen from natural gas into ammonia, which is then used to create nitrogenous compounds usable by plants.) Haber and Bosch are not nearly as well known as they should be; their discovery, the Haber-Bosch process, has literally changed the chemical composition of the earth, a feat previously reserved for microorganisms. Farmers have injected so much synthetic fertilizer into the soil that soil and groundwater nitrogen levels have risen worldwide. Today, roughly a third of all the protein (animal and vegetable) consumed by humankind is derived from synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Another way of putting this is to say that Haber and Bosch enabled Homo sapiens to extract about 2 billion people’s worth of food from the same amount of available land.

 

The improved wheat, rice, and (to a lesser extent) maize varieties developed by plant breeders in the 1950s and 1960s are often said to have prevented another billion deaths. Antibiotics, vaccines, and water-treatment plants also saved lives by pushing back humankind’s bacterial, viral, and fungal enemies. With almost no surviving biological competition, humankind had ever more unhindered access to the planetary petri dish: in the past two hundred years, the number of humans walking the planet ballooned from 1 to 7 billion, with a few billion more expected in coming decades.

 

Rocketing up the growth curve, human beings “now appropriate nearly 40% . . . of potential terrestrial productivity.” This figure dates from 1986—a famous estimate by a team of Stanford biologists. Ten years later, a second Stanford team calculated that the “fraction of the land’s biological production that is used or dominated” by our species had risen to as much as 50 percent. In 2000, the chemist Paul Crutzen gave a name to our time: the “Anthropocene,” the era in which Homo sapiens became a force operating on a planetary scale. That year, half of the world’s accessible fresh water was consumed by human beings.

 

Lynn Margulis, it seems safe to say, would have scoffed at these assessments of human domination over the natural world, which, in every case I know of, do not take into account the enormous impact of the microworld. But she would not have disputed the central idea: Homo sapiens has become a successful species, and is growing accordingly.

 

If we follow Gause’s pattern, growth will continue at a delirious speed until we hit the second inflection point. At that time we will have exhausted the resources of the global petri dish, or effectively made the atmosphere toxic with our carbon-dioxide waste, or both. After that, human life will be, briefly, a Hobbesian nightmare, the living overwhelmed by the dead. When the king falls, so do his minions; it is possible that our fall might also take down most mammals and many plants. Possibly sooner, quite likely later, in this scenario, the earth will again be a choir of bacteria, fungi, and insects, as it has been through most of its history.

 

It would be foolish to expect anything else, Margulis thought. More than that, it would be unnatural.

  

AS PLASTIC AS CANBY

 

In The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster’s classic, pun-filled adventure tale, the young Milo and his faithful companions unexpectedly find themselves transported to a bleak, mysterious island. Encountering a man in a tweed jacket and beanie, Milo asks him where they are. The man replies by asking if they know who he is—the man is, apparently, confused on the subject. Milo and his friends confer, then ask if he can describe himself.

 

“Yes, indeed,” the man replied happily. “I’m as tall as can be”—and he grew straight up until all that could be seen of him were his shoes and stockings—“and I’m as short as can be”—and he shrank down to the size of a pebble. “I’m as generous as can be,” he said, handing each of them a large red apple, “and I’m as selfish as can be,” he snarled, grabbing them back again.

 

In short order, the companions learn that the man is as strong as can be, weak as can be, smart as can be, stupid as can be, graceful as can be, clumsy as—you get the picture. “Is that any help to you?” he asks. Again, Milo and his friends confer, and realize that the answer is actually quite simple:

 

“Without a doubt,” Milo concluded brightly, “you must be Canby.”

 

“Of course, yes, of course,” the man shouted. “Why didn’t I think of that? I’m as happy as can be.”

 

With Canby, Juster presumably meant to mock a certain kind of babyish, uncommitted man-child. But I can’t help thinking of poor old Canby as exemplifying one of humankind’s greatest attributes: behavioral plasticity. The term was coined in 1890 by the pioneering psychologist William James, who defined it as “the possession of a structure weak enough to yield to an influence, but strong enough not to yield all at once.” Behavioral plasticity, a defining feature of Homo sapiens’ big brain, means that humans can change their habits; almost as a matter of course, people change careers, quit smoking or take up vegetarianism, convert to new religions, and migrate to distant lands where they must learn strange languages. This plasticity, this Canby-hood, is the hallmark of our transformation from anatomically modern Homo sapiens to behaviorally modern Homo sapiens—and the reason, perhaps, we were able to survive when Toba reconfigured the landscape.

 

Other creatures are much less flexible. Like apartment-dwelling cats that compulsively hide in the closet when visitors arrive, they have limited capacity to welcome new phenomena and change in response. Human beings, by contrast, are so exceptionally plastic that vast swaths of neuroscience are devoted to trying to explain how this could come about. (Nobody knows for certain, but some researchers now think that particular genes give their possessors a heightened, inborn awareness of their environment, which can lead both to useless, neurotic sensitivity and greater ability to detect and adapt to new situations.)

 

Plasticity in individuals is mirrored by plasticity on a societal level. The caste system in social species like honeybees is elaborate and finely tuned but fixed, as if in amber, in the loops of their DNA. Some leafcutter ants are said to have, next to human beings, the biggest and most complex societies on earth, with elaborately coded behavior that reaches from disposal of the dead to complex agricultural systems. Housing millions of individuals in inconceivably ramose subterranean networks, leafcutter colonies are “Earth’s ultimate superorganisms,” Edward O. Wilson has written. But they are incapable of fundamental change. The centrality and authority of the queen cannot be challenged; the tiny minority of males, used only to inseminate queens, will never acquire new responsibilities.

 

Human societies are far more varied than their insect cousins, of course. But the true difference is their plasticity. It is why humankind, a species of Canbys, has been able to move into every corner of the earth, and to control what we find there. Our ability to change ourselves to extract resources from our surroundings with ever-increasing efficiency is what has made Homo sapiens a successful species. It is our greatest blessing.

 

Or was our greatest blessing, anyway.

  

DISCOUNT RATES

 

By 2050, demographers predict, as many as 10 billion human beings will walk the earth, 3 billion more than today. Not only will more people exist than ever before, they will be richer than ever before. In the last three decades hundreds of millions in China, India, and other formerly poor places have lifted themselves from destitution—arguably the most important, and certainly the most heartening, accomplishment of our time. Yet, like all human enterprises, this great success will pose great difficulties.

 

In the past, rising incomes have invariably prompted rising demand for goods and services. Billions more jobs, homes, cars, fancy electronics—these are things the newly prosperous will want. (Why shouldn’t they?) But the greatest challenge may be the most basic of all: feeding these extra mouths. To agronomists, the prospect is sobering. The newly affluent will not want their ancestors’ gruel. Instead they will ask for pork and beef and lamb. Salmon will sizzle on their outdoor grills. In winter, they will want strawberries, like people in New York and London, and clean bibb lettuce from hydroponic gardens.

 

All of these, each and every one, require vastly more resources to produce than simple peasant agriculture. Already 35 percent of the world’s grain harvest is used to feed livestock. The process is terribly inefficient: between seven and ten kilograms of grain are required to produce one kilogram of beef. Not only will the world’s farmers have to produce enough wheat and maize to feed 3 billion more people, they will have to produce enough to give them all hamburgers and steaks. Given present patterns of food consumption, economists believe, we will need to produce about 40 percent more grain in 2050 than we do today.

 

How can we provide these things for all these new people? That is only part of the question. The full question is: How can we provide them without wrecking the natural systems on which all depend?

 

Scientists, activists, and politicians have proposed many solutions, each from a different ideological and moral perspective. Some argue that we must drastically throttle industrial civilization. (Stop energy-intensive, chemical-based farming today! Eliminate fossil fuels to halt climate change!) Others claim that only intense exploitation of scientific knowledge can save us. (Plant super-productive, genetically modified crops now! Switch to nuclear power to halt climate change!) No matter which course is chosen, though, it will require radical, large-scale transformations in the human enterprise—a daunting, hideously expensive task.

 

Worse, the ship is too large to turn quickly. The world’s food supply cannot be decoupled rapidly from industrial agriculture, if that is seen as the answer. Aquifers cannot be recharged with a snap of the fingers. If the high-tech route is chosen, genetically modified crops cannot be bred and tested overnight. Similarly, carbon-sequestration techniques and nuclear power plants cannot be deployed instantly. Changes must be planned and executed decades in advance of the usual signals of crisis, but that’s like asking healthy, happy sixteen-year-olds to write living wills.

 

Not only is the task daunting, it’s strange. In the name of nature, we are asking human beings to do something deeply unnatural, something no other species has ever done or could ever do: constrain its own growth (at least in some ways). Zebra mussels in the Great Lakes, brown tree snakes in Guam, water hyacinth in African rivers, gypsy moths in the northeastern U.S., rabbits in Australia, Burmese pythons in Florida—all these successful species have overrun their environments, heedlessly wiping out other creatures. Like Gause’s protozoans, they are racing to find the edges of their petri dish. Not one has voluntarily turned back. Now we are asking Homo sapiens to fence itself in.

 

What a peculiar thing to ask! Economists like to talk about the “discount rate,” which is their term for preferring a bird in hand today over two in the bush tomorrow. The term sums up part of our human nature as well. Evolving in small, constantly moving bands, we are as hard-wired to focus on the immediate and local over the long-term and faraway as we are to prefer parklike savannas to deep dark forests. Thus, we care more about the broken stoplight up the street today than conditions next year in Croatia, Cambodia, or the Congo. Rightly so, evolutionists point out: Americans are far more likely to be killed at that stoplight today than in the Congo next year. Yet here we are asking governments to focus on potential planetary boundaries that may not be reached for decades. Given the discount rate, nothing could be more understandable than the U.S. Congress’s failure to grapple with, say, climate change. From this perspective, is there any reason to imagine that Homo sapiens, unlike mussels, snakes, and moths, can exempt itself from the natural fate of all successful species?

 

To biologists like Margulis, who spend their careers arguing that humans are simply part of the natural order, the answer should be clear. All life is similar at base. All species seek without pause to make more of themselves—that is their goal. By multiplying till we reach our maximum possible numbers, even as we take out much of the planet, we are fulfilling our destiny.

 

From this vantage, the answer to the question whether we are doomed to destroy ourselves is yes. It should be obvious.

 

Should be—but perhaps is not.

  

HARA HACHI BU

 

When I imagine the profound social transformation necessary to avoid calamity, I think about Robinson Crusoe, hero of Daniel Defoe’s famous novel. Defoe clearly intended his hero to be an exemplary man. Shipwrecked on an uninhabited island off Venezuela in 1659, Crusoe is an impressive example of behavioral plasticity. During his twenty-seven-year exile he learns to catch fish, hunt rabbits and turtles, tame and pasture island goats, prune and support local citrus trees, and create “plantations” of barley and rice from seeds that he salvaged from the wreck. (Defoe apparently didn’t know that citrus and goats were not native to the Americas and thus Crusoe probably wouldn’t have found them there.) Rescue comes at last in the form of a shipful of ragged mutineers, who plan to maroon their captain on the supposedly empty island. Crusoe helps the captain recapture his ship and offers the defeated mutineers a choice: trial in England or permanent banishment to the island. All choose the latter. Crusoe has harnessed so much of the island’s productive power to human use that even a gaggle of inept seamen can survive there in comfort.

 

To get Crusoe on his unlucky voyage, Defoe made him an officer on a slave ship, transporting captured Africans to South America. Today, no writer would make a slave seller the admirable hero of a novel. But in 1720, when Defoe published Robinson Crusoe, no readers said boo about Crusoe’s occupation, because slavery was the norm from one end of the world to another. Rules and names differed from place to place, but coerced labor was everywhere, building roads, serving aristocrats, and fighting wars. Slaves teemed in the Ottoman Empire, Mughal India, and Ming China. Unfree hands were less common in continental Europe, but Portugal, Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands happily exploited slaves by the million in their American colonies. Few protests were heard; slavery had been part of the fabric of life since the code of Hammurabi.

 

Then, in the space of a few decades in the nineteenth century, slavery, one of humankind’s most enduring institutions, almost vanished.

 

The sheer implausibility of this change is staggering. In 1860, slaves were, collectively, the single most valuable economic asset in the United States, worth an estimated $3 billion, a vast sum in those days (and about $10 trillion in today’s money). Rather than investing in factories like northern entrepreneurs, southern businessmen had sunk their capital into slaves. And from their perspective, correctly so—masses of enchained men and women had made the region politically powerful, and gave social status to an entire class of poor whites. Slavery was the foundation of the social order. It was, thundered John C. Calhoun, a former senator, secretary of state, and vice president, “instead of an evil, a good—a positive good.” Yet just a few years after Calhoun spoke, part of the United States set out to destroy this institution, wrecking much of the national economy and killing half a million citizens along the way.

 

Incredibly, the turn against slavery was as universal as slavery itself. Great Britain, the world’s biggest human trafficker, closed down its slave operations in 1808, though they were among the nation’s most profitable industries. The Netherlands, France, Spain, and Portugal soon followed. Like stars winking out at the approach of dawn, cultures across the globe removed themselves from the previously universal exchange of human cargo. Slavery still exists here and there, but in no society anywhere is it formally accepted as part of the social fabric.

 

Historians have provided many reasons for this extraordinary transition. But one of the most important is that abolitionists had convinced huge numbers of ordinary people around the world that slavery was a moral disaster. An institution fundamental to human society for millennia was swiftly dismantled by ideas and a call to action, loudly repeated.

 

In the last few centuries, such profound changes have occurred repeatedly. Since the beginning of our species, for instance, every known society has been based on the domination of women by men. (Rumors of past matriarchal societies abound, but few archaeologists believe them.) In the long view, women’s lack of liberty has been as central to the human enterprise as gravitation is to the celestial order. The degree of suppression varied from time to time and place to place, but women never had an equal voice; indeed, some evidence exists that the penalty for possession of two X chromosomes increased with technological progress. Even as the industrial North and agricultural South warred over the treatment of Africans, they regarded women identically: in neither half of the nation could they attend college, have a bank account, or own property. Equally confining were women’s lives in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Nowadays women are the majority of U.S. college students, the majority of the workforce, and the majority of voters. Again, historians assign multiple causes to this shift in the human condition, rapid in time, staggering in scope. But one of the most important was the power of ideas—the voices, actions, and examples of suffragists, who through decades of ridicule and harassment pressed their case. In recent years something similar seems to have occurred with gay rights: first a few lonely advocates, censured and mocked; then victories in the social and legal sphere; finally, perhaps, a slow movement to equality.

 

Less well known, but equally profound: the decline in violence. Foraging societies waged war less brutally than industrial societies, but more frequently. Typically, archaeologists believe, about a quarter of all hunters and gatherers were killed by their fellows. Violence declined somewhat as humans gathered themselves into states and empires, but was still a constant presence. When Athens was at its height in the fourth and fifth centuries BC, it was ever at war: against Sparta (First and Second Peloponnesian Wars, Corinthian War); against Persia (Greco-Persian Wars, Wars of the Delian League); against Aegina (Aeginetan War); against Macedon (Olynthian War); against Samos (Samian War); against Chios, Rhodes, and Cos (Social War).

 

In this respect, classical Greece was nothing special—look at the ghastly histories of China, sub-Saharan Africa, or Mesoamerica. Similarly, early modern Europe’s wars were so fast and furious that historians simply gather them into catchall titles like the Hundred Years’ War, followed by the shorter but even more destructive Thirty Years’ War. And even as Europeans and their descendants paved the way toward today’s concept of universal human rights by creating documents like the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Europe remained so mired in combat that it fought two conflicts of such massive scale and reach they became known as “world” wars.

 

Since the Second World War, however, rates of violent death have fallen to the lowest levels in known history. Today, the average person is far less likely to be slain by another member of the species than ever before—an extraordinary transformation that has occurred, almost unheralded, in the lifetime of many of the people reading this article. As the political scientist Joshua Goldstein has written, “we are winning the war on war.” Again, there are multiple causes. But Goldstein, probably the leading scholar in this field, argues that the most important is the emergence of the United Nations and other transnational bodies, an expression of the ideas of peace activists earlier in the last century.

 

As a relatively young species, we have an adolescent propensity to make a mess: we pollute the air we breathe and the water we drink, and appear stalled in an age of carbon dumping and nuclear experimentation that is putting countless species at risk including our own. But we are making undeniable progress nonetheless. No European in 1800 could have imagined that in 2000 Europe would have no legal slavery, women would be able to vote, and gay people would be able to marry. No one could have guessed a continent that had been tearing itself apart for centuries would be free of armed conflict, even amid terrible economic times. Given this record, even Lynn Margulis might pause (maybe).

 

Preventing Homo sapiens from destroying itself à la Gause would require a still greater transformation—behavioral plasticity of the highest order—because we would be pushing against biological nature itself. The Japanese have an expression, hara hachi bu, which means, roughly speaking, “belly 80 percent full.” Hara hachi bu is shorthand for an ancient injunction to stop eating before feeling full. Nutritionally, the command makes a great deal of sense. When people eat, their stomachs produce peptides that signal fullness to the nervous system. Unfortunately, the mechanism is so slow that eaters frequently perceive satiety only after they have consumed too much—hence the all-too-common condition of feeling bloated or sick from overeating. Japan—actually, the Japanese island of Okinawa—is the only place on earth where large numbers of people are known to restrict their own calorie intake systematically and routinely. Some researchers claim that hara hachi bu is responsible for Okinawans’ notoriously long life spans. But I think of it as a metaphor for stopping before the second inflection point, voluntarily forswearing short-term consumption to obtain a long-term benefit.

 

Evolutionarily speaking, a species-wide adoption of hara hachi bu would be unprecedented. Thinking about it, I can picture Lynn Margulis rolling her eyes. But is it so unlikely that our species, Canbys one and all, would be able to do exactly that before we round that fateful curve of the second inflection point and nature does it for us?

 

I can imagine Margulis’s response: You’re imagining our species as some sort of big-brained, hyperrational, benefit-cost-calculating computer! A better analogy is the bacteria at our feet! Still, Margulis would be the first to agree that removing the shackles from women and slaves has begun to unleash the suppressed talents of two-thirds of the human race. Drastically reducing violence has prevented the waste of countless lives and staggering amounts of resources. Is it really impossible to believe that we wouldn’t use those talents and those resources to draw back before the abyss?

 

Our record of success is not that long. In any case, past successes are no guarantee of the future. But it is terrible to suppose that we could get so many other things right and get this one wrong. To have the imagination to see our potential end, but not have the imagination to avoid it. To send humankind to the moon but fail to pay attention to the earth. To have the potential but to be unable to use it—to be, in the end, no different from the protozoa in the petri dish. It would be evidence that Lynn Margulis’s most dismissive beliefs had been right after all. For all our speed and voraciousness, our changeable sparkle and flash, we would be, at last count, not an especially interesting species.

 

Charles C. Mann’s most recent books are 1491, which won the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Keck Award for the best book of the year, and 1493, which is now out in paperback. A correspondent for The Atlantic, Science, and Wired, he has covered the intersection of science, technology, and commerce for many newspapers and magazines here and abroad, including BioScience, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times.

 

A three-time National Magazine Award finalist, Mann has received writing awards from the American Bar Association, the American Institute of Physics, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Margaret Sanger Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation.

Comments

 

David M on October 25, 2012

 

A terrific read. The part on human beings as invasive species is worth the price alone. This is classic.

 

“The difference between humans and fire ants is that fire ants specialize in disturbed habitats. Humans, too, specialize in disturbed habitats—but we do the disturbing.”

 

There are so many nice goodies written with punch like this.

 

“Agriculture gave humanity the whip hand. Instead of natural ecosystems with their haphazard mix of species (so many useless organisms guzzling up resources!), farms are taut, disciplined communities conceived and dedicated to the maintenance of a single species: us.”

 

I’ll add one more.

 

“Our ability to change ourselves to extract resources from our surroundings with ever-increasing efficiency is what has made Homo sapiens a successful species. It is our greatest blessing.

 

Or was our greatest blessing, anyway.”

 

I have a few downsize thoughts on some of the analysis but I’ll save that for later.

Steve Bremner on October 25, 2012

 

Excellent piece. I don’t have much faith in our collective ability to adjust in time to the impending collapse of civilization. Individually and in pockets there are those who see the need to adjust, but unfortunately we’re not all on board and the Sarah Palins and the James Inhofes seem to hold sway over policy in this world.

Martin on October 26, 2012

 

A great and masterful essay, brilliant and needing to be read – but then it falls off the rails, as is typical of even the best of our social critics.

Mann is dead-on and eloquent in his depiction of our state of inter-locking crises, but then he goes all hope and change and look at how far we have come. Sure, there are identity politics achievements, and nice safer lives for the boomers and the Prius-drivers, but there are so many real, freely available, undeniable markers of a immovable and fully corrupt supersystem.

Look at the graph of CO2 in the atmosphere – notice a trend? Look at the Gini coefficient for the US- see the direction? Has Mann seen the official, growing, shameful wealth disparity between white and black Americans, let alone the global disparities? Can he appreciate the graph of the ruined lives of the global poor, even before the states of our interdependent ecosystems start really to seize?

Where is there a single indication that any of the insitutions governing human lives have even the capacity to shift course from the extraction of resources anywhere in the globe to feed the energy needs of the well-to-do?

Why be so top-notch in drawing the outlines our common predicament, and then proffer some pie-in-the-sky endpiece that flies in the face of all that we can observe?

Still, Mann’s essay is a treasure, a lasting way to look at our lives with new artistic metaphors, and it deserves a medal or two – but only the bravest can really see where the data lie.

Ron Hofbauer on October 26, 2012

 

This is fine and interesting read that but I think the scientific objectivity of the piece is slowly lost as the story gets closer to the present era. For example, the comment is made that slavery has been almost eliminated. I agree that old style slavery has more or less been stopped but I maintain that slavery is still very much alive and well under a change of name in which it is now called “employment”. This “employment” form of slavery is much more sophisticated than the old style of slavery and, if anything, it has increased slavery and made it into a kind of invisible social situation. It seems to me that Mr. Mann tries to put an optimistic spin on homo sapiens society at the end of the piece that I don’t believe is justified.

T. R. Shankar Raman on October 26, 2012

 

Commit ‘hara hachi bu’ rather than ‘hara kiri’ for a better world ahead, the author seems to suggest. The article brings various threads of thought together well. Yet, the author does not mention early ecologists and conservationists who arrived at similar conclusions on driving social and ecological change on a moral and ethical basis, such as Aldo Leopold and Arne Naess and Rachel Carson. Unfortunately, it is widely, but perhaps wrongly, believed that the power of economics will trump ethics anyday. A shift in perception is first required?

Linda Pettit on October 26, 2012

 

Wow! A powerful compilation of information describing the homo path then and forward…We are, of course, preoccupied by our own species’ adventures. I can appreciate this as a member of the group…but I also appreciate Lynn Margulis’ focus, a Gaia description that takes into consideration all life on the planet. Will there be another more advanced species in the future when/if we bring on our own destruction? Gaia will remain. I personally work to enjoy as much of the ride as I am able, despite politics!

Robert on October 26, 2012

 

I have to agree with Martin’s comment. However clear-thinking when it comes to the past, Mr Mann is still unable to stop outside the dominant narrative which says that our society is the best and most moral ever and things are only getting better.

 

“Since the Second World War, however, rates of violent death have fallen to the lowest levels in known history. Today, the average person is far less likely to be slain by another member of the species than ever before—an extraordinary transformation that has occurred, almost unheralded, in the lifetime of many of the people reading this article.”

 

I’ve heard this claim before. Does that include deaths in car accidents? Deaths due to industrial pollution? Deaths due to political despotism? All are forms of violent death caused by human beings, albeit not in war.

 

Still, it is nice to think that the human race is flexible enough to snatch survival from the jaws of extinction. I guess some of us alive today will find out the answer.

suryanarayanan on October 26, 2012

 

A truly remarkable, thought-provoking, and complete, essay on life and humankind that should make us pause and reflect on what the author has said in the last para.

tommacg on October 26, 2012

 

A very good, engaging piece. I was all with him, particularly on the changes wrought by symbolic culture and agriculture, until the end, when he makes entirely dubious assertions. (A similar analysis, but better conclusion is to be found in Kirkpatrick Sale’s After Eden.)

 

For example, plenty of anthropological evidence contradicts what Mann says about gender inequality being the case since the beginnings of our species.

 

Also, his liberal championing of Progress is somewhat nauseating. The figures on declining violence are dubious at best, relying on relative rather than absolute statistics (Does Mann not count human lives as having equal worth? Lets not forget how bloody the 20th century was), and completely externalising violence on the natural world.

tommacg on October 26, 2012

 

Just read the other comments too. Totally agree with the commenters above – Martin and Ron Hofbauer

Maya Ramaswamy on October 26, 2012

 

we’re definitely as plastic as canby..

so more of us have to ‘learn’ and communicate our learning on how to put grace over power..

Rob MacLeod on October 26, 2012

 

Great, thought provoking article. Makes me think of two things:

1. The Matrix’s Agent Smith to Morpheus: “Humans are a virus”

2. In his book Collapse, Jared Diamond’s discusses several societies throughout history that have gone to the brink of overwhelming their ecosystem and then pulled back and imposed limits on themselves. Wolves will also limit their reproduction – in most years only the alpha pair will reproduce. So we have examples from science of species limiting themselves. I won’t argue that the degree of difficulty is exponentially larger today.

Lawrence M Neal on October 26, 2012

 

A good while back, the .001% Elite, the 400 families that own almost everything in the U.S., some 93,000 people worldwide, concluded that there were too many people and far too many poor people. Now they have environmental toxins, and most notably, infertility inducing GMO foods. They have tried war and disease to control our numbers, but not everyone is affected by war and disease. Everyone has to eat.Their aim is to reduce the population by 93%, and GMOs are their best course of action yet. It sounds far fetched and extreme, and inconceivable that our ‘government’ would not protect us from it. And yet, ‘government’ sits on it’s thumbs, fails to regulate toxins and approves GMOs. Perhaps the Elite’s Depopulation Agenda is mankind’s hope for a continued future.

mike on October 27, 2012

 

Martin believes that being employed is slavery? Really? What would he suggest, that we all just sit around and have people give us things?

 

It’s completely absurd. Slaves can’t quit being slaves. Employee’s can. Slaves can’t complain to the government about working conditions. Slaves (as the US did it) don’t get to complain about missing hours on their paycheck. SLAVES DON’T GET PAID.

 

The only other option is to go back to hunter-gatherer lifestyle, where you spend all your day searching for food, then starve during the winter. Remember, just a few short centuries ago most people worked all day long, every day. That was to get hardly enough food and a roof over your head.

 

Now westerners work a third of the day, five seventh of the week with a few weeks off plus holidays. The average westerner today lives better then royalty or nobles did 200 years ago. We live three times longer and have access to every type of food from around the world. We can jump on a plane and see Australia, or take a train across the continent. You can spend your evenings watching movies, or bad TV, or go out drinking, watch football in person, play rugby, or do one of thousands of hobbies.

 

On the weekends you can go boating, or fly your own microplane. You can talk to almost anyone in the world from your living room. You can walk around the city with a computer that talks to you and responds to your voice, science fiction just 30 years ago.

 

If you live in almost any developed country other then the US you can be sure that if you break your arm while out walking you can get state of the art healthcare without going bankrupt or depleting your savings. You can get antibiotics that an infection that 100 years ago would have killed you.

 

Finally, a slave can be killed or maimed at any time by his owner. That is the definition of being property. Your comparing being an employee to slavery is not just offensive but also ignorant. Ignorant of the difference between being able to do and go where you want, and living life as the property of another, life in a cage with your death hanging in the balance of your owners whim.

 

It must be the natural human condition to whine.

 

And Lawrence M Neal, where exactly do you get this nonsense about 93% depopulation? This is moronic. This would leave the world with a population unable to support modern life. Don’t just believe the crap you hear and read. Actually give it some thought.

Lawrence M Neal on October 28, 2012

 

“And where exactly, do you get this nonsense about 93% depopulation?”

 

Noted author G. Edward Griffin, amongst many others.

 

“This would leave the world with a population unable to support modern life.”

 

Modern Life as we know it, yes. But with enough workers to produce the needs and wants of the Elite, which is what the Elite envision. A world cleared of excessive humanity, returned to natural balance, with the Elite firmly in control of authority and reproduction.

 

“Actually give it some thought”

 

Try researching a different point of view.

 

“It must be the natural human condition to whine”

 

And demean the opinions of others.

Martin on October 28, 2012

 

A word like “slave” can be defined any number of ways, and you should see many references to “wage-slaves” if you root around blogs and websites.

To make a statement like “employee’s (sic) can quit” is just Republican talk – most employees cannot quit, not if they want any semblence of their life to continue.

Of course all humans want to work productively, but where in this service-misery-financialization economy do you suggest there is kind of ideal servitude going on?

Then you get nonsensical and stupid – many, many workers get hurt on the job, and without the protections of health insurance or disability insurance, they become mired in chronic pain and financial worry.

“Whining” is always the epithet from the snob, from the absurdly advantaged, who deign never to look at social reality but from their own imagined superior status-yet their own lives are characterized by rage, familial dissolution, chronic mental ill health.

You can urge the unemployed to “go boating” with you and your friends Mitt and Ann Coulter, but don’t worry, that kind of disdain for the social ills supporting the profligate lives of the boating class usually means rough seas ahead.

mike on October 28, 2012

 

slave/slÄv/

Noun:

A person who is the legal property of another and is forced to obey them.

 

Sometimes you just have to shake your head and wonder.

mi

Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde /ˈkɒŋkɔrd/ is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport (SST). It is one of only two SSTs to have entered commercial service; the other was the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.

 

Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados; it flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type's only crash in 2000, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.

 

A total of 20 aircraft were built in France and the United Kingdom; six of these were prototypes and development aircraft. Seven each were delivered to Air France and British Airways. Concorde's name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the type—unusually for an aircraft—are known simply as "Concorde", without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.

 

Early studies

 

Concorde

 

The origins of the Concorde project date to the early 1950s, when Arnold Hall, director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) asked Morien Morgan to form a committee to study the SST concept. The group met for the first time in February 1954 and delivered their first report in April 1955.

 

At the time it was known that the drag at supersonic speeds was strongly related to the span of the wing. This led to the use of very short-span, very thin rectangular wings like those seen on the control surfaces of many missiles, or in aircraft like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter or the Avro 730 that the team studied. The team outlined a baseline configuration that looked like an enlarged Avro 730, or more interestingly, almost exactly like the Lockheed CL-400 "Suntan" proposal.

 

This same short span produced very little lift at low speed, which resulted in extremely long takeoff runs and frighteningly high landing speeds. In an SST design, this would have required enormous engine power to lift off from existing runways, and to provide the fuel needed, "some horribly large aeroplanes" resulted. Based on this, the group considered the concept of an SST unfeasible, and instead suggested continued low-level studies into supersonic aerodynamics.

 

Slender deltas

 

Soon after, Dietrich Küchemann at the RAE published a series of reports on a new wing planform, known in the UK as the "slender delta" concept. Küchemann's team, including Eric Maskell and Johanna Weber, worked with the fact that delta wings can produce strong vortexes on their upper surfaces at high angles of attack. The vortex will lower the air pressure and cause lift to be greatly increased. This effect had been noticed earlier, notably by Chuck Yeager in the Convair XF-92, but its qualities had not been fully appreciated. Küchemann suggested that this was no mere curiosity, and the effect could be deliberately used to improve low speed performance.

 

Küchemann's papers changed the entire nature of supersonic design almost overnight. Although the delta had already been used on aircraft prior to this point, these designs used planforms that were not much different from a swept wing of the same span. Küchemann noted that the lift from the vortex was increased by the length of the wing it had to operate over, which suggested that the effect would be maximized by extending the wing along the fuselage as far as possible. Such a layout would still have good supersonic performance inherent to the short span, while also offering reasonable takeoff and landing speeds using vortex generation. The only downside to such a design is that the aircraft would have to take off and land very "nose high" in order to generate the required vortex lift, which led to questions about the low speed handling qualities of such a design. It would also need to have long landing gear to produce the required angles while still on the runway.

 

Küchemann presented the idea at a meeting where Morgan was also present. Eric Brown recalls Morgan's reaction to the presentation, saying that he immediately seized on it as the solution to the SST problem. Brown considers this moment as being the true birth of the Concorde project.

 

Design

 

Concorde is an ogival (also "ogee") delta-winged aircraft with four Olympus engines based on those employed in the RAF's Avro Vulcan strategic bomber. Concorde was the first airliner to have a (in this case, analogue) fly-by-wire flight-control system; the avionics of Concorde were unique because it was the first commercial aircraft to employ hybrid circuits. The principal designer for the project was Pierre Satre, with Sir Archibald Russell as his deputy.

 

Concorde pioneered the following technologies:

 

For high speed and optimisation of flight:

 

Double delta (ogee/ogival) shaped wings

Variable engine air intake system controlled by digital computers

Supercruise capability

Thrust-by-wire engines, predecessor of today’s FADEC-controlled engines

Droop-nose section for better landing visibility

For weight-saving and enhanced performance:

 

Mach 2.04 (~2,179 km/h or 1,354 mph) cruising speed for optimum fuel consumption (supersonic drag minimum although turbojet engines are more efficient at higher speed) Fuel consumption at Mach 2.0 and altitude of 60,000 feet was 4,800 gallons per hour.

Mainly aluminium construction for low weight and conventional manufacture (higher speeds would have ruled out aluminium)

Full-regime autopilot and autothrottle allowing "hands off" control of the aircraft from climb out to landing

Fully electrically controlled analogue fly-by-wire flight controls systems

High-pressure hydraulic system of 28 MPa (4,000 lbf/in²) for lighter hydraulic components

Complex Air Data Computer (ADC) for the automated monitoring and transmission of aerodynamic measurements (total pressure, static pressure, angle of attack, side-slip).

Fully electrically controlled analogue brake-by-wire system

Pitch trim by shifting fuel around the fuselage for centre-of-gravity control

Parts made using "sculpture milling", reducing the part count while saving weight and adding strength.

No auxiliary power unit, as Concorde would only visit large airports where ground air start carts are available.

 

Engines

 

Concorde's intake system

 

Concorde needed to fly long distances to be economically viable; this required high efficiency. Turbofan engines were rejected due to their larger cross-section producing excessive drag. Turbojets were found to be the best choice of engines. The engine used was the twin spool Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593, a development of the Bristol engine first used for the Avro Vulcan bomber, and developed into an afterburning supersonic variant for the BAC TSR-2 strike bomber. Rolls-Royce's own engine proposed for the aircraft at the time of Concorde's initial design was the RB.169.

 

The aircraft used reheat (afterburners) at takeoff and to pass through the upper transonic regime and to supersonic speeds, between Mach 0.95 and Mach 1.7. The afterburners were switched off at all other times. Due to jet engines being highly inefficient at low speeds, Concorde burned two tonnes of fuel (almost 2% of the maximum fuel load) taxiing to the runway. Fuel used is Jet A-1. Due to the high power produced even with the engines at idle, only the two outer engines were run after landing for easier taxiing.

 

The intake design for Concorde’s engines was especially critical.[Conventional jet engines can take in air at only around Mach 0.5; therefore the air has to be slowed from the Mach 2.0 airspeed that enters the engine intake. In particular, Concorde needed to control the shock waves that this reduction in speed generates to avoid damage to the engines. This was done by a pair of intake ramps and an auxiliary spill door, whose position moved in-flight to slow transiting air.

 

Engine failure causes problems on conventional subsonic aircraft; not only does the aircraft lose thrust on that side but the engine creates drag, causing the aircraft to yaw and bank in the direction of the failed engine. If this had happened to Concorde at supersonic speeds, it theoretically could have caused a catastrophic failure of the airframe. Although computer simulations predicted considerable problems, in practice Concorde could shut down both engines on the same side of the aircraft at Mach 2 without the predicted difficulties. During an engine failure the required air intake is virtually zero so, on Concorde, engine failure was countered by the opening of the auxiliary spill door and the full extension of the ramps, which deflected the air downwards past the engine, gaining lift and minimising drag. Concorde pilots were routinely trained to handle double engine failure.

 

Heating issues

 

Air compression on the outer surfaces caused the cabin to heat up during flight. Every surface, such as windows and panels, was warm to the touch by end of the flight. Besides engines, the hottest part of the structure of any supersonic aircraft, due to aerodynamic heating, is the nose. The engineers used Hiduminium R.R. 58, an aluminium alloy, throughout the aircraft due to its familiarity, cost and ease of construction. The highest temperature that aluminium could sustain over the life of the aircraft was 127 °C (261 °F), which limited the top speed to Mach 2.02. Concorde went through two cycles of heating and cooling during a flight, first cooling down as it gained altitude, then heating up after going supersonic. The reverse happened when descending and slowing down. This had to be factored into the metallurgical and fatigue modelling. A test rig was built that repeatedly heated up a full-size section of the wing, and then cooled it, and periodically samples of metal were taken for testing. The Concorde airframe was designed for a life of 45,000 flying hours.

 

Owing to air friction as the plane travelled at supersonic speed, the fuselage would heat up and expand by as much as 300 mm (almost 1 ft). The most obvious manifestation of this was a gap that opened up on the flight deck between the flight engineer's console and the bulkhead. On some aircraft that conducted a retiring supersonic flight, the flight engineers placed their caps in this expanded gap, wedging the cap when it shrank again. To keep the cabin cool, Concorde used the fuel as a heat sink for the heat from the air conditioning. The same method also cooled the hydraulics. During supersonic flight the surfaces forward from the cockpit became heated, and a visor was used to deflect much of this heat from directly reaching the cockpit.

 

Concorde had livery restrictions; the majority of the surface had to be covered with a highly reflective white paint to avoid overheating the aluminium structure due to heating effects from supersonic flight at Mach 2. The white finish reduced the skin temperature by 6 to 11 degrees Celsius. In 1996, Air France briefly painted F-BTSD in a predominantly blue livery, with the exception of the wings, in a promotional deal with Pepsi. In this paint scheme, Air France were advised to remain at Mach 2 for no more than 20 minutes at a time, but there was no restriction at speeds under Mach 1.7. F-BTSD was used because it was not scheduled for any long flights that required extended Mach 2 operations.

 

Structural issues

 

Fuel pitch trim

 

Due to the high speeds at which Concorde travelled, large forces were applied to the aircraft's structure during banks and turns. This caused twisting and the distortion of the aircraft’s structure. In addition there were concerns over maintaining precise control at supersonic speeds; both of these issues were resolved by active ratio changes between the inboard and outboard elevons, varying at differing speeds including supersonic. Only the innermost elevons, which are attached to the stiffest area of the wings, were active at high speed. Additionally, the narrow fuselage meant that the aircraft flexed. This was visible from the rear passengers’ viewpoints.

 

When any aircraft passes the critical mach of that particular airframe, the centre of pressure shifts rearwards. This causes a pitch down force on the aircraft if the centre of mass remains where it was. The engineers designed the wings in a specific manner to reduce this shift, but there was still a shift of about 2 metres. This could have been countered by the use of trim controls, but at such high speeds this would have caused a dramatic increase in the drag on the aircraft. Instead, the distribution of fuel along the aircraft was shifted during acceleration and deceleration to move the centre of mass, effectively acting as an auxiliary trim control.

 

Range

 

In order to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, Concorde was developed to have the greatest supersonic range of any aircraft. This was achieved by a combination of engines which were highly efficient at supersonic speeds, a slender fuselage with high fineness ratio, and a complex wing shape for a high lift to drag ratio. This also required carrying only a modest payload and a high fuel capacity, and the aircraft was trimmed with precision to avoid unnecessary drag.

 

Nevertheless, soon after Concorde began flying, a Concorde "B" model was designed with slightly larger fuel capacity and slightly larger wings with leading edge slats to improve aerodynamic performance at all speeds, with the objective of expanding the range to reach markets in new regions. It featured more powerful engines with sound deadening and without the fuel-hungry and noisy reheat. It was speculated that it was reasonably possible to create an engine with up to 25% gain in efficiency over the Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593. This would have given 500 mi (805 km) additional range and a greater payload, making new commercial routes possible. This was cancelled due in part to poor sales of Concorde, but also to the rising cost of aviation fuel in the 1970s.

 

Droop Nose

 

Concorde’s drooping nose, developed by Marshall Aerospace, enabled the aircraft to switch between being streamlined to reduce drag and achieve optimum aerodynamic efficiency, and not obstructing the pilot's view during taxi, takeoff, and landing operations. Due to the high angle of attack the long pointed nose obstructed the view and necessitated the capability to droop. The droop nose was accompanied by a moving visor that retracted into the nose prior to being lowered. When the nose was raised to horizontal, the visor would rise in front of the cockpit windscreen for aerodynamic streamlining.

 

A controller in the cockpit allowed the visor to be retracted and the nose to be lowered to 5° below the standard horizontal position for taxiing and takeoff. Following takeoff and after clearing the airport, the nose and visor were raised. Prior to landing, the visor was again retracted and the nose lowered to 12.5° below horizontal for maximum visibility. Upon landing the nose was raised to the five-degree position to avoid the possibility of damage.

 

The Federal Aviation Administration had objected to the restrictive visibility of the visor used on the first two prototype Concordes and thus requiring alteration before the FAA would permit Concorde to serve US airports; this led to the redesigned visor used on the production and the four pre-production aircraft. The nose window and visor glass needed to endure temperatures in excess of 100 °C (212 °F) at supersonic flight were developed by Triplex.

 

Retirement

 

Concorde's final flight; G-BOAF from Heathrow to Bristol, on 26 November 2003. The extremely high fineness ratio of the fuselage is evident.

On 10 April 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced that they would retire Concorde later that year. They cited low passenger numbers following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and rising maintenance costs. Although Concorde was technologically advanced when introduced in the 1970s, 30 years later, its analogue cockpit was dated. There had been little commercial pressure to upgrade Concorde due to a lack of competing aircraft, unlike other airliners of the same era such as the Boeing 747. By its retirement, it was the last aircraft in British Airways' fleet that had a flight engineer; other aircraft, such as the modernised 747-400, had eliminated the role.

 

On 11 April 2003, Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson announced that the company was interested in purchasing British Airways’ Concorde fleet for their nominal original price of £1 (US$1.57 in April 2003) each. British Airways dismissed the idea, prompting Virgin to increase their offer to £1 million each. Branson claimed that when BA was privatised, a clause in the agreement required them to allow another British airline to operate Concorde if BA ceased to do so, but the Government denied the existence of such a clause. In October 2003, Branson wrote in The Economist that his final offer was "over £5 million" and that he had intended to operate the fleet "for many years to come". The chances for keeping Concorde in service were stifled by Airbus's lack of support for continued maintenance.

 

It has been suggested that Concorde was not withdrawn for the reasons usually given but that it became apparent during the grounding of Concorde that the airlines could make more profit carrying first class passengers subsonically. A lack of commitment to Concorde from Director of Engineering Alan MacDonald was cited as having undermined BA’s resolve to continue operating Concorde.

 

Air France

 

Air France made its final commercial Concorde landing in the United States in New York City from Paris on 30 May 2003. Air France's final Concorde flight took place on 27 June 2003 when F-BVFC retired to Toulouse.

 

An auction of Concorde parts and memorabilia for Air France was held at Christie's in Paris on 15 November 2003; 1,300 people attended, and several lots exceeded their predicted values. French Concorde F-BVFC was retired to Toulouse and kept functional for a short time after the end of service, in case taxi runs were required in support of the French judicial enquiry into the 2000 crash. The aircraft is now fully retired and no longer functional.

 

French Concorde F-BTSD has been retired to the "Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace" at Le Bourget (near Paris) and, unlike the other museum Concordes, a few of the systems are being kept functional. For instance, the famous "droop nose" can still be lowered and raised. This led to rumours that they could be prepared for future flights for special occasions.

 

French Concorde F-BVFB currently rests at the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim at Sinsheim, Germany, after its last flight from Paris to Baden-Baden, followed by a spectacular transport to Sinsheim via barge and road. The museum also has a Tu-144 on display – this is the only place where both supersonic airliners can be seen together.

 

British Airways[edit]

 

BA Concorde G-BOAB in storage at London Heathrow Airport. This aircraft flew for 22,296 hours between its first flight in 1976 and its final flight in 2000.

 

BA Concorde G-BOAC in its hangar at Manchester Airport Aviation Viewing Park]]

British Airways conducted a North American farewell tour in October 2003. G-BOAG visited Toronto Pearson International Airport on 1 October, after which it flew to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. G-BOAD visited Boston’s Logan International Airport on 8 October, and G-BOAG visited Washington Dulles International Airport on 14 October. It has been claimed that G-BOAD’s flight from London Heathrow to Boston set a transatlantic flight record of 3 hours, 5 minutes, 34 seconds. However the fastest transatlantic flight was from New York JFK airport to Heathrow on 7 February 1996, taking 2 hours, 52 minutes, 59 seconds; 90 seconds less than a record set in April 1990.

 

In a week of farewell flights around the United Kingdom, Concorde visited Birmingham on 20 October, Belfast on 21 October, Manchester on 22 October, Cardiff on 23 October, and Edinburgh on 24 October. Each day the aircraft made a return flight out and back into Heathrow to the cities, often overflying them at low altitude. On 22 October, both Concorde flight BA9021C, a special from Manchester, and BA002 from New York landed simultaneously on both of Heathrow's runways. On 23 October 2003, the Queen consented to the illumination of Windsor Castle, an honour reserved for state events and visiting dignitaries, as Concorde's last west-bound commercial flight departed London.

 

British Airways retired its Concorde fleet on 24 October 2003. G-BOAG left New York to a fanfare similar to that given for Air France’s F-BTSD, while two more made round trips, G-BOAF over the Bay of Biscay, carrying VIP guests including former Concorde pilots, and G-BOAE to Edinburgh. The three aircraft then circled over London, having received special permission to fly at low altitude, before landing in sequence at Heathrow. The captain of the New York to London flight was Mike Bannister. The final flight of a Concorde in the US occurred on 5 November 2003 when G-BOAG flew from New York's Kennedy Airport to Seattle's Boeing Field to join the Museum of Flight's permanent collection. The plane was piloted by Mike Bannister and Les Broadie who claimed a flight time of three hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds, a record between the two cities. The museum had been pursuing a Concorde for their collection since 1984. The final flight of a Concorde world-wide took place on 26 November 2003 with a landing at Filton, Bristol, UK.

 

All of BA's Concorde fleet have been grounded, drained of hydraulic fluid and their airworthiness certificates withdrawn. Jock Lowe, ex-chief Concorde pilot and manager of the fleet estimated in 2004 that it would cost £10–15 million to make G-BOAF airworthy again. BA maintain ownership and have stated that they will not fly again due to a lack of support from Airbus. On 1 December 2003, Bonhams held an auction of British Airways’ Concorde artifacts, including a nose cone, at Kensington Olympia in London. Proceeds of around £750,000 were raised, with the majority going to charity. G-BOAD is currently on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. In 2007, BA announced that the advertising spot at Heathrow where a 40% scale model of Concorde was located would not be retained; the model is now on display at the Brooklands Museum.

 

Chrysler Concorde (1998)

 

The Concorde was completely redesigned for the 1998 model year. The new design was similar to the new Chrysler LHS, however the two models each had a unique front end shape and different rear fascias. The "Second Generation" design was introduced in 1996 as the Chrysler LHX Concept Car. This concept vehicle had large 20" wheels, and a centrally located instrument cluster. The wheelbase was expanded to 124 inches (3,100 mm) to allow for rear passenger supplement restraints, rear occupant entertainment center and storage compartment.

 

Despite overall length increasing by 7.5 inches (190 mm), the second generation's weight dropped by nearly a hundred pounds. This was achieved by extensive use of aluminum for the rear suspension, hood, as well as the two new engines. In addition the 214 hp (160 kW) 3.5-liter V6 engine, there was also a new 200 hp (149 kW) 2.7-liter V6 and 225 hp (168 kW) 3.2-liter V6. The 3.5-liter was redone and output upgraded to 253 hp (189 kW) and was available on the 2002-2004 Concorde Limited (formerly LHS).

 

Much was done in the design process to make the second generation LH sedans look more distinct from each other. The 1998 Concorde differed far greater from the Dodge Intrepid and the new 1999 Chrysler 300M (successor to the Eagle Vision), than did the first generation models. With the exception of the doors and roof, the Concorde shared little sheetmetal with the Intrepid and 300M. The new Concorde's front end was underscored by a striking full-width grille, relocated to the front bumper to give the impression of a bottom breather. Sweeping curves and a more rounded front end also helped set the Concorde apart from the Intrepid and 300M. The second generation Chrysler LHS had an appearance very similar to the Concorde; The only major differences being its more centrally located single frame grille and amber turn signals on the taillights.

 

As in the previous generation, six passenger seating with a front bench seat and column shifter was optional. Cloth seating was standard on base LX with leather seating optional. Leather was standard on upscale LXi and later Limited models.

 

The Concorde, 300M, and Intrepid were discontinued in 2004. The all-new Chrysler 300 replaced the Concorde (and 300M) in late 2004 as a 2005 model.

 

The Concorde 2nd generation replaced the first generation car (launched in 1991), itself derived from the AMC division Eagle Premier (and Dodge Monaco). Interestingly, these two AMC products were directly related to the then-new Renault 25 and inherited the Renault north-south installation of the powertrains, with the engine mounted ahead of, and driving, the front axle. This layout is very similar to that used in the larger Audis, thus permitting the installation of a all-wheel-drive system for added traction, though there were no volume models of either the AMC division cars, or the latter LHS platform Chryslers that used this system.

 

Notes on each of the aircraft Concorde and automotive Concorde are taken from excerpts published on Wikipedia.

 

The two models shown here, the Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde and the second generation Chrysler Corcorde have been designed in Lego. The aircraft in approximately 1:50 scale,a nd the car in miniland (1:21) scale for Flickr LUGNuts 79th Build Challenge, - "LUGNuts goes Wingnuts" - featuring automotive models named after, inspired by, or related to aircraft.

Pasted from Wikipedia: Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey

 

• • • • •

 

The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is a multi-mission, military, tiltrotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

 

The V-22 originated from the U.S. Department of Defense Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. It was developed jointly by the Bell Helicopter, and Boeing Helicopters team, known as Bell Boeing, which produce the aircraft.[4] The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began years of flight testing and design alterations.

 

The United States Marine Corps began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007. The Osprey's other operator, the U.S. Air Force fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Contents

 

1 Development

•• 1.1 Early development

•• 1.2 Flight testing and design changes

•• 1.3 Controversy

•• 1.4 Recent development

2 Design

3 Operational history

•• 3.1 US Marine Corps

•• 3.2 US Air Force

•• 3.3 Potential operators

4 Variants

5 Operators

6 Notable accidents

7 Specifications (MV-22B)

8 Notable appearances in media

9 See also

10 References

11 External links

 

Development

 

Early development

 

The failure of the Iran hostage rescue mission in 1980 demonstrated to the United States military a need[5] for "a new type of aircraft, that could not only take off and land vertically but also could carry combat troops, and do so at speed."[6] The U.S. Department of Defense began the Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program in 1981, under U.S. Army leadership. Later the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps took the lead.[7][8] The JVX combined requirements from the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army and Navy.[9][10] A request for proposals (RFP) was issued in December 1982 for JVX preliminary design work. Interest in the program was expressed by Aérospatiale, Bell Helicopter, Boeing Vertol, Grumman, Lockheed, and Westland. The DoD pushed for contractors to form teams. Bell partnered with Boeing Vertol. The Bell Boeing team submitted a proposal for a enlarged version of the Bell XV-15 prototype on 17 February 1983. This was the only proposal received and a preliminary design contract was awarded on 26 April 1983.[11][12]

 

The JVX aircraft was designated V-22 Osprey on 15 January 1985; by March that same year the first six prototypes were being produced, and Boeing Vertol was expanded to deal with the project workload.[13][14] Work has been split evenly between Bell and Boeing. Bell Helicopter manufactures and integrates the wing, nacelles, rotors, drive system, tail surfaces, and aft ramp, as well as integrates the Rolls-Royce engines and performs final assembly. Boeing Helicopters manufactures and integrates the fuselage, cockpit, avionics, and flight controls.[4][15] The USMC variant of the Osprey received the MV-22 designation and the Air Force variant received CV-22; reversed from normal procedure to prevent Marine Ospreys from having a conflicting designation with aircraft carriers (CV).[16] Full-scale development of the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft began in 1986.[2] On 3 May 1986 the Bell-Boeing partnership was awarded a $1.714 billion contract for V-22 aircraft by the Navy, thus at this point the project had acquisition plans with all four arms of the U.S. military.[17]

 

The first V-22 was rolled out with significant media attention in May 1988.[18][19] However the project suffered several political blows. Firstly in the same year, the Army left the program, citing a need to focus its budget on more immediate aviation programs.[20] The project also faced considerable dialogue in the Senate, surviving two votes that both could have resulted in cancellation.[21][22] Despite the Senate's decision, the Department of Defense instructed the Navy not to spend more money on the Osprey.[23] At the same time, the Bush administration sought the cancellation of the project.[23]

 

Flight testing and design changes

 

The first of six MV-22 prototypes first flew on 19 March 1989 in the helicopter mode,[24] and on 14 September 1989 as a fixed-wing plane.[25] The third and fourth prototypes successfully completed the Osprey's first Sea Trials on the USS Wasp in December 1990.[26] However, the fourth and fifth prototypes crashed in 1991-92.[27] Flight tests were resumed in August 1993 after changes were incorporated in the prototypes.[2] From October 1992 until April 1993, Bell and Boeing redesigned the V-22 to reduce empty weight, simplify manufacture and reduce production costs. This redesigned version became the B-model.[28]

 

Flight testing of four full-scale development V-22s began in early 1997 when the first pre-production V-22 was delivered to the Naval Air Warfare Test Center, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The first EMD flight took place on 5 February 1997. The first of four low rate initial production aircraft, ordered on 28 April 1997, was delivered on 27 May 1999. Osprey number 10 completed the program's second Sea Trials, this time from the USS Saipan in January 1999.[2] During external load testing in April 1999, Boeing used a V-22 to lift and transport the M777 howitzer.[29] In 2000, Boeing announced that the V-22 would be fitted with a nose-mounted GAU-19 Gatling gun,[30] but the GAU-19 gun was later canceled.[31]

 

In 2000, there were two further fatal crashes, killing a total of 19 Marines, and the production was again halted while the cause of these crashes was investigated and various parts were redesigned.[32] The V-22 completed its final operational evaluation in June 2005. The evaluation was deemed successful; events included long range deployments, high altitude, desert and shipboard operations. The problems identified in various accidents had been addressed.[33]

 

Controversy

 

The V-22's development process has been long and controversial, partly due to its large cost increases.[34] When the development budget, first planned for $2.5 billion in 1986, increased to a projected $30 billion in 1988, then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney tried to zero out its funding. He was eventually overruled by Congress.[32] As of 2008, $27 billion have been spent on the Osprey program and another $27.2 billion will be required to complete planned production numbers by the end of the program.[2]

 

The V-22 squadron's former commander at Marine Corps Air Station New River, Lt. Colonel Odin Lieberman, was relieved of duty in 2001 after allegations that he instructed his unit that they needed to falsify maintenance records to make the plane appear more reliable.[2][35] Three officers were later implicated in the falsification scandal.[34]

 

The aircraft is incapable of autorotation, and is therefore unable to land safely in helicopter mode if both engines fail. A director of the Pentagon's testing office in 2005 said that if the Osprey loses power while flying like a helicopter below 1,600 feet (490 m), emergency landings "are not likely to be survivable". But Captain Justin (Moon) McKinney, a V-22 pilot, says that this will not be a problem, "We can turn it into a plane and glide it down, just like a C-130".[31] A complete loss of power would require the failure of both engines, as a drive shaft connects the nacelles through the wing; one engine can power both proprotors.[36] While vortex ring state (VRS) contributed to a deadly V-22 accident, the aircraft is less susceptible to the condition than conventional helicopters and recovers more quickly.[5] The Marines now train new pilots in the recognition of and recovery from VRS and have instituted operational envelope limits and instrumentation to help pilots avoid VRS conditions.[32][37]

 

It was planned in 2000 to equip all V-22s with a nose-mounted Gatling gun, to provide "the V-22 with a strong defensive firepower capability to greatly increase the aircraft's survivability in hostile actions."[30] The nose gun project was canceled however, leading to criticism by retired Marine Corps Commandant General James L. Jones, who is not satisfied with the current V-22 armament.[31] A belly-mounted turret was later installed on some of the first V-22s sent to the War in Afghanistan in 2009.[38]

 

With the first combat deployment of the MV-22 in October 2007, Time Magazine ran an article condemning the aircraft as unsafe, overpriced, and completely inadequate.[31] The Marine Corps, however, responded with the assertion that much of the article's data were dated, obsolete, inaccurate, and reflected expectations that ran too high for any new field of aircraft.[39]

 

Recent development

 

On 28 September 2005, the Pentagon formally approved full-rate production for the V-22.[40] The plan is to boost production from 11 a year to between 24 and 48 a year by 2012. Of the 458 total planned, 360 are for the Marine Corps, 48 for the Navy, and 50 for the Air Force at an average cost of $110 million per aircraft, including development costs.[2] The V-22 had an incremental flyaway cost of $70 million per aircraft in 2007,[3] but the Navy hopes to shave about $10 million off that cost after a five-year production contract starts in 2008.[41]

 

The Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, Texas will design a new integrated avionics processor to resolve electronics obsolescence issues and add new network capabilities.[42]

 

Design

 

The Osprey is the world's first production tiltrotor aircraft, with one three-bladed proprotor, turboprop engine, and transmission nacelle mounted on each wingtip. It is classified as a powered lift aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration.[43] For takeoff and landing, it typically operates as a helicopter with the nacelles vertical (rotors horizontal). Once airborne, the nacelles rotate forward 90° in as little as 12 seconds for horizontal flight, converting the V-22 to a more fuel-efficient, higher-speed turboprop airplane. STOL rolling-takeoff and landing capability is achieved by having the nacelles tilted forward up to 45°. For compact storage and transport, the V-22's wing rotates to align, front-to-back, with the fuselage. The proprotors can also fold in a sequence taking 90 seconds.[44]

 

Most Osprey missions will use fixed wing flight 75 percent or more of the time, reducing wear and tear on the aircraft and reducing operational costs.[45] This fixed wing flight is higher than typical helicopter missions allowing longer range line-of-sight communications and so improved command and control.[2] Boeing has stated the V-22 design loses 10% of its vertical lift over a Tiltwing design when operating in helicopter mode because of airflow resistance due to the wings, but that the Tiltrotor design has better short takeoff and landing performance.[46]

 

The V-22 is equipped with a glass cockpit, which incorporates four Multi-function displays (MFDs) and one shared Central Display Unit (CDU), allowing the pilots to display a variety of images including: digimaps centered or decentered on current position, FLIR imagery, primary flight instruments, navigation (TACAN, VOR, ILS, GPS, INS), and system status. The flight director panel of the Cockpit Management System (CMS) allows for fully-coupled (aka: autopilot) functions which will take the aircraft from forward flight into a 50-foot hover with no pilot interaction other than programming the system.[47] The glass cockpit of the canceled CH-46X was derived from the V-22.[48]

 

The V-22 is a fly-by-wire aircraft with triple-redundant flight control systems.[49] With the nacelles pointing straight up in conversion mode at 90° the flight computers command the aircraft to fly like a helicopter, with cyclic forces being applied to a conventional swashplate at the rotor hub. With the nacelles in airplane mode (0°) the flaperons, rudder, and elevator fly the aircraft like an airplane. This is a gradual transition and occurs over the rotation range of the nacelles. The lower the nacelles, the greater effect of the airplane-mode control surfaces.[50] The nacelles can rotate past vertical to 97.5° for rearward flight.[51][52]

 

The Osprey can be armed with one M240 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 in caliber) or M2 .50 in caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun on the loading ramp, that can be fired rearward when the ramp is lowered. A GAU-19 three-barrel .50 in gatling gun mounted below the V-22's nose has also been studied for future upgrade.[31][53] BAE Systems developed a remotely operated turreted weapons system for the V-22,[54] which was installed on half of the first V-22s deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.[38] The 7.62 mm belly gun turret is remotely operated by a gunner inside the aircraft, who acquires targets with a separate pod using color television and forward looking infrared imagery.

 

U.S. Naval Air Systems Command is working on upgrades to increase the maximum speed from 250 knots (460 km/h; 290 mph) to 270 knots (500 km/h; 310 mph), increase helicopter mode altitude limit from 10,000 feet (3,000 m) to 12,000 feet (3,700 m) or 14,000 feet (4,300 m), and increase lift performance.[55]

 

Operational history

 

US Marine Corps

 

Marine Corps crew training on the Osprey has been conducted by VMMT-204 since March 2000. On 3 June 2005, the Marine Corps helicopter squadron Marine Medium Helicopter 263 (HMM-263), stood down to begin the process of transitioning to the MV-22 Osprey.[56] On 8 December 2005, Lieutenant General Amos, commander of the II MEF, accepted the delivery of the first fleet of MV-22s, delivered to HMM-263. The unit reactivated on 3 March 2006 as the first MV-22 squadron and was redesignated VMM-263. On 31 August 2006, VMM-162 (the former HMM-162) followed suit. On 23 March 2007, HMM-266 became Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (VMM-266) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.[57]

 

The Osprey has been replacing existing CH-46 Sea Knight squadrons.[58] The MV-22 reached initial operational capability (IOC) with the U.S. Marine Corps on 13 June 2007.[1] On 10 July 2007 an MV-22 Osprey landed aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious in the Atlantic Ocean. This marked the first time a V-22 had landed on any non-U.S. vessel.[59]

 

On 13 April 2007, the U.S. Marine Corps announced that it would be sending ten V-22 aircraft to Iraq, the Osprey's first combat deployment. Marine Corps Commandant, General James Conway, indicated that over 150 Marines would accompany the Osprey set for September deployment to Al-Asad Airfield.[60][61] On 17 September 2007, ten MV-22Bs of VMM-263 left for Iraq aboard the USS Wasp. The decision to use a ship rather than use the Osprey's self-deployment capability was made because of concerns over icing during the North Atlantic portion of the trip, lack of available KC-130s for mid-air refueling, and the availability of the USS Wasp.[62]

 

The Osprey has provided support in Iraq, racking up some 2,000 flight hours over three months with a mission capable availability rate of 68.1% as of late-January 2008.[63] They are primarily used in Iraq's western Anbar province for routine cargo and troop movements, and also for riskier "aero-scout" missions. General David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, used one to fly around Iraq on Christmas Day 2007 to visit troops.[64] Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama also flew in Ospreys during his high profile 2008 tour of Iraq.[65]

 

The only major problem has been obtaining the necessary spare parts to maintain the aircraft.[66] The V-22 had flown 3,000 sorties totaling 5,200 hours in Iraq as of July 2008.[67] USMC leadership expect to deploy MV-22s to Afghanistan in 2009.[66][68] General George J. Trautman, III praised the increased range of the V-22 over the legacy helicopters in Iraq and said that "it turned his battle space from the size of Texas into the size of Rhode Island."[69]

 

Naval Air Systems Command has devised a temporary fix for sailors to place portable heat shields under Osprey engines to prevent damage to the decks of some of the Navy's smaller amphibious ships, but they determined that a long term solution to the problem would require these decks be redesigned with heat resistant deck coatings, passive thermal barriers and changes in ship structure in order to operate V-22s and F-35Bs.[70]

 

A Government Accountability Office study reported that by January 2009 the Marines had 12 MV-22s operating in Iraq and they managed to successfully complete all assigned missions. The same report found that the V-22 deployments had mission capable rates averaging 57% to 68% and an overall full mission capable rate of only 6%. It also stated that the aircraft had shown weakness in situational awareness, maintenance, shipboard operations and the ability to transport troops and external cargo.[71] That study also concluded that the "deployments confirmed that the V-22’s enhanced speed and range enable personnel and internal cargo to be transported faster and farther than is possible with the legacy helicopters it is replacing".[71]

 

The MV-22 saw its first offensive combat mission, Operation Cobra's Anger on 4 December 2009. Ospreys assisted in inserting 1,000 Marines and 150 Afghan troops into the Now Zad Valley of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan to disrupt communication and supply lines of the Taliban.[38] In January 2010 the MV-22 Osprey is being sent to Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response relief efforts after the earthquake there. This will be the first use the Marine V-22 in a humanitarian mission.[72]

 

US Air Force

 

The Air Force's first operational CV-22 Osprey was delivered to the 58th Special Operations Wing (58th SOW) at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico on 20 March 2006. This and subsequent aircraft will become part of the 58th SOW's fleet of aircraft used for training pilots and crew members for special operations use.[73] On 16 November 2006, the Air Force officially accepted the CV-22 in a ceremony conducted at Hurlburt Field, Florida.[74]

 

The US Air Force's first operational deployment of the Osprey sent four CV-22s to Mali in November 2008 in support of Exercise Flintlock. The CV-22s flew nonstop from Hurlburt Field, Florida with in-flight refueling.[5] AFSOC declared that the 8th Special Operations Squadron reached Initial Operational Capability on 16 March 2009, with six of its planned nine CV-22s operational.[75]

 

In June 2009, CV-22s of the 8th Special Operations Squadron delivered 43,000 pounds (20,000 kg) of humanitarian supplies to remote villages in Honduras that were not accessible by conventional vehicles.[76] In November 2009, the 8th SO Squadron and its six CV-22s returned from a three-month deployment in Iraq.[77]

 

The first possible combat loss of an Osprey occurred on 9 April, 2010, as a CV-22 went down near Qalat, Zabul Province, Afghanistan, killing four.[78][79]

 

Potential operators

 

In 1999 the V-22 was studied for use in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy,[80] it has been raised several times as a candidate for the role of Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control (MASC).[81]

 

Israel had shown interest in the purchase of MV-22s, but no order was placed.[82][83] Flightglobal reported in late 2009 that Israel has decided to wait for the CH-53K instead.[84]

 

The V-22 Osprey is a candidate for the Norwegian All Weather Search and Rescue Helicopter (NAWSARH) that is planned to replace the Westland Sea King Mk.43B of the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 2015.[85] The other candidates for the NAWSARH contract of 10-12 helicopters are AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin, Eurocopter EC225, NHIndustries NH90 and Sikorsky S-92.[86]

 

Bell Boeing has made an unsolicited offer of the V-22 for US Army medical evacuation needs.[87] However the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency issued a report that said that a common helicopter design would be needed for both combat recovery and medical evacuation and that the V-22 would not be suitable for recovery missions because of the difficulty of hoist operations and lack of self-defense capabilities.[88]

 

The US Navy remains a potential user of the V-22, but its role and mission with the Navy remains unclear. The latest proposal is to replace the C-2 Greyhound with the V-22 in the fleet logistics role. The V-22 would have the advantage of being able to land on and support non-carriers with rapid delivery of supplies and people between the ships of a taskforce or to ships on patrol beyond helicopter range.[89] Loren B. Thompson of the Lexington Institute has suggested V-22s for use in combat search and rescue and Marine One VIP transport, which also need replacement aircraft.[90]

 

Variants

  

V-22A 

•• Pre-production full-scale development aircraft used for flight testing. These are unofficially considered A-variants after 1993 redesign.[91]

  

HV-22 

•• The U.S. Navy considered an HV-22 to provide combat search and rescue, delivery and retrieval of special warfare teams along with fleet logistic support transport. However, it chose the MH-60S for this role in 1992.[92]

  

SV-22 

•• The proposed anti-submarine warfare Navy variant. The Navy studied the SV-22 in the 1980s to replace S-3 and SH-2 aircraft.[93]

  

MV-22B 

•• Basic U.S. Marine Corps transport; original requirement for 552 (now 360). The Marine Corps is the lead service in the development of the V-22 Osprey. The Marine Corps variant, the MV-22B, is an assault transport for troops, equipment and supplies, capable of operating from ships or from expeditionary airfields ashore. It is replacing the Marine Corps' CH-46E[57] and CH-53D.[94]

  

CV-22B 

•• Air Force variant for the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). It will conduct long-range, special operations missions, and is equipped with extra fuel tanks and terrain-following radar.[95][96]

 

Operators

 

 United States

 

United States Air Force

 

•• 8th Special Operations Squadron (8 SOS) at Hurlburt Field, Florida

•• 71st Special Operations Squadron (71 SOS) at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico

•• 20th Special Operations Squadron (20 SOS) at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico

 

United States Marine Corps

 

•• VMM-161

•• VMM-162

•• VMM-261

•• VMM-263

•• VMM-264

•• VMM-266

•• VMM-365

•• VMMT-204 - Training squadron

•• VMX-22 - Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron

 

Notable accidents

 

Main article: Accidents and incidents involving the V-22 Osprey

 

From 1991 to 2000 there were four significant crashes, and a total of 30 fatalities, during testing.[32] Since becoming operational in 2007, the V-22 has had one possible combat loss due to an unknown cause, no losses due to accidents, and seven other notable, but minor, incidents.

 

• On 11 June 1991, a mis-wired flight control system led to two minor injuries when the left nacelle struck the ground while the aircraft was hovering 15 feet (4.6 m) in the air, causing it to bounce and catch fire.[97]

 

• On 20 July 1992, a leaking gearbox led to a fire in the right nacelle, causing the aircraft to drop into the Potomac River in front of an audience of Congressmen and other government officials at Quantico, killing all seven on board and grounding the aircraft for 11 months.[98]

 

• On 8 April 2000, a V-22 loaded with Marines to simulate a rescue, attempted to land at Marana Northwest Regional Airport in Arizona, stalled when its right rotor entered vortex ring state, rolled over, crashed, and exploded, killing all 19 on board.[37]

 

• On 11 December 2000, after a catastrophic hydraulic leak and subsequent software instrument failure, a V-22 fell 1,600 feet (490 m) into a forest in Jacksonville, North Carolina, killing all four aboard. This caused the Marine Corps to ground their fleet of eight V-22s, the second grounding that year.[99][100]

 

Specifications (MV-22B)

 

Data from Boeing Integrated Defense Systems,[101] Naval Air Systems Command,[102] US Air Force CV-22 fact sheet,[95] Norton,[103] and Bell[104]

 

General characteristics

 

Crew: Four (pilot, copilot and two flight engineers)

Capacity: 24 troops (seated), 32 troops (floor loaded) or up to 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of cargo (dual hook)

Length: 57 ft 4 in (17.5 m)

Rotor diameter: 38 ft 0 in (11.6 m)

Wingspan: 45 ft 10 in (14 m)

Width with rotors: 84 ft 7 in (25.8 m)

Height: 22 ft 1 in/6.73 m; overall with nacelles vertical (17 ft 11 in/5.5 m; at top of tailfins)

Disc area: 2,268 ft² (212 m²)

Wing area: 301.4 ft² (28 m²)

Empty weight: 33,140 lb (15,032 kg)

Loaded weight: 47,500 lb (21,500 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 60,500 lb (27,400 kg)

Powerplant:Rolls-Royce Allison T406/AE 1107C-Liberty turboshafts, 6,150 hp (4,590 kW) each

 

Performance

 

Maximum speed: 250 knots (460 km/h, 290 mph) at sea level / 305 kn (565 km/h; 351 mph) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)[105]

Cruise speed: 241 knots (277 mph, 446 km/h) at sea level

Range: 879 nmi (1,011 mi, 1,627 km)

Combat radius: 370 nmi (426 mi, 685 km)

Ferry range: 1,940 nmi (with auxiliary internal fuel tanks)

Service ceiling: 26,000 ft (7,925 m)

Rate of climb: 2,320 ft/min (11.8 m/s)

Disc loading: 20.9 lb/ft² at 47,500 lb GW (102.23 kg/m²)

Power/mass: 0.259 hp/lb (427 W/kg)

 

Armament

 

• 1× M240 machine gun on ramp, optional

 

Notable appearances in media

 

Main article: Aircraft in fiction#V-22 Osprey

 

See also

 

Elizabeth A. Okoreeh-Baah, USMC - first female to pilot a V-22 Osprey

 

Related development

 

Bell XV-15[106]

Bell/Agusta BA609

Bell Boeing Quad TiltRotor

 

Comparable aircraft

 

Canadair CL-84

LTV XC-142

 

Related lists

 

List of military aircraft of the United States

List of VTOL aircraft

 

References

 

Bibliography

 

• Markman, Steve and Bill Holder. "Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey Tilt-Engine VTOL Transport (U.S.A.)". Straight Up: A History of Vertical Flight. Schiffer Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-7643-1204-9.

• Norton, Bill. Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, Tiltrotor Tactical Transport. Midland Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-85780-165-2.

 

External links

 

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: V-22 Osprey

 

Official Boeing V-22 site

Official Bell V-22 site

V-22 Osprey web, and www.history.navy.mil/planes/v-22.html

CV-22 fact sheet on USAF site

www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/v-22.htm

www.airforce-technology.com/projects/osprey/

Onward and Upward

"Flight of the Osprey", US Navy video of V-22 operations

Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde /ˈkɒŋkɔrd/ is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport (SST). It is one of only two SSTs to have entered commercial service; the other was the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.

 

Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados; it flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type's only crash in 2000, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.

 

A total of 20 aircraft were built in France and the United Kingdom; six of these were prototypes and development aircraft. Seven each were delivered to Air France and British Airways. Concorde's name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the type—unusually for an aircraft—are known simply as "Concorde", without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.

 

Early studies

 

Concorde

 

The origins of the Concorde project date to the early 1950s, when Arnold Hall, director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) asked Morien Morgan to form a committee to study the SST concept. The group met for the first time in February 1954 and delivered their first report in April 1955.

 

At the time it was known that the drag at supersonic speeds was strongly related to the span of the wing. This led to the use of very short-span, very thin rectangular wings like those seen on the control surfaces of many missiles, or in aircraft like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter or the Avro 730 that the team studied. The team outlined a baseline configuration that looked like an enlarged Avro 730, or more interestingly, almost exactly like the Lockheed CL-400 "Suntan" proposal.

 

This same short span produced very little lift at low speed, which resulted in extremely long takeoff runs and frighteningly high landing speeds. In an SST design, this would have required enormous engine power to lift off from existing runways, and to provide the fuel needed, "some horribly large aeroplanes" resulted. Based on this, the group considered the concept of an SST unfeasible, and instead suggested continued low-level studies into supersonic aerodynamics.

 

Slender deltas

 

Soon after, Dietrich Küchemann at the RAE published a series of reports on a new wing planform, known in the UK as the "slender delta" concept. Küchemann's team, including Eric Maskell and Johanna Weber, worked with the fact that delta wings can produce strong vortexes on their upper surfaces at high angles of attack. The vortex will lower the air pressure and cause lift to be greatly increased. This effect had been noticed earlier, notably by Chuck Yeager in the Convair XF-92, but its qualities had not been fully appreciated. Küchemann suggested that this was no mere curiosity, and the effect could be deliberately used to improve low speed performance.

 

Küchemann's papers changed the entire nature of supersonic design almost overnight. Although the delta had already been used on aircraft prior to this point, these designs used planforms that were not much different from a swept wing of the same span. Küchemann noted that the lift from the vortex was increased by the length of the wing it had to operate over, which suggested that the effect would be maximized by extending the wing along the fuselage as far as possible. Such a layout would still have good supersonic performance inherent to the short span, while also offering reasonable takeoff and landing speeds using vortex generation. The only downside to such a design is that the aircraft would have to take off and land very "nose high" in order to generate the required vortex lift, which led to questions about the low speed handling qualities of such a design. It would also need to have long landing gear to produce the required angles while still on the runway.

 

Küchemann presented the idea at a meeting where Morgan was also present. Eric Brown recalls Morgan's reaction to the presentation, saying that he immediately seized on it as the solution to the SST problem. Brown considers this moment as being the true birth of the Concorde project.

 

Design

 

Concorde is an ogival (also "ogee") delta-winged aircraft with four Olympus engines based on those employed in the RAF's Avro Vulcan strategic bomber. Concorde was the first airliner to have a (in this case, analogue) fly-by-wire flight-control system; the avionics of Concorde were unique because it was the first commercial aircraft to employ hybrid circuits. The principal designer for the project was Pierre Satre, with Sir Archibald Russell as his deputy.

 

Concorde pioneered the following technologies:

 

For high speed and optimisation of flight:

 

Double delta (ogee/ogival) shaped wings

Variable engine air intake system controlled by digital computers

Supercruise capability

Thrust-by-wire engines, predecessor of today’s FADEC-controlled engines

Droop-nose section for better landing visibility

For weight-saving and enhanced performance:

 

Mach 2.04 (~2,179 km/h or 1,354 mph) cruising speed for optimum fuel consumption (supersonic drag minimum although turbojet engines are more efficient at higher speed) Fuel consumption at Mach 2.0 and altitude of 60,000 feet was 4,800 gallons per hour.

Mainly aluminium construction for low weight and conventional manufacture (higher speeds would have ruled out aluminium)

Full-regime autopilot and autothrottle allowing "hands off" control of the aircraft from climb out to landing

Fully electrically controlled analogue fly-by-wire flight controls systems

High-pressure hydraulic system of 28 MPa (4,000 lbf/in²) for lighter hydraulic components

Complex Air Data Computer (ADC) for the automated monitoring and transmission of aerodynamic measurements (total pressure, static pressure, angle of attack, side-slip).

Fully electrically controlled analogue brake-by-wire system

Pitch trim by shifting fuel around the fuselage for centre-of-gravity control

Parts made using "sculpture milling", reducing the part count while saving weight and adding strength.

No auxiliary power unit, as Concorde would only visit large airports where ground air start carts are available.

 

Engines

 

Concorde's intake system

 

Concorde needed to fly long distances to be economically viable; this required high efficiency. Turbofan engines were rejected due to their larger cross-section producing excessive drag. Turbojets were found to be the best choice of engines. The engine used was the twin spool Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593, a development of the Bristol engine first used for the Avro Vulcan bomber, and developed into an afterburning supersonic variant for the BAC TSR-2 strike bomber. Rolls-Royce's own engine proposed for the aircraft at the time of Concorde's initial design was the RB.169.

 

The aircraft used reheat (afterburners) at takeoff and to pass through the upper transonic regime and to supersonic speeds, between Mach 0.95 and Mach 1.7. The afterburners were switched off at all other times. Due to jet engines being highly inefficient at low speeds, Concorde burned two tonnes of fuel (almost 2% of the maximum fuel load) taxiing to the runway. Fuel used is Jet A-1. Due to the high power produced even with the engines at idle, only the two outer engines were run after landing for easier taxiing.

 

The intake design for Concorde’s engines was especially critical.[Conventional jet engines can take in air at only around Mach 0.5; therefore the air has to be slowed from the Mach 2.0 airspeed that enters the engine intake. In particular, Concorde needed to control the shock waves that this reduction in speed generates to avoid damage to the engines. This was done by a pair of intake ramps and an auxiliary spill door, whose position moved in-flight to slow transiting air.

 

Engine failure causes problems on conventional subsonic aircraft; not only does the aircraft lose thrust on that side but the engine creates drag, causing the aircraft to yaw and bank in the direction of the failed engine. If this had happened to Concorde at supersonic speeds, it theoretically could have caused a catastrophic failure of the airframe. Although computer simulations predicted considerable problems, in practice Concorde could shut down both engines on the same side of the aircraft at Mach 2 without the predicted difficulties. During an engine failure the required air intake is virtually zero so, on Concorde, engine failure was countered by the opening of the auxiliary spill door and the full extension of the ramps, which deflected the air downwards past the engine, gaining lift and minimising drag. Concorde pilots were routinely trained to handle double engine failure.

 

Heating issues

 

Air compression on the outer surfaces caused the cabin to heat up during flight. Every surface, such as windows and panels, was warm to the touch by end of the flight. Besides engines, the hottest part of the structure of any supersonic aircraft, due to aerodynamic heating, is the nose. The engineers used Hiduminium R.R. 58, an aluminium alloy, throughout the aircraft due to its familiarity, cost and ease of construction. The highest temperature that aluminium could sustain over the life of the aircraft was 127 °C (261 °F), which limited the top speed to Mach 2.02. Concorde went through two cycles of heating and cooling during a flight, first cooling down as it gained altitude, then heating up after going supersonic. The reverse happened when descending and slowing down. This had to be factored into the metallurgical and fatigue modelling. A test rig was built that repeatedly heated up a full-size section of the wing, and then cooled it, and periodically samples of metal were taken for testing. The Concorde airframe was designed for a life of 45,000 flying hours.

 

Owing to air friction as the plane travelled at supersonic speed, the fuselage would heat up and expand by as much as 300 mm (almost 1 ft). The most obvious manifestation of this was a gap that opened up on the flight deck between the flight engineer's console and the bulkhead. On some aircraft that conducted a retiring supersonic flight, the flight engineers placed their caps in this expanded gap, wedging the cap when it shrank again. To keep the cabin cool, Concorde used the fuel as a heat sink for the heat from the air conditioning. The same method also cooled the hydraulics. During supersonic flight the surfaces forward from the cockpit became heated, and a visor was used to deflect much of this heat from directly reaching the cockpit.

 

Concorde had livery restrictions; the majority of the surface had to be covered with a highly reflective white paint to avoid overheating the aluminium structure due to heating effects from supersonic flight at Mach 2. The white finish reduced the skin temperature by 6 to 11 degrees Celsius. In 1996, Air France briefly painted F-BTSD in a predominantly blue livery, with the exception of the wings, in a promotional deal with Pepsi. In this paint scheme, Air France were advised to remain at Mach 2 for no more than 20 minutes at a time, but there was no restriction at speeds under Mach 1.7. F-BTSD was used because it was not scheduled for any long flights that required extended Mach 2 operations.

 

Structural issues

 

Fuel pitch trim

 

Due to the high speeds at which Concorde travelled, large forces were applied to the aircraft's structure during banks and turns. This caused twisting and the distortion of the aircraft’s structure. In addition there were concerns over maintaining precise control at supersonic speeds; both of these issues were resolved by active ratio changes between the inboard and outboard elevons, varying at differing speeds including supersonic. Only the innermost elevons, which are attached to the stiffest area of the wings, were active at high speed. Additionally, the narrow fuselage meant that the aircraft flexed. This was visible from the rear passengers’ viewpoints.

 

When any aircraft passes the critical mach of that particular airframe, the centre of pressure shifts rearwards. This causes a pitch down force on the aircraft if the centre of mass remains where it was. The engineers designed the wings in a specific manner to reduce this shift, but there was still a shift of about 2 metres. This could have been countered by the use of trim controls, but at such high speeds this would have caused a dramatic increase in the drag on the aircraft. Instead, the distribution of fuel along the aircraft was shifted during acceleration and deceleration to move the centre of mass, effectively acting as an auxiliary trim control.

 

Range

 

In order to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, Concorde was developed to have the greatest supersonic range of any aircraft. This was achieved by a combination of engines which were highly efficient at supersonic speeds, a slender fuselage with high fineness ratio, and a complex wing shape for a high lift to drag ratio. This also required carrying only a modest payload and a high fuel capacity, and the aircraft was trimmed with precision to avoid unnecessary drag.

 

Nevertheless, soon after Concorde began flying, a Concorde "B" model was designed with slightly larger fuel capacity and slightly larger wings with leading edge slats to improve aerodynamic performance at all speeds, with the objective of expanding the range to reach markets in new regions. It featured more powerful engines with sound deadening and without the fuel-hungry and noisy reheat. It was speculated that it was reasonably possible to create an engine with up to 25% gain in efficiency over the Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593. This would have given 500 mi (805 km) additional range and a greater payload, making new commercial routes possible. This was cancelled due in part to poor sales of Concorde, but also to the rising cost of aviation fuel in the 1970s.

 

Droop Nose

 

Concorde’s drooping nose, developed by Marshall Aerospace, enabled the aircraft to switch between being streamlined to reduce drag and achieve optimum aerodynamic efficiency, and not obstructing the pilot's view during taxi, takeoff, and landing operations. Due to the high angle of attack the long pointed nose obstructed the view and necessitated the capability to droop. The droop nose was accompanied by a moving visor that retracted into the nose prior to being lowered. When the nose was raised to horizontal, the visor would rise in front of the cockpit windscreen for aerodynamic streamlining.

 

A controller in the cockpit allowed the visor to be retracted and the nose to be lowered to 5° below the standard horizontal position for taxiing and takeoff. Following takeoff and after clearing the airport, the nose and visor were raised. Prior to landing, the visor was again retracted and the nose lowered to 12.5° below horizontal for maximum visibility. Upon landing the nose was raised to the five-degree position to avoid the possibility of damage.

 

The Federal Aviation Administration had objected to the restrictive visibility of the visor used on the first two prototype Concordes and thus requiring alteration before the FAA would permit Concorde to serve US airports; this led to the redesigned visor used on the production and the four pre-production aircraft. The nose window and visor glass needed to endure temperatures in excess of 100 °C (212 °F) at supersonic flight were developed by Triplex.

 

Retirement

 

Concorde's final flight; G-BOAF from Heathrow to Bristol, on 26 November 2003. The extremely high fineness ratio of the fuselage is evident.

On 10 April 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced that they would retire Concorde later that year. They cited low passenger numbers following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and rising maintenance costs. Although Concorde was technologically advanced when introduced in the 1970s, 30 years later, its analogue cockpit was dated. There had been little commercial pressure to upgrade Concorde due to a lack of competing aircraft, unlike other airliners of the same era such as the Boeing 747. By its retirement, it was the last aircraft in British Airways' fleet that had a flight engineer; other aircraft, such as the modernised 747-400, had eliminated the role.

 

On 11 April 2003, Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson announced that the company was interested in purchasing British Airways’ Concorde fleet for their nominal original price of £1 (US$1.57 in April 2003) each. British Airways dismissed the idea, prompting Virgin to increase their offer to £1 million each. Branson claimed that when BA was privatised, a clause in the agreement required them to allow another British airline to operate Concorde if BA ceased to do so, but the Government denied the existence of such a clause. In October 2003, Branson wrote in The Economist that his final offer was "over £5 million" and that he had intended to operate the fleet "for many years to come". The chances for keeping Concorde in service were stifled by Airbus's lack of support for continued maintenance.

 

It has been suggested that Concorde was not withdrawn for the reasons usually given but that it became apparent during the grounding of Concorde that the airlines could make more profit carrying first class passengers subsonically. A lack of commitment to Concorde from Director of Engineering Alan MacDonald was cited as having undermined BA’s resolve to continue operating Concorde.

 

Air France

 

Air France made its final commercial Concorde landing in the United States in New York City from Paris on 30 May 2003. Air France's final Concorde flight took place on 27 June 2003 when F-BVFC retired to Toulouse.

 

An auction of Concorde parts and memorabilia for Air France was held at Christie's in Paris on 15 November 2003; 1,300 people attended, and several lots exceeded their predicted values. French Concorde F-BVFC was retired to Toulouse and kept functional for a short time after the end of service, in case taxi runs were required in support of the French judicial enquiry into the 2000 crash. The aircraft is now fully retired and no longer functional.

 

French Concorde F-BTSD has been retired to the "Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace" at Le Bourget (near Paris) and, unlike the other museum Concordes, a few of the systems are being kept functional. For instance, the famous "droop nose" can still be lowered and raised. This led to rumours that they could be prepared for future flights for special occasions.

 

French Concorde F-BVFB currently rests at the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim at Sinsheim, Germany, after its last flight from Paris to Baden-Baden, followed by a spectacular transport to Sinsheim via barge and road. The museum also has a Tu-144 on display – this is the only place where both supersonic airliners can be seen together.

 

British Airways[edit]

 

BA Concorde G-BOAB in storage at London Heathrow Airport. This aircraft flew for 22,296 hours between its first flight in 1976 and its final flight in 2000.

 

BA Concorde G-BOAC in its hangar at Manchester Airport Aviation Viewing Park]]

British Airways conducted a North American farewell tour in October 2003. G-BOAG visited Toronto Pearson International Airport on 1 October, after which it flew to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. G-BOAD visited Boston’s Logan International Airport on 8 October, and G-BOAG visited Washington Dulles International Airport on 14 October. It has been claimed that G-BOAD’s flight from London Heathrow to Boston set a transatlantic flight record of 3 hours, 5 minutes, 34 seconds. However the fastest transatlantic flight was from New York JFK airport to Heathrow on 7 February 1996, taking 2 hours, 52 minutes, 59 seconds; 90 seconds less than a record set in April 1990.

 

In a week of farewell flights around the United Kingdom, Concorde visited Birmingham on 20 October, Belfast on 21 October, Manchester on 22 October, Cardiff on 23 October, and Edinburgh on 24 October. Each day the aircraft made a return flight out and back into Heathrow to the cities, often overflying them at low altitude. On 22 October, both Concorde flight BA9021C, a special from Manchester, and BA002 from New York landed simultaneously on both of Heathrow's runways. On 23 October 2003, the Queen consented to the illumination of Windsor Castle, an honour reserved for state events and visiting dignitaries, as Concorde's last west-bound commercial flight departed London.

 

British Airways retired its Concorde fleet on 24 October 2003. G-BOAG left New York to a fanfare similar to that given for Air France’s F-BTSD, while two more made round trips, G-BOAF over the Bay of Biscay, carrying VIP guests including former Concorde pilots, and G-BOAE to Edinburgh. The three aircraft then circled over London, having received special permission to fly at low altitude, before landing in sequence at Heathrow. The captain of the New York to London flight was Mike Bannister. The final flight of a Concorde in the US occurred on 5 November 2003 when G-BOAG flew from New York's Kennedy Airport to Seattle's Boeing Field to join the Museum of Flight's permanent collection. The plane was piloted by Mike Bannister and Les Broadie who claimed a flight time of three hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds, a record between the two cities. The museum had been pursuing a Concorde for their collection since 1984. The final flight of a Concorde world-wide took place on 26 November 2003 with a landing at Filton, Bristol, UK.

 

All of BA's Concorde fleet have been grounded, drained of hydraulic fluid and their airworthiness certificates withdrawn. Jock Lowe, ex-chief Concorde pilot and manager of the fleet estimated in 2004 that it would cost £10–15 million to make G-BOAF airworthy again. BA maintain ownership and have stated that they will not fly again due to a lack of support from Airbus. On 1 December 2003, Bonhams held an auction of British Airways’ Concorde artifacts, including a nose cone, at Kensington Olympia in London. Proceeds of around £750,000 were raised, with the majority going to charity. G-BOAD is currently on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. In 2007, BA announced that the advertising spot at Heathrow where a 40% scale model of Concorde was located would not be retained; the model is now on display at the Brooklands Museum.

 

Chrysler Concorde (1998)

 

The Concorde was completely redesigned for the 1998 model year. The new design was similar to the new Chrysler LHS, however the two models each had a unique front end shape and different rear fascias. The "Second Generation" design was introduced in 1996 as the Chrysler LHX Concept Car. This concept vehicle had large 20" wheels, and a centrally located instrument cluster. The wheelbase was expanded to 124 inches (3,100 mm) to allow for rear passenger supplement restraints, rear occupant entertainment center and storage compartment.

 

Despite overall length increasing by 7.5 inches (190 mm), the second generation's weight dropped by nearly a hundred pounds. This was achieved by extensive use of aluminum for the rear suspension, hood, as well as the two new engines. In addition the 214 hp (160 kW) 3.5-liter V6 engine, there was also a new 200 hp (149 kW) 2.7-liter V6 and 225 hp (168 kW) 3.2-liter V6. The 3.5-liter was redone and output upgraded to 253 hp (189 kW) and was available on the 2002-2004 Concorde Limited (formerly LHS).

 

Much was done in the design process to make the second generation LH sedans look more distinct from each other. The 1998 Concorde differed far greater from the Dodge Intrepid and the new 1999 Chrysler 300M (successor to the Eagle Vision), than did the first generation models. With the exception of the doors and roof, the Concorde shared little sheetmetal with the Intrepid and 300M. The new Concorde's front end was underscored by a striking full-width grille, relocated to the front bumper to give the impression of a bottom breather. Sweeping curves and a more rounded front end also helped set the Concorde apart from the Intrepid and 300M. The second generation Chrysler LHS had an appearance very similar to the Concorde; The only major differences being its more centrally located single frame grille and amber turn signals on the taillights.

 

As in the previous generation, six passenger seating with a front bench seat and column shifter was optional. Cloth seating was standard on base LX with leather seating optional. Leather was standard on upscale LXi and later Limited models.

 

The Concorde, 300M, and Intrepid were discontinued in 2004. The all-new Chrysler 300 replaced the Concorde (and 300M) in late 2004 as a 2005 model.

 

The Concorde 2nd generation replaced the first generation car (launched in 1991), itself derived from the AMC division Eagle Premier (and Dodge Monaco). Interestingly, these two AMC products were directly related to the then-new Renault 25 and inherited the Renault north-south installation of the powertrains, with the engine mounted ahead of, and driving, the front axle. This layout is very similar to that used in the larger Audis, thus permitting the installation of a all-wheel-drive system for added traction, though there were no volume models of either the AMC division cars, or the latter LHS platform Chryslers that used this system.

 

Notes on each of the aircraft Concorde and automotive Concorde are taken from excerpts published on Wikipedia.

 

The two models shown here, the Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde and the second generation Chrysler Corcorde have been designed in Lego. The aircraft in approximately 1:50 scale,a nd the car in miniland (1:21) scale for Flickr LUGNuts 79th Build Challenge, - "LUGNuts goes Wingnuts" - featuring automotive models named after, inspired by, or related to aircraft.

Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde /ˈkɒŋkɔrd/ is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport (SST). It is one of only two SSTs to have entered commercial service; the other was the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.

 

Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados; it flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type's only crash in 2000, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.

 

A total of 20 aircraft were built in France and the United Kingdom; six of these were prototypes and development aircraft. Seven each were delivered to Air France and British Airways. Concorde's name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the type—unusually for an aircraft—are known simply as "Concorde", without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.

 

Early studies

 

Concorde

 

The origins of the Concorde project date to the early 1950s, when Arnold Hall, director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) asked Morien Morgan to form a committee to study the SST concept. The group met for the first time in February 1954 and delivered their first report in April 1955.

 

At the time it was known that the drag at supersonic speeds was strongly related to the span of the wing. This led to the use of very short-span, very thin rectangular wings like those seen on the control surfaces of many missiles, or in aircraft like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter or the Avro 730 that the team studied. The team outlined a baseline configuration that looked like an enlarged Avro 730, or more interestingly, almost exactly like the Lockheed CL-400 "Suntan" proposal.

 

This same short span produced very little lift at low speed, which resulted in extremely long takeoff runs and frighteningly high landing speeds. In an SST design, this would have required enormous engine power to lift off from existing runways, and to provide the fuel needed, "some horribly large aeroplanes" resulted. Based on this, the group considered the concept of an SST unfeasible, and instead suggested continued low-level studies into supersonic aerodynamics.

 

Slender deltas

 

Soon after, Dietrich Küchemann at the RAE published a series of reports on a new wing planform, known in the UK as the "slender delta" concept. Küchemann's team, including Eric Maskell and Johanna Weber, worked with the fact that delta wings can produce strong vortexes on their upper surfaces at high angles of attack. The vortex will lower the air pressure and cause lift to be greatly increased. This effect had been noticed earlier, notably by Chuck Yeager in the Convair XF-92, but its qualities had not been fully appreciated. Küchemann suggested that this was no mere curiosity, and the effect could be deliberately used to improve low speed performance.

 

Küchemann's papers changed the entire nature of supersonic design almost overnight. Although the delta had already been used on aircraft prior to this point, these designs used planforms that were not much different from a swept wing of the same span. Küchemann noted that the lift from the vortex was increased by the length of the wing it had to operate over, which suggested that the effect would be maximized by extending the wing along the fuselage as far as possible. Such a layout would still have good supersonic performance inherent to the short span, while also offering reasonable takeoff and landing speeds using vortex generation. The only downside to such a design is that the aircraft would have to take off and land very "nose high" in order to generate the required vortex lift, which led to questions about the low speed handling qualities of such a design. It would also need to have long landing gear to produce the required angles while still on the runway.

 

Küchemann presented the idea at a meeting where Morgan was also present. Eric Brown recalls Morgan's reaction to the presentation, saying that he immediately seized on it as the solution to the SST problem. Brown considers this moment as being the true birth of the Concorde project.

 

Design

 

Concorde is an ogival (also "ogee") delta-winged aircraft with four Olympus engines based on those employed in the RAF's Avro Vulcan strategic bomber. Concorde was the first airliner to have a (in this case, analogue) fly-by-wire flight-control system; the avionics of Concorde were unique because it was the first commercial aircraft to employ hybrid circuits. The principal designer for the project was Pierre Satre, with Sir Archibald Russell as his deputy.

 

Concorde pioneered the following technologies:

 

For high speed and optimisation of flight:

 

Double delta (ogee/ogival) shaped wings

Variable engine air intake system controlled by digital computers

Supercruise capability

Thrust-by-wire engines, predecessor of today’s FADEC-controlled engines

Droop-nose section for better landing visibility

For weight-saving and enhanced performance:

 

Mach 2.04 (~2,179 km/h or 1,354 mph) cruising speed for optimum fuel consumption (supersonic drag minimum although turbojet engines are more efficient at higher speed) Fuel consumption at Mach 2.0 and altitude of 60,000 feet was 4,800 gallons per hour.

Mainly aluminium construction for low weight and conventional manufacture (higher speeds would have ruled out aluminium)

Full-regime autopilot and autothrottle allowing "hands off" control of the aircraft from climb out to landing

Fully electrically controlled analogue fly-by-wire flight controls systems

High-pressure hydraulic system of 28 MPa (4,000 lbf/in²) for lighter hydraulic components

Complex Air Data Computer (ADC) for the automated monitoring and transmission of aerodynamic measurements (total pressure, static pressure, angle of attack, side-slip).

Fully electrically controlled analogue brake-by-wire system

Pitch trim by shifting fuel around the fuselage for centre-of-gravity control

Parts made using "sculpture milling", reducing the part count while saving weight and adding strength.

No auxiliary power unit, as Concorde would only visit large airports where ground air start carts are available.

 

Engines

 

Concorde's intake system

 

Concorde needed to fly long distances to be economically viable; this required high efficiency. Turbofan engines were rejected due to their larger cross-section producing excessive drag. Turbojets were found to be the best choice of engines. The engine used was the twin spool Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593, a development of the Bristol engine first used for the Avro Vulcan bomber, and developed into an afterburning supersonic variant for the BAC TSR-2 strike bomber. Rolls-Royce's own engine proposed for the aircraft at the time of Concorde's initial design was the RB.169.

 

The aircraft used reheat (afterburners) at takeoff and to pass through the upper transonic regime and to supersonic speeds, between Mach 0.95 and Mach 1.7. The afterburners were switched off at all other times. Due to jet engines being highly inefficient at low speeds, Concorde burned two tonnes of fuel (almost 2% of the maximum fuel load) taxiing to the runway. Fuel used is Jet A-1. Due to the high power produced even with the engines at idle, only the two outer engines were run after landing for easier taxiing.

 

The intake design for Concorde’s engines was especially critical.[Conventional jet engines can take in air at only around Mach 0.5; therefore the air has to be slowed from the Mach 2.0 airspeed that enters the engine intake. In particular, Concorde needed to control the shock waves that this reduction in speed generates to avoid damage to the engines. This was done by a pair of intake ramps and an auxiliary spill door, whose position moved in-flight to slow transiting air.

 

Engine failure causes problems on conventional subsonic aircraft; not only does the aircraft lose thrust on that side but the engine creates drag, causing the aircraft to yaw and bank in the direction of the failed engine. If this had happened to Concorde at supersonic speeds, it theoretically could have caused a catastrophic failure of the airframe. Although computer simulations predicted considerable problems, in practice Concorde could shut down both engines on the same side of the aircraft at Mach 2 without the predicted difficulties. During an engine failure the required air intake is virtually zero so, on Concorde, engine failure was countered by the opening of the auxiliary spill door and the full extension of the ramps, which deflected the air downwards past the engine, gaining lift and minimising drag. Concorde pilots were routinely trained to handle double engine failure.

 

Heating issues

 

Air compression on the outer surfaces caused the cabin to heat up during flight. Every surface, such as windows and panels, was warm to the touch by end of the flight. Besides engines, the hottest part of the structure of any supersonic aircraft, due to aerodynamic heating, is the nose. The engineers used Hiduminium R.R. 58, an aluminium alloy, throughout the aircraft due to its familiarity, cost and ease of construction. The highest temperature that aluminium could sustain over the life of the aircraft was 127 °C (261 °F), which limited the top speed to Mach 2.02. Concorde went through two cycles of heating and cooling during a flight, first cooling down as it gained altitude, then heating up after going supersonic. The reverse happened when descending and slowing down. This had to be factored into the metallurgical and fatigue modelling. A test rig was built that repeatedly heated up a full-size section of the wing, and then cooled it, and periodically samples of metal were taken for testing. The Concorde airframe was designed for a life of 45,000 flying hours.

 

Owing to air friction as the plane travelled at supersonic speed, the fuselage would heat up and expand by as much as 300 mm (almost 1 ft). The most obvious manifestation of this was a gap that opened up on the flight deck between the flight engineer's console and the bulkhead. On some aircraft that conducted a retiring supersonic flight, the flight engineers placed their caps in this expanded gap, wedging the cap when it shrank again. To keep the cabin cool, Concorde used the fuel as a heat sink for the heat from the air conditioning. The same method also cooled the hydraulics. During supersonic flight the surfaces forward from the cockpit became heated, and a visor was used to deflect much of this heat from directly reaching the cockpit.

 

Concorde had livery restrictions; the majority of the surface had to be covered with a highly reflective white paint to avoid overheating the aluminium structure due to heating effects from supersonic flight at Mach 2. The white finish reduced the skin temperature by 6 to 11 degrees Celsius. In 1996, Air France briefly painted F-BTSD in a predominantly blue livery, with the exception of the wings, in a promotional deal with Pepsi. In this paint scheme, Air France were advised to remain at Mach 2 for no more than 20 minutes at a time, but there was no restriction at speeds under Mach 1.7. F-BTSD was used because it was not scheduled for any long flights that required extended Mach 2 operations.

 

Structural issues

 

Fuel pitch trim

 

Due to the high speeds at which Concorde travelled, large forces were applied to the aircraft's structure during banks and turns. This caused twisting and the distortion of the aircraft’s structure. In addition there were concerns over maintaining precise control at supersonic speeds; both of these issues were resolved by active ratio changes between the inboard and outboard elevons, varying at differing speeds including supersonic. Only the innermost elevons, which are attached to the stiffest area of the wings, were active at high speed. Additionally, the narrow fuselage meant that the aircraft flexed. This was visible from the rear passengers’ viewpoints.

 

When any aircraft passes the critical mach of that particular airframe, the centre of pressure shifts rearwards. This causes a pitch down force on the aircraft if the centre of mass remains where it was. The engineers designed the wings in a specific manner to reduce this shift, but there was still a shift of about 2 metres. This could have been countered by the use of trim controls, but at such high speeds this would have caused a dramatic increase in the drag on the aircraft. Instead, the distribution of fuel along the aircraft was shifted during acceleration and deceleration to move the centre of mass, effectively acting as an auxiliary trim control.

 

Range

 

In order to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, Concorde was developed to have the greatest supersonic range of any aircraft. This was achieved by a combination of engines which were highly efficient at supersonic speeds, a slender fuselage with high fineness ratio, and a complex wing shape for a high lift to drag ratio. This also required carrying only a modest payload and a high fuel capacity, and the aircraft was trimmed with precision to avoid unnecessary drag.

 

Nevertheless, soon after Concorde began flying, a Concorde "B" model was designed with slightly larger fuel capacity and slightly larger wings with leading edge slats to improve aerodynamic performance at all speeds, with the objective of expanding the range to reach markets in new regions. It featured more powerful engines with sound deadening and without the fuel-hungry and noisy reheat. It was speculated that it was reasonably possible to create an engine with up to 25% gain in efficiency over the Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593. This would have given 500 mi (805 km) additional range and a greater payload, making new commercial routes possible. This was cancelled due in part to poor sales of Concorde, but also to the rising cost of aviation fuel in the 1970s.

 

Droop Nose

 

Concorde’s drooping nose, developed by Marshall Aerospace, enabled the aircraft to switch between being streamlined to reduce drag and achieve optimum aerodynamic efficiency, and not obstructing the pilot's view during taxi, takeoff, and landing operations. Due to the high angle of attack the long pointed nose obstructed the view and necessitated the capability to droop. The droop nose was accompanied by a moving visor that retracted into the nose prior to being lowered. When the nose was raised to horizontal, the visor would rise in front of the cockpit windscreen for aerodynamic streamlining.

 

A controller in the cockpit allowed the visor to be retracted and the nose to be lowered to 5° below the standard horizontal position for taxiing and takeoff. Following takeoff and after clearing the airport, the nose and visor were raised. Prior to landing, the visor was again retracted and the nose lowered to 12.5° below horizontal for maximum visibility. Upon landing the nose was raised to the five-degree position to avoid the possibility of damage.

 

The Federal Aviation Administration had objected to the restrictive visibility of the visor used on the first two prototype Concordes and thus requiring alteration before the FAA would permit Concorde to serve US airports; this led to the redesigned visor used on the production and the four pre-production aircraft. The nose window and visor glass needed to endure temperatures in excess of 100 °C (212 °F) at supersonic flight were developed by Triplex.

 

Retirement

 

Concorde's final flight; G-BOAF from Heathrow to Bristol, on 26 November 2003. The extremely high fineness ratio of the fuselage is evident.

On 10 April 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced that they would retire Concorde later that year. They cited low passenger numbers following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and rising maintenance costs. Although Concorde was technologically advanced when introduced in the 1970s, 30 years later, its analogue cockpit was dated. There had been little commercial pressure to upgrade Concorde due to a lack of competing aircraft, unlike other airliners of the same era such as the Boeing 747. By its retirement, it was the last aircraft in British Airways' fleet that had a flight engineer; other aircraft, such as the modernised 747-400, had eliminated the role.

 

On 11 April 2003, Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson announced that the company was interested in purchasing British Airways’ Concorde fleet for their nominal original price of £1 (US$1.57 in April 2003) each. British Airways dismissed the idea, prompting Virgin to increase their offer to £1 million each. Branson claimed that when BA was privatised, a clause in the agreement required them to allow another British airline to operate Concorde if BA ceased to do so, but the Government denied the existence of such a clause. In October 2003, Branson wrote in The Economist that his final offer was "over £5 million" and that he had intended to operate the fleet "for many years to come". The chances for keeping Concorde in service were stifled by Airbus's lack of support for continued maintenance.

 

It has been suggested that Concorde was not withdrawn for the reasons usually given but that it became apparent during the grounding of Concorde that the airlines could make more profit carrying first class passengers subsonically. A lack of commitment to Concorde from Director of Engineering Alan MacDonald was cited as having undermined BA’s resolve to continue operating Concorde.

 

Air France

 

Air France made its final commercial Concorde landing in the United States in New York City from Paris on 30 May 2003. Air France's final Concorde flight took place on 27 June 2003 when F-BVFC retired to Toulouse.

 

An auction of Concorde parts and memorabilia for Air France was held at Christie's in Paris on 15 November 2003; 1,300 people attended, and several lots exceeded their predicted values. French Concorde F-BVFC was retired to Toulouse and kept functional for a short time after the end of service, in case taxi runs were required in support of the French judicial enquiry into the 2000 crash. The aircraft is now fully retired and no longer functional.

 

French Concorde F-BTSD has been retired to the "Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace" at Le Bourget (near Paris) and, unlike the other museum Concordes, a few of the systems are being kept functional. For instance, the famous "droop nose" can still be lowered and raised. This led to rumours that they could be prepared for future flights for special occasions.

 

French Concorde F-BVFB currently rests at the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim at Sinsheim, Germany, after its last flight from Paris to Baden-Baden, followed by a spectacular transport to Sinsheim via barge and road. The museum also has a Tu-144 on display – this is the only place where both supersonic airliners can be seen together.

 

British Airways[edit]

 

BA Concorde G-BOAB in storage at London Heathrow Airport. This aircraft flew for 22,296 hours between its first flight in 1976 and its final flight in 2000.

 

BA Concorde G-BOAC in its hangar at Manchester Airport Aviation Viewing Park]]

British Airways conducted a North American farewell tour in October 2003. G-BOAG visited Toronto Pearson International Airport on 1 October, after which it flew to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. G-BOAD visited Boston’s Logan International Airport on 8 October, and G-BOAG visited Washington Dulles International Airport on 14 October. It has been claimed that G-BOAD’s flight from London Heathrow to Boston set a transatlantic flight record of 3 hours, 5 minutes, 34 seconds. However the fastest transatlantic flight was from New York JFK airport to Heathrow on 7 February 1996, taking 2 hours, 52 minutes, 59 seconds; 90 seconds less than a record set in April 1990.

 

In a week of farewell flights around the United Kingdom, Concorde visited Birmingham on 20 October, Belfast on 21 October, Manchester on 22 October, Cardiff on 23 October, and Edinburgh on 24 October. Each day the aircraft made a return flight out and back into Heathrow to the cities, often overflying them at low altitude. On 22 October, both Concorde flight BA9021C, a special from Manchester, and BA002 from New York landed simultaneously on both of Heathrow's runways. On 23 October 2003, the Queen consented to the illumination of Windsor Castle, an honour reserved for state events and visiting dignitaries, as Concorde's last west-bound commercial flight departed London.

 

British Airways retired its Concorde fleet on 24 October 2003. G-BOAG left New York to a fanfare similar to that given for Air France’s F-BTSD, while two more made round trips, G-BOAF over the Bay of Biscay, carrying VIP guests including former Concorde pilots, and G-BOAE to Edinburgh. The three aircraft then circled over London, having received special permission to fly at low altitude, before landing in sequence at Heathrow. The captain of the New York to London flight was Mike Bannister. The final flight of a Concorde in the US occurred on 5 November 2003 when G-BOAG flew from New York's Kennedy Airport to Seattle's Boeing Field to join the Museum of Flight's permanent collection. The plane was piloted by Mike Bannister and Les Broadie who claimed a flight time of three hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds, a record between the two cities. The museum had been pursuing a Concorde for their collection since 1984. The final flight of a Concorde world-wide took place on 26 November 2003 with a landing at Filton, Bristol, UK.

 

All of BA's Concorde fleet have been grounded, drained of hydraulic fluid and their airworthiness certificates withdrawn. Jock Lowe, ex-chief Concorde pilot and manager of the fleet estimated in 2004 that it would cost £10–15 million to make G-BOAF airworthy again. BA maintain ownership and have stated that they will not fly again due to a lack of support from Airbus. On 1 December 2003, Bonhams held an auction of British Airways’ Concorde artifacts, including a nose cone, at Kensington Olympia in London. Proceeds of around £750,000 were raised, with the majority going to charity. G-BOAD is currently on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. In 2007, BA announced that the advertising spot at Heathrow where a 40% scale model of Concorde was located would not be retained; the model is now on display at the Brooklands Museum.

 

Chrysler Concorde (1998)

 

The Concorde was completely redesigned for the 1998 model year. The new design was similar to the new Chrysler LHS, however the two models each had a unique front end shape and different rear fascias. The "Second Generation" design was introduced in 1996 as the Chrysler LHX Concept Car. This concept vehicle had large 20" wheels, and a centrally located instrument cluster. The wheelbase was expanded to 124 inches (3,100 mm) to allow for rear passenger supplement restraints, rear occupant entertainment center and storage compartment.

 

Despite overall length increasing by 7.5 inches (190 mm), the second generation's weight dropped by nearly a hundred pounds. This was achieved by extensive use of aluminum for the rear suspension, hood, as well as the two new engines. In addition the 214 hp (160 kW) 3.5-liter V6 engine, there was also a new 200 hp (149 kW) 2.7-liter V6 and 225 hp (168 kW) 3.2-liter V6. The 3.5-liter was redone and output upgraded to 253 hp (189 kW) and was available on the 2002-2004 Concorde Limited (formerly LHS).

 

Much was done in the design process to make the second generation LH sedans look more distinct from each other. The 1998 Concorde differed far greater from the Dodge Intrepid and the new 1999 Chrysler 300M (successor to the Eagle Vision), than did the first generation models. With the exception of the doors and roof, the Concorde shared little sheetmetal with the Intrepid and 300M. The new Concorde's front end was underscored by a striking full-width grille, relocated to the front bumper to give the impression of a bottom breather. Sweeping curves and a more rounded front end also helped set the Concorde apart from the Intrepid and 300M. The second generation Chrysler LHS had an appearance very similar to the Concorde; The only major differences being its more centrally located single frame grille and amber turn signals on the taillights.

 

As in the previous generation, six passenger seating with a front bench seat and column shifter was optional. Cloth seating was standard on base LX with leather seating optional. Leather was standard on upscale LXi and later Limited models.

 

The Concorde, 300M, and Intrepid were discontinued in 2004. The all-new Chrysler 300 replaced the Concorde (and 300M) in late 2004 as a 2005 model.

 

The Concorde 2nd generation replaced the first generation car (launched in 1991), itself derived from the AMC division Eagle Premier (and Dodge Monaco). Interestingly, these two AMC products were directly related to the then-new Renault 25 and inherited the Renault north-south installation of the powertrains, with the engine mounted ahead of, and driving, the front axle. This layout is very similar to that used in the larger Audis, thus permitting the installation of a all-wheel-drive system for added traction, though there were no volume models of either the AMC division cars, or the latter LHS platform Chryslers that used this system.

 

Notes on each of the aircraft Concorde and automotive Concorde are taken from excerpts published on Wikipedia.

 

The two models shown here, the Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde and the second generation Chrysler Corcorde have been designed in Lego. The aircraft in approximately 1:50 scale, and the car in miniland (1:21) scale for Flickr LUGNuts 79th Build Challenge, - "LUGNuts goes Wingnuts" - featuring automotive models named after, inspired by, or related to aircraft.

scottgeersen.com/

vimeo.com/scottgeersen/cryo

 

West Chester Film Festival (West Chester, USA) • Sydney Film Festival 2012 (Australia) • St Kilda Film Festival (Melbourne, Australia) • BOFA Film Festival (Launceston, Australia)

 

When a journey to another planet goes horribly wrong mid-flight, the few remaining survivors scramble to secure the cryogenic pods during a catastrophic system failure, and an ordinary female Engineer finds herself fighting to ensure the future of mankind.

 

The titles and end credits for Cryo were executed to a specific brief from both the Director and Producer of the film. As the film opens after the ships systems have failed, credits were first required to visually represent system malfunctions and carry this suitably sci-fi style into the video diary expositions, which feature as part of the titles, introductory sequence, and epilogue immediately prior to the end cards and roller.

 

In representing this systematic degradation visually, the titles not only reflect the damage sustained by the ship and it's computers, but illustrate the fractured relationships of the crew - twisted, buckled and malfunctioning under extreme and sustained pressure. Noise, interference, and computer glitches were art directed and timed to create a sense of unease in the audience, leading up to the disclosure of the ship's dire situation - with the majority of glitch effects created manually, rather than as the result of plugins or software.

 

Interspersed throughout the titles, the video diary sequences emphasise and graphically echo the mental state of the film's heroine. These sequences, including titles and roller, are intercut with actual NASA imagery: disturbing flashes of meteors, strange moons, and the unfamiliar silhouettes of forbidding planets, which serve to underscore the idea that we are in an unfamiliar and hostile space.

 

The end credits (slates and roller) continue the theme of fracture, with data readouts in the end roller rewriting themselves to spell out credit categories. By fully animating the end roller, the audience is kept within the world of the film until the very last moment.

 

Credits:

Bluetongue Films (twitter.com/bluetonguefilms/) • Druid Films (druidfilms.com/)

Director: Luke Doolan

Producer: Drew Bailey

Writer: Mathew Dabner

Original Music: Frank Tetaz

Editor: Christine Cheung

Colourist: Trish Cahill

Titles and Credits: Scott Geersen (scottgeersen.com)

For full credits please see imdb.com/title/tt1778225/fullcredits

scottgeersen.com/

vimeo.com/scottgeersen/cryo

 

West Chester Film Festival (West Chester, USA) • Sydney Film Festival 2012 (Australia) • St Kilda Film Festival (Melbourne, Australia) • BOFA Film Festival (Launceston, Australia)

 

When a journey to another planet goes horribly wrong mid-flight, the few remaining survivors scramble to secure the cryogenic pods during a catastrophic system failure, and an ordinary female Engineer finds herself fighting to ensure the future of mankind.

 

The titles and end credits for Cryo were executed to a specific brief from both the Director and Producer of the film. As the film opens after the ships systems have failed, credits were first required to visually represent system malfunctions and carry this suitably sci-fi style into the video diary expositions, which feature as part of the titles, introductory sequence, and epilogue immediately prior to the end cards and roller.

 

In representing this systematic degradation visually, the titles not only reflect the damage sustained by the ship and it's computers, but illustrate the fractured relationships of the crew - twisted, buckled and malfunctioning under extreme and sustained pressure. Noise, interference, and computer glitches were art directed and timed to create a sense of unease in the audience, leading up to the disclosure of the ship's dire situation - with the majority of glitch effects created manually, rather than as the result of plugins or software.

 

Interspersed throughout the titles, the video diary sequences emphasise and graphically echo the mental state of the film's heroine. These sequences, including titles and roller, are intercut with actual NASA imagery: disturbing flashes of meteors, strange moons, and the unfamiliar silhouettes of forbidding planets, which serve to underscore the idea that we are in an unfamiliar and hostile space.

 

The end credits (slates and roller) continue the theme of fracture, with data readouts in the end roller rewriting themselves to spell out credit categories. By fully animating the end roller, the audience is kept within the world of the film until the very last moment.

 

Credits:

Bluetongue Films (twitter.com/bluetonguefilms/) • Druid Films (druidfilms.com/)

Director: Luke Doolan

Producer: Drew Bailey

Writer: Mathew Dabner

Original Music: Frank Tetaz

Editor: Christine Cheung

Colourist: Trish Cahill

Titles and Credits: Scott Geersen (scottgeersen.com)

For full credits please see imdb.com/title/tt1778225/fullcredits

Pasted from Wikipedia: Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey

 

• • • • •

 

The Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey is a multi-mission, military, tiltrotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

 

The V-22 originated from the U.S. Department of Defense Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. It was developed jointly by the Bell Helicopter, and Boeing Helicopters team, known as Bell Boeing, which produce the aircraft.[4] The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began years of flight testing and design alterations.

 

The United States Marine Corps began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007. The Osprey's other operator, the U.S. Air Force fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Contents

 

1 Development

•• 1.1 Early development

•• 1.2 Flight testing and design changes

•• 1.3 Controversy

•• 1.4 Recent development

2 Design

3 Operational history

•• 3.1 US Marine Corps

•• 3.2 US Air Force

•• 3.3 Potential operators

4 Variants

5 Operators

6 Notable accidents

7 Specifications (MV-22B)

8 Notable appearances in media

9 See also

10 References

11 External links

 

Development

 

Early development

 

The failure of the Iran hostage rescue mission in 1980 demonstrated to the United States military a need[5] for "a new type of aircraft, that could not only take off and land vertically but also could carry combat troops, and do so at speed."[6] The U.S. Department of Defense began the Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program in 1981, under U.S. Army leadership. Later the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps took the lead.[7][8] The JVX combined requirements from the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army and Navy.[9][10] A request for proposals (RFP) was issued in December 1982 for JVX preliminary design work. Interest in the program was expressed by Aérospatiale, Bell Helicopter, Boeing Vertol, Grumman, Lockheed, and Westland. The DoD pushed for contractors to form teams. Bell partnered with Boeing Vertol. The Bell Boeing team submitted a proposal for a enlarged version of the Bell XV-15 prototype on 17 February 1983. This was the only proposal received and a preliminary design contract was awarded on 26 April 1983.[11][12]

 

The JVX aircraft was designated V-22 Osprey on 15 January 1985; by March that same year the first six prototypes were being produced, and Boeing Vertol was expanded to deal with the project workload.[13][14] Work has been split evenly between Bell and Boeing. Bell Helicopter manufactures and integrates the wing, nacelles, rotors, drive system, tail surfaces, and aft ramp, as well as integrates the Rolls-Royce engines and performs final assembly. Boeing Helicopters manufactures and integrates the fuselage, cockpit, avionics, and flight controls.[4][15] The USMC variant of the Osprey received the MV-22 designation and the Air Force variant received CV-22; reversed from normal procedure to prevent Marine Ospreys from having a conflicting designation with aircraft carriers (CV).[16] Full-scale development of the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft began in 1986.[2] On 3 May 1986 the Bell-Boeing partnership was awarded a $1.714 billion contract for V-22 aircraft by the Navy, thus at this point the project had acquisition plans with all four arms of the U.S. military.[17]

 

The first V-22 was rolled out with significant media attention in May 1988.[18][19] However the project suffered several political blows. Firstly in the same year, the Army left the program, citing a need to focus its budget on more immediate aviation programs.[20] The project also faced considerable dialogue in the Senate, surviving two votes that both could have resulted in cancellation.[21][22] Despite the Senate's decision, the Department of Defense instructed the Navy not to spend more money on the Osprey.[23] At the same time, the Bush administration sought the cancellation of the project.[23]

 

Flight testing and design changes

 

The first of six MV-22 prototypes first flew on 19 March 1989 in the helicopter mode,[24] and on 14 September 1989 as a fixed-wing plane.[25] The third and fourth prototypes successfully completed the Osprey's first Sea Trials on the USS Wasp in December 1990.[26] However, the fourth and fifth prototypes crashed in 1991-92.[27] Flight tests were resumed in August 1993 after changes were incorporated in the prototypes.[2] From October 1992 until April 1993, Bell and Boeing redesigned the V-22 to reduce empty weight, simplify manufacture and reduce production costs. This redesigned version became the B-model.[28]

 

Flight testing of four full-scale development V-22s began in early 1997 when the first pre-production V-22 was delivered to the Naval Air Warfare Test Center, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. The first EMD flight took place on 5 February 1997. The first of four low rate initial production aircraft, ordered on 28 April 1997, was delivered on 27 May 1999. Osprey number 10 completed the program's second Sea Trials, this time from the USS Saipan in January 1999.[2] During external load testing in April 1999, Boeing used a V-22 to lift and transport the M777 howitzer.[29] In 2000, Boeing announced that the V-22 would be fitted with a nose-mounted GAU-19 Gatling gun,[30] but the GAU-19 gun was later canceled.[31]

 

In 2000, there were two further fatal crashes, killing a total of 19 Marines, and the production was again halted while the cause of these crashes was investigated and various parts were redesigned.[32] The V-22 completed its final operational evaluation in June 2005. The evaluation was deemed successful; events included long range deployments, high altitude, desert and shipboard operations. The problems identified in various accidents had been addressed.[33]

 

Controversy

 

The V-22's development process has been long and controversial, partly due to its large cost increases.[34] When the development budget, first planned for $2.5 billion in 1986, increased to a projected $30 billion in 1988, then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney tried to zero out its funding. He was eventually overruled by Congress.[32] As of 2008, $27 billion have been spent on the Osprey program and another $27.2 billion will be required to complete planned production numbers by the end of the program.[2]

 

The V-22 squadron's former commander at Marine Corps Air Station New River, Lt. Colonel Odin Lieberman, was relieved of duty in 2001 after allegations that he instructed his unit that they needed to falsify maintenance records to make the plane appear more reliable.[2][35] Three officers were later implicated in the falsification scandal.[34]

 

The aircraft is incapable of autorotation, and is therefore unable to land safely in helicopter mode if both engines fail. A director of the Pentagon's testing office in 2005 said that if the Osprey loses power while flying like a helicopter below 1,600 feet (490 m), emergency landings "are not likely to be survivable". But Captain Justin (Moon) McKinney, a V-22 pilot, says that this will not be a problem, "We can turn it into a plane and glide it down, just like a C-130".[31] A complete loss of power would require the failure of both engines, as a drive shaft connects the nacelles through the wing; one engine can power both proprotors.[36] While vortex ring state (VRS) contributed to a deadly V-22 accident, the aircraft is less susceptible to the condition than conventional helicopters and recovers more quickly.[5] The Marines now train new pilots in the recognition of and recovery from VRS and have instituted operational envelope limits and instrumentation to help pilots avoid VRS conditions.[32][37]

 

It was planned in 2000 to equip all V-22s with a nose-mounted Gatling gun, to provide "the V-22 with a strong defensive firepower capability to greatly increase the aircraft's survivability in hostile actions."[30] The nose gun project was canceled however, leading to criticism by retired Marine Corps Commandant General James L. Jones, who is not satisfied with the current V-22 armament.[31] A belly-mounted turret was later installed on some of the first V-22s sent to the War in Afghanistan in 2009.[38]

 

With the first combat deployment of the MV-22 in October 2007, Time Magazine ran an article condemning the aircraft as unsafe, overpriced, and completely inadequate.[31] The Marine Corps, however, responded with the assertion that much of the article's data were dated, obsolete, inaccurate, and reflected expectations that ran too high for any new field of aircraft.[39]

 

Recent development

 

On 28 September 2005, the Pentagon formally approved full-rate production for the V-22.[40] The plan is to boost production from 11 a year to between 24 and 48 a year by 2012. Of the 458 total planned, 360 are for the Marine Corps, 48 for the Navy, and 50 for the Air Force at an average cost of $110 million per aircraft, including development costs.[2] The V-22 had an incremental flyaway cost of $70 million per aircraft in 2007,[3] but the Navy hopes to shave about $10 million off that cost after a five-year production contract starts in 2008.[41]

 

The Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office in Amarillo, Texas will design a new integrated avionics processor to resolve electronics obsolescence issues and add new network capabilities.[42]

 

Design

 

The Osprey is the world's first production tiltrotor aircraft, with one three-bladed proprotor, turboprop engine, and transmission nacelle mounted on each wingtip. It is classified as a powered lift aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration.[43] For takeoff and landing, it typically operates as a helicopter with the nacelles vertical (rotors horizontal). Once airborne, the nacelles rotate forward 90° in as little as 12 seconds for horizontal flight, converting the V-22 to a more fuel-efficient, higher-speed turboprop airplane. STOL rolling-takeoff and landing capability is achieved by having the nacelles tilted forward up to 45°. For compact storage and transport, the V-22's wing rotates to align, front-to-back, with the fuselage. The proprotors can also fold in a sequence taking 90 seconds.[44]

 

Most Osprey missions will use fixed wing flight 75 percent or more of the time, reducing wear and tear on the aircraft and reducing operational costs.[45] This fixed wing flight is higher than typical helicopter missions allowing longer range line-of-sight communications and so improved command and control.[2] Boeing has stated the V-22 design loses 10% of its vertical lift over a Tiltwing design when operating in helicopter mode because of airflow resistance due to the wings, but that the Tiltrotor design has better short takeoff and landing performance.[46]

 

The V-22 is equipped with a glass cockpit, which incorporates four Multi-function displays (MFDs) and one shared Central Display Unit (CDU), allowing the pilots to display a variety of images including: digimaps centered or decentered on current position, FLIR imagery, primary flight instruments, navigation (TACAN, VOR, ILS, GPS, INS), and system status. The flight director panel of the Cockpit Management System (CMS) allows for fully-coupled (aka: autopilot) functions which will take the aircraft from forward flight into a 50-foot hover with no pilot interaction other than programming the system.[47] The glass cockpit of the canceled CH-46X was derived from the V-22.[48]

 

The V-22 is a fly-by-wire aircraft with triple-redundant flight control systems.[49] With the nacelles pointing straight up in conversion mode at 90° the flight computers command the aircraft to fly like a helicopter, with cyclic forces being applied to a conventional swashplate at the rotor hub. With the nacelles in airplane mode (0°) the flaperons, rudder, and elevator fly the aircraft like an airplane. This is a gradual transition and occurs over the rotation range of the nacelles. The lower the nacelles, the greater effect of the airplane-mode control surfaces.[50] The nacelles can rotate past vertical to 97.5° for rearward flight.[51][52]

 

The Osprey can be armed with one M240 7.62x51mm NATO (.308 in caliber) or M2 .50 in caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun on the loading ramp, that can be fired rearward when the ramp is lowered. A GAU-19 three-barrel .50 in gatling gun mounted below the V-22's nose has also been studied for future upgrade.[31][53] BAE Systems developed a remotely operated turreted weapons system for the V-22,[54] which was installed on half of the first V-22s deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.[38] The 7.62 mm belly gun turret is remotely operated by a gunner inside the aircraft, who acquires targets with a separate pod using color television and forward looking infrared imagery.

 

U.S. Naval Air Systems Command is working on upgrades to increase the maximum speed from 250 knots (460 km/h; 290 mph) to 270 knots (500 km/h; 310 mph), increase helicopter mode altitude limit from 10,000 feet (3,000 m) to 12,000 feet (3,700 m) or 14,000 feet (4,300 m), and increase lift performance.[55]

 

Operational history

 

US Marine Corps

 

Marine Corps crew training on the Osprey has been conducted by VMMT-204 since March 2000. On 3 June 2005, the Marine Corps helicopter squadron Marine Medium Helicopter 263 (HMM-263), stood down to begin the process of transitioning to the MV-22 Osprey.[56] On 8 December 2005, Lieutenant General Amos, commander of the II MEF, accepted the delivery of the first fleet of MV-22s, delivered to HMM-263. The unit reactivated on 3 March 2006 as the first MV-22 squadron and was redesignated VMM-263. On 31 August 2006, VMM-162 (the former HMM-162) followed suit. On 23 March 2007, HMM-266 became Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (VMM-266) at Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.[57]

 

The Osprey has been replacing existing CH-46 Sea Knight squadrons.[58] The MV-22 reached initial operational capability (IOC) with the U.S. Marine Corps on 13 June 2007.[1] On 10 July 2007 an MV-22 Osprey landed aboard the Royal Navy aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious in the Atlantic Ocean. This marked the first time a V-22 had landed on any non-U.S. vessel.[59]

 

On 13 April 2007, the U.S. Marine Corps announced that it would be sending ten V-22 aircraft to Iraq, the Osprey's first combat deployment. Marine Corps Commandant, General James Conway, indicated that over 150 Marines would accompany the Osprey set for September deployment to Al-Asad Airfield.[60][61] On 17 September 2007, ten MV-22Bs of VMM-263 left for Iraq aboard the USS Wasp. The decision to use a ship rather than use the Osprey's self-deployment capability was made because of concerns over icing during the North Atlantic portion of the trip, lack of available KC-130s for mid-air refueling, and the availability of the USS Wasp.[62]

 

The Osprey has provided support in Iraq, racking up some 2,000 flight hours over three months with a mission capable availability rate of 68.1% as of late-January 2008.[63] They are primarily used in Iraq's western Anbar province for routine cargo and troop movements, and also for riskier "aero-scout" missions. General David Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, used one to fly around Iraq on Christmas Day 2007 to visit troops.[64] Then-presidential candidate Barack Obama also flew in Ospreys during his high profile 2008 tour of Iraq.[65]

 

The only major problem has been obtaining the necessary spare parts to maintain the aircraft.[66] The V-22 had flown 3,000 sorties totaling 5,200 hours in Iraq as of July 2008.[67] USMC leadership expect to deploy MV-22s to Afghanistan in 2009.[66][68] General George J. Trautman, III praised the increased range of the V-22 over the legacy helicopters in Iraq and said that "it turned his battle space from the size of Texas into the size of Rhode Island."[69]

 

Naval Air Systems Command has devised a temporary fix for sailors to place portable heat shields under Osprey engines to prevent damage to the decks of some of the Navy's smaller amphibious ships, but they determined that a long term solution to the problem would require these decks be redesigned with heat resistant deck coatings, passive thermal barriers and changes in ship structure in order to operate V-22s and F-35Bs.[70]

 

A Government Accountability Office study reported that by January 2009 the Marines had 12 MV-22s operating in Iraq and they managed to successfully complete all assigned missions. The same report found that the V-22 deployments had mission capable rates averaging 57% to 68% and an overall full mission capable rate of only 6%. It also stated that the aircraft had shown weakness in situational awareness, maintenance, shipboard operations and the ability to transport troops and external cargo.[71] That study also concluded that the "deployments confirmed that the V-22’s enhanced speed and range enable personnel and internal cargo to be transported faster and farther than is possible with the legacy helicopters it is replacing".[71]

 

The MV-22 saw its first offensive combat mission, Operation Cobra's Anger on 4 December 2009. Ospreys assisted in inserting 1,000 Marines and 150 Afghan troops into the Now Zad Valley of Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan to disrupt communication and supply lines of the Taliban.[38] In January 2010 the MV-22 Osprey is being sent to Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response relief efforts after the earthquake there. This will be the first use the Marine V-22 in a humanitarian mission.[72]

 

US Air Force

 

The Air Force's first operational CV-22 Osprey was delivered to the 58th Special Operations Wing (58th SOW) at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico on 20 March 2006. This and subsequent aircraft will become part of the 58th SOW's fleet of aircraft used for training pilots and crew members for special operations use.[73] On 16 November 2006, the Air Force officially accepted the CV-22 in a ceremony conducted at Hurlburt Field, Florida.[74]

 

The US Air Force's first operational deployment of the Osprey sent four CV-22s to Mali in November 2008 in support of Exercise Flintlock. The CV-22s flew nonstop from Hurlburt Field, Florida with in-flight refueling.[5] AFSOC declared that the 8th Special Operations Squadron reached Initial Operational Capability on 16 March 2009, with six of its planned nine CV-22s operational.[75]

 

In June 2009, CV-22s of the 8th Special Operations Squadron delivered 43,000 pounds (20,000 kg) of humanitarian supplies to remote villages in Honduras that were not accessible by conventional vehicles.[76] In November 2009, the 8th SO Squadron and its six CV-22s returned from a three-month deployment in Iraq.[77]

 

The first possible combat loss of an Osprey occurred on 9 April, 2010, as a CV-22 went down near Qalat, Zabul Province, Afghanistan, killing four.[78][79]

 

Potential operators

 

In 1999 the V-22 was studied for use in the United Kingdom's Royal Navy,[80] it has been raised several times as a candidate for the role of Maritime Airborne Surveillance and Control (MASC).[81]

 

Israel had shown interest in the purchase of MV-22s, but no order was placed.[82][83] Flightglobal reported in late 2009 that Israel has decided to wait for the CH-53K instead.[84]

 

The V-22 Osprey is a candidate for the Norwegian All Weather Search and Rescue Helicopter (NAWSARH) that is planned to replace the Westland Sea King Mk.43B of the Royal Norwegian Air Force in 2015.[85] The other candidates for the NAWSARH contract of 10-12 helicopters are AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin, Eurocopter EC225, NHIndustries NH90 and Sikorsky S-92.[86]

 

Bell Boeing has made an unsolicited offer of the V-22 for US Army medical evacuation needs.[87] However the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency issued a report that said that a common helicopter design would be needed for both combat recovery and medical evacuation and that the V-22 would not be suitable for recovery missions because of the difficulty of hoist operations and lack of self-defense capabilities.[88]

 

The US Navy remains a potential user of the V-22, but its role and mission with the Navy remains unclear. The latest proposal is to replace the C-2 Greyhound with the V-22 in the fleet logistics role. The V-22 would have the advantage of being able to land on and support non-carriers with rapid delivery of supplies and people between the ships of a taskforce or to ships on patrol beyond helicopter range.[89] Loren B. Thompson of the Lexington Institute has suggested V-22s for use in combat search and rescue and Marine One VIP transport, which also need replacement aircraft.[90]

 

Variants

  

V-22A 

•• Pre-production full-scale development aircraft used for flight testing. These are unofficially considered A-variants after 1993 redesign.[91]

  

HV-22 

•• The U.S. Navy considered an HV-22 to provide combat search and rescue, delivery and retrieval of special warfare teams along with fleet logistic support transport. However, it chose the MH-60S for this role in 1992.[92]

  

SV-22 

•• The proposed anti-submarine warfare Navy variant. The Navy studied the SV-22 in the 1980s to replace S-3 and SH-2 aircraft.[93]

  

MV-22B 

•• Basic U.S. Marine Corps transport; original requirement for 552 (now 360). The Marine Corps is the lead service in the development of the V-22 Osprey. The Marine Corps variant, the MV-22B, is an assault transport for troops, equipment and supplies, capable of operating from ships or from expeditionary airfields ashore. It is replacing the Marine Corps' CH-46E[57] and CH-53D.[94]

  

CV-22B 

•• Air Force variant for the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). It will conduct long-range, special operations missions, and is equipped with extra fuel tanks and terrain-following radar.[95][96]

 

Operators

 

 United States

 

United States Air Force

 

•• 8th Special Operations Squadron (8 SOS) at Hurlburt Field, Florida

•• 71st Special Operations Squadron (71 SOS) at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico

•• 20th Special Operations Squadron (20 SOS) at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico

 

United States Marine Corps

 

•• VMM-161

•• VMM-162

•• VMM-261

•• VMM-263

•• VMM-264

•• VMM-266

•• VMM-365

•• VMMT-204 - Training squadron

•• VMX-22 - Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron

 

Notable accidents

 

Main article: Accidents and incidents involving the V-22 Osprey

 

From 1991 to 2000 there were four significant crashes, and a total of 30 fatalities, during testing.[32] Since becoming operational in 2007, the V-22 has had one possible combat loss due to an unknown cause, no losses due to accidents, and seven other notable, but minor, incidents.

 

• On 11 June 1991, a mis-wired flight control system led to two minor injuries when the left nacelle struck the ground while the aircraft was hovering 15 feet (4.6 m) in the air, causing it to bounce and catch fire.[97]

 

• On 20 July 1992, a leaking gearbox led to a fire in the right nacelle, causing the aircraft to drop into the Potomac River in front of an audience of Congressmen and other government officials at Quantico, killing all seven on board and grounding the aircraft for 11 months.[98]

 

• On 8 April 2000, a V-22 loaded with Marines to simulate a rescue, attempted to land at Marana Northwest Regional Airport in Arizona, stalled when its right rotor entered vortex ring state, rolled over, crashed, and exploded, killing all 19 on board.[37]

 

• On 11 December 2000, after a catastrophic hydraulic leak and subsequent software instrument failure, a V-22 fell 1,600 feet (490 m) into a forest in Jacksonville, North Carolina, killing all four aboard. This caused the Marine Corps to ground their fleet of eight V-22s, the second grounding that year.[99][100]

 

Specifications (MV-22B)

 

Data from Boeing Integrated Defense Systems,[101] Naval Air Systems Command,[102] US Air Force CV-22 fact sheet,[95] Norton,[103] and Bell[104]

 

General characteristics

 

Crew: Four (pilot, copilot and two flight engineers)

Capacity: 24 troops (seated), 32 troops (floor loaded) or up to 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of cargo (dual hook)

Length: 57 ft 4 in (17.5 m)

Rotor diameter: 38 ft 0 in (11.6 m)

Wingspan: 45 ft 10 in (14 m)

Width with rotors: 84 ft 7 in (25.8 m)

Height: 22 ft 1 in/6.73 m; overall with nacelles vertical (17 ft 11 in/5.5 m; at top of tailfins)

Disc area: 2,268 ft² (212 m²)

Wing area: 301.4 ft² (28 m²)

Empty weight: 33,140 lb (15,032 kg)

Loaded weight: 47,500 lb (21,500 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 60,500 lb (27,400 kg)

Powerplant:Rolls-Royce Allison T406/AE 1107C-Liberty turboshafts, 6,150 hp (4,590 kW) each

 

Performance

 

Maximum speed: 250 knots (460 km/h, 290 mph) at sea level / 305 kn (565 km/h; 351 mph) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m)[105]

Cruise speed: 241 knots (277 mph, 446 km/h) at sea level

Range: 879 nmi (1,011 mi, 1,627 km)

Combat radius: 370 nmi (426 mi, 685 km)

Ferry range: 1,940 nmi (with auxiliary internal fuel tanks)

Service ceiling: 26,000 ft (7,925 m)

Rate of climb: 2,320 ft/min (11.8 m/s)

Disc loading: 20.9 lb/ft² at 47,500 lb GW (102.23 kg/m²)

Power/mass: 0.259 hp/lb (427 W/kg)

 

Armament

 

• 1× M240 machine gun on ramp, optional

 

Notable appearances in media

 

Main article: Aircraft in fiction#V-22 Osprey

 

See also

 

Elizabeth A. Okoreeh-Baah, USMC - first female to pilot a V-22 Osprey

 

Related development

 

Bell XV-15[106]

Bell/Agusta BA609

Bell Boeing Quad TiltRotor

 

Comparable aircraft

 

Canadair CL-84

LTV XC-142

 

Related lists

 

List of military aircraft of the United States

List of VTOL aircraft

 

References

 

Bibliography

 

• Markman, Steve and Bill Holder. "Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey Tilt-Engine VTOL Transport (U.S.A.)". Straight Up: A History of Vertical Flight. Schiffer Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-7643-1204-9.

• Norton, Bill. Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, Tiltrotor Tactical Transport. Midland Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-85780-165-2.

 

External links

 

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: V-22 Osprey

 

Official Boeing V-22 site

Official Bell V-22 site

V-22 Osprey web, and www.history.navy.mil/planes/v-22.html

CV-22 fact sheet on USAF site

www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/v-22.htm

www.airforce-technology.com/projects/osprey/

Onward and Upward

"Flight of the Osprey", US Navy video of V-22 operations

Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde /ˈkɒŋkɔrd/ is a retired turbojet-powered supersonic passenger airliner or supersonic transport (SST). It is one of only two SSTs to have entered commercial service; the other was the Tupolev Tu-144. Concorde was jointly developed and produced by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty. First flown in 1969, Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years.

 

Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados; it flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners. With only 20 aircraft built, the development of Concorde was a substantial economic loss; Air France and British Airways also received considerable government subsidies to purchase them. Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the aviation industry after the type's only crash in 2000, the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor firm of Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.

 

A total of 20 aircraft were built in France and the United Kingdom; six of these were prototypes and development aircraft. Seven each were delivered to Air France and British Airways. Concorde's name reflects the development agreement between the United Kingdom and France. In the UK, any or all of the type—unusually for an aircraft—are known simply as "Concorde", without an article. The aircraft is regarded by many people as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel.

 

Early studies

 

Concorde

 

The origins of the Concorde project date to the early 1950s, when Arnold Hall, director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) asked Morien Morgan to form a committee to study the SST concept. The group met for the first time in February 1954 and delivered their first report in April 1955.

 

At the time it was known that the drag at supersonic speeds was strongly related to the span of the wing. This led to the use of very short-span, very thin rectangular wings like those seen on the control surfaces of many missiles, or in aircraft like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter or the Avro 730 that the team studied. The team outlined a baseline configuration that looked like an enlarged Avro 730, or more interestingly, almost exactly like the Lockheed CL-400 "Suntan" proposal.

 

This same short span produced very little lift at low speed, which resulted in extremely long takeoff runs and frighteningly high landing speeds. In an SST design, this would have required enormous engine power to lift off from existing runways, and to provide the fuel needed, "some horribly large aeroplanes" resulted. Based on this, the group considered the concept of an SST unfeasible, and instead suggested continued low-level studies into supersonic aerodynamics.

 

Slender deltas

 

Soon after, Dietrich Küchemann at the RAE published a series of reports on a new wing planform, known in the UK as the "slender delta" concept. Küchemann's team, including Eric Maskell and Johanna Weber, worked with the fact that delta wings can produce strong vortexes on their upper surfaces at high angles of attack. The vortex will lower the air pressure and cause lift to be greatly increased. This effect had been noticed earlier, notably by Chuck Yeager in the Convair XF-92, but its qualities had not been fully appreciated. Küchemann suggested that this was no mere curiosity, and the effect could be deliberately used to improve low speed performance.

 

Küchemann's papers changed the entire nature of supersonic design almost overnight. Although the delta had already been used on aircraft prior to this point, these designs used planforms that were not much different from a swept wing of the same span. Küchemann noted that the lift from the vortex was increased by the length of the wing it had to operate over, which suggested that the effect would be maximized by extending the wing along the fuselage as far as possible. Such a layout would still have good supersonic performance inherent to the short span, while also offering reasonable takeoff and landing speeds using vortex generation. The only downside to such a design is that the aircraft would have to take off and land very "nose high" in order to generate the required vortex lift, which led to questions about the low speed handling qualities of such a design. It would also need to have long landing gear to produce the required angles while still on the runway.

 

Küchemann presented the idea at a meeting where Morgan was also present. Eric Brown recalls Morgan's reaction to the presentation, saying that he immediately seized on it as the solution to the SST problem. Brown considers this moment as being the true birth of the Concorde project.

 

Design

 

Concorde is an ogival (also "ogee") delta-winged aircraft with four Olympus engines based on those employed in the RAF's Avro Vulcan strategic bomber. Concorde was the first airliner to have a (in this case, analogue) fly-by-wire flight-control system; the avionics of Concorde were unique because it was the first commercial aircraft to employ hybrid circuits. The principal designer for the project was Pierre Satre, with Sir Archibald Russell as his deputy.

 

Concorde pioneered the following technologies:

 

For high speed and optimisation of flight:

 

Double delta (ogee/ogival) shaped wings

Variable engine air intake system controlled by digital computers

Supercruise capability

Thrust-by-wire engines, predecessor of today’s FADEC-controlled engines

Droop-nose section for better landing visibility

For weight-saving and enhanced performance:

 

Mach 2.04 (~2,179 km/h or 1,354 mph) cruising speed for optimum fuel consumption (supersonic drag minimum although turbojet engines are more efficient at higher speed) Fuel consumption at Mach 2.0 and altitude of 60,000 feet was 4,800 gallons per hour.

Mainly aluminium construction for low weight and conventional manufacture (higher speeds would have ruled out aluminium)

Full-regime autopilot and autothrottle allowing "hands off" control of the aircraft from climb out to landing

Fully electrically controlled analogue fly-by-wire flight controls systems

High-pressure hydraulic system of 28 MPa (4,000 lbf/in²) for lighter hydraulic components

Complex Air Data Computer (ADC) for the automated monitoring and transmission of aerodynamic measurements (total pressure, static pressure, angle of attack, side-slip).

Fully electrically controlled analogue brake-by-wire system

Pitch trim by shifting fuel around the fuselage for centre-of-gravity control

Parts made using "sculpture milling", reducing the part count while saving weight and adding strength.

No auxiliary power unit, as Concorde would only visit large airports where ground air start carts are available.

 

Engines

 

Concorde's intake system

 

Concorde needed to fly long distances to be economically viable; this required high efficiency. Turbofan engines were rejected due to their larger cross-section producing excessive drag. Turbojets were found to be the best choice of engines. The engine used was the twin spool Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593, a development of the Bristol engine first used for the Avro Vulcan bomber, and developed into an afterburning supersonic variant for the BAC TSR-2 strike bomber. Rolls-Royce's own engine proposed for the aircraft at the time of Concorde's initial design was the RB.169.

 

The aircraft used reheat (afterburners) at takeoff and to pass through the upper transonic regime and to supersonic speeds, between Mach 0.95 and Mach 1.7. The afterburners were switched off at all other times. Due to jet engines being highly inefficient at low speeds, Concorde burned two tonnes of fuel (almost 2% of the maximum fuel load) taxiing to the runway. Fuel used is Jet A-1. Due to the high power produced even with the engines at idle, only the two outer engines were run after landing for easier taxiing.

 

The intake design for Concorde’s engines was especially critical.[Conventional jet engines can take in air at only around Mach 0.5; therefore the air has to be slowed from the Mach 2.0 airspeed that enters the engine intake. In particular, Concorde needed to control the shock waves that this reduction in speed generates to avoid damage to the engines. This was done by a pair of intake ramps and an auxiliary spill door, whose position moved in-flight to slow transiting air.

 

Engine failure causes problems on conventional subsonic aircraft; not only does the aircraft lose thrust on that side but the engine creates drag, causing the aircraft to yaw and bank in the direction of the failed engine. If this had happened to Concorde at supersonic speeds, it theoretically could have caused a catastrophic failure of the airframe. Although computer simulations predicted considerable problems, in practice Concorde could shut down both engines on the same side of the aircraft at Mach 2 without the predicted difficulties. During an engine failure the required air intake is virtually zero so, on Concorde, engine failure was countered by the opening of the auxiliary spill door and the full extension of the ramps, which deflected the air downwards past the engine, gaining lift and minimising drag. Concorde pilots were routinely trained to handle double engine failure.

 

Heating issues

 

Air compression on the outer surfaces caused the cabin to heat up during flight. Every surface, such as windows and panels, was warm to the touch by end of the flight. Besides engines, the hottest part of the structure of any supersonic aircraft, due to aerodynamic heating, is the nose. The engineers used Hiduminium R.R. 58, an aluminium alloy, throughout the aircraft due to its familiarity, cost and ease of construction. The highest temperature that aluminium could sustain over the life of the aircraft was 127 °C (261 °F), which limited the top speed to Mach 2.02. Concorde went through two cycles of heating and cooling during a flight, first cooling down as it gained altitude, then heating up after going supersonic. The reverse happened when descending and slowing down. This had to be factored into the metallurgical and fatigue modelling. A test rig was built that repeatedly heated up a full-size section of the wing, and then cooled it, and periodically samples of metal were taken for testing. The Concorde airframe was designed for a life of 45,000 flying hours.

 

Owing to air friction as the plane travelled at supersonic speed, the fuselage would heat up and expand by as much as 300 mm (almost 1 ft). The most obvious manifestation of this was a gap that opened up on the flight deck between the flight engineer's console and the bulkhead. On some aircraft that conducted a retiring supersonic flight, the flight engineers placed their caps in this expanded gap, wedging the cap when it shrank again. To keep the cabin cool, Concorde used the fuel as a heat sink for the heat from the air conditioning. The same method also cooled the hydraulics. During supersonic flight the surfaces forward from the cockpit became heated, and a visor was used to deflect much of this heat from directly reaching the cockpit.

 

Concorde had livery restrictions; the majority of the surface had to be covered with a highly reflective white paint to avoid overheating the aluminium structure due to heating effects from supersonic flight at Mach 2. The white finish reduced the skin temperature by 6 to 11 degrees Celsius. In 1996, Air France briefly painted F-BTSD in a predominantly blue livery, with the exception of the wings, in a promotional deal with Pepsi. In this paint scheme, Air France were advised to remain at Mach 2 for no more than 20 minutes at a time, but there was no restriction at speeds under Mach 1.7. F-BTSD was used because it was not scheduled for any long flights that required extended Mach 2 operations.

 

Structural issues

 

Fuel pitch trim

 

Due to the high speeds at which Concorde travelled, large forces were applied to the aircraft's structure during banks and turns. This caused twisting and the distortion of the aircraft’s structure. In addition there were concerns over maintaining precise control at supersonic speeds; both of these issues were resolved by active ratio changes between the inboard and outboard elevons, varying at differing speeds including supersonic. Only the innermost elevons, which are attached to the stiffest area of the wings, were active at high speed. Additionally, the narrow fuselage meant that the aircraft flexed. This was visible from the rear passengers’ viewpoints.

 

When any aircraft passes the critical mach of that particular airframe, the centre of pressure shifts rearwards. This causes a pitch down force on the aircraft if the centre of mass remains where it was. The engineers designed the wings in a specific manner to reduce this shift, but there was still a shift of about 2 metres. This could have been countered by the use of trim controls, but at such high speeds this would have caused a dramatic increase in the drag on the aircraft. Instead, the distribution of fuel along the aircraft was shifted during acceleration and deceleration to move the centre of mass, effectively acting as an auxiliary trim control.

 

Range

 

In order to fly non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, Concorde was developed to have the greatest supersonic range of any aircraft. This was achieved by a combination of engines which were highly efficient at supersonic speeds, a slender fuselage with high fineness ratio, and a complex wing shape for a high lift to drag ratio. This also required carrying only a modest payload and a high fuel capacity, and the aircraft was trimmed with precision to avoid unnecessary drag.

 

Nevertheless, soon after Concorde began flying, a Concorde "B" model was designed with slightly larger fuel capacity and slightly larger wings with leading edge slats to improve aerodynamic performance at all speeds, with the objective of expanding the range to reach markets in new regions. It featured more powerful engines with sound deadening and without the fuel-hungry and noisy reheat. It was speculated that it was reasonably possible to create an engine with up to 25% gain in efficiency over the Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593. This would have given 500 mi (805 km) additional range and a greater payload, making new commercial routes possible. This was cancelled due in part to poor sales of Concorde, but also to the rising cost of aviation fuel in the 1970s.

 

Droop Nose

 

Concorde’s drooping nose, developed by Marshall Aerospace, enabled the aircraft to switch between being streamlined to reduce drag and achieve optimum aerodynamic efficiency, and not obstructing the pilot's view during taxi, takeoff, and landing operations. Due to the high angle of attack the long pointed nose obstructed the view and necessitated the capability to droop. The droop nose was accompanied by a moving visor that retracted into the nose prior to being lowered. When the nose was raised to horizontal, the visor would rise in front of the cockpit windscreen for aerodynamic streamlining.

 

A controller in the cockpit allowed the visor to be retracted and the nose to be lowered to 5° below the standard horizontal position for taxiing and takeoff. Following takeoff and after clearing the airport, the nose and visor were raised. Prior to landing, the visor was again retracted and the nose lowered to 12.5° below horizontal for maximum visibility. Upon landing the nose was raised to the five-degree position to avoid the possibility of damage.

 

The Federal Aviation Administration had objected to the restrictive visibility of the visor used on the first two prototype Concordes and thus requiring alteration before the FAA would permit Concorde to serve US airports; this led to the redesigned visor used on the production and the four pre-production aircraft. The nose window and visor glass needed to endure temperatures in excess of 100 °C (212 °F) at supersonic flight were developed by Triplex.

 

Retirement

 

Concorde's final flight; G-BOAF from Heathrow to Bristol, on 26 November 2003. The extremely high fineness ratio of the fuselage is evident.

On 10 April 2003, Air France and British Airways simultaneously announced that they would retire Concorde later that year. They cited low passenger numbers following the 25 July 2000 crash, the slump in air travel following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and rising maintenance costs. Although Concorde was technologically advanced when introduced in the 1970s, 30 years later, its analogue cockpit was dated. There had been little commercial pressure to upgrade Concorde due to a lack of competing aircraft, unlike other airliners of the same era such as the Boeing 747. By its retirement, it was the last aircraft in British Airways' fleet that had a flight engineer; other aircraft, such as the modernised 747-400, had eliminated the role.

 

On 11 April 2003, Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson announced that the company was interested in purchasing British Airways’ Concorde fleet for their nominal original price of £1 (US$1.57 in April 2003) each. British Airways dismissed the idea, prompting Virgin to increase their offer to £1 million each. Branson claimed that when BA was privatised, a clause in the agreement required them to allow another British airline to operate Concorde if BA ceased to do so, but the Government denied the existence of such a clause. In October 2003, Branson wrote in The Economist that his final offer was "over £5 million" and that he had intended to operate the fleet "for many years to come". The chances for keeping Concorde in service were stifled by Airbus's lack of support for continued maintenance.

 

It has been suggested that Concorde was not withdrawn for the reasons usually given but that it became apparent during the grounding of Concorde that the airlines could make more profit carrying first class passengers subsonically. A lack of commitment to Concorde from Director of Engineering Alan MacDonald was cited as having undermined BA’s resolve to continue operating Concorde.

 

Air France

 

Air France made its final commercial Concorde landing in the United States in New York City from Paris on 30 May 2003. Air France's final Concorde flight took place on 27 June 2003 when F-BVFC retired to Toulouse.

 

An auction of Concorde parts and memorabilia for Air France was held at Christie's in Paris on 15 November 2003; 1,300 people attended, and several lots exceeded their predicted values. French Concorde F-BVFC was retired to Toulouse and kept functional for a short time after the end of service, in case taxi runs were required in support of the French judicial enquiry into the 2000 crash. The aircraft is now fully retired and no longer functional.

 

French Concorde F-BTSD has been retired to the "Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace" at Le Bourget (near Paris) and, unlike the other museum Concordes, a few of the systems are being kept functional. For instance, the famous "droop nose" can still be lowered and raised. This led to rumours that they could be prepared for future flights for special occasions.

 

French Concorde F-BVFB currently rests at the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim at Sinsheim, Germany, after its last flight from Paris to Baden-Baden, followed by a spectacular transport to Sinsheim via barge and road. The museum also has a Tu-144 on display – this is the only place where both supersonic airliners can be seen together.

 

British Airways[edit]

 

BA Concorde G-BOAB in storage at London Heathrow Airport. This aircraft flew for 22,296 hours between its first flight in 1976 and its final flight in 2000.

 

BA Concorde G-BOAC in its hangar at Manchester Airport Aviation Viewing Park]]

British Airways conducted a North American farewell tour in October 2003. G-BOAG visited Toronto Pearson International Airport on 1 October, after which it flew to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. G-BOAD visited Boston’s Logan International Airport on 8 October, and G-BOAG visited Washington Dulles International Airport on 14 October. It has been claimed that G-BOAD’s flight from London Heathrow to Boston set a transatlantic flight record of 3 hours, 5 minutes, 34 seconds. However the fastest transatlantic flight was from New York JFK airport to Heathrow on 7 February 1996, taking 2 hours, 52 minutes, 59 seconds; 90 seconds less than a record set in April 1990.

 

In a week of farewell flights around the United Kingdom, Concorde visited Birmingham on 20 October, Belfast on 21 October, Manchester on 22 October, Cardiff on 23 October, and Edinburgh on 24 October. Each day the aircraft made a return flight out and back into Heathrow to the cities, often overflying them at low altitude. On 22 October, both Concorde flight BA9021C, a special from Manchester, and BA002 from New York landed simultaneously on both of Heathrow's runways. On 23 October 2003, the Queen consented to the illumination of Windsor Castle, an honour reserved for state events and visiting dignitaries, as Concorde's last west-bound commercial flight departed London.

 

British Airways retired its Concorde fleet on 24 October 2003. G-BOAG left New York to a fanfare similar to that given for Air France’s F-BTSD, while two more made round trips, G-BOAF over the Bay of Biscay, carrying VIP guests including former Concorde pilots, and G-BOAE to Edinburgh. The three aircraft then circled over London, having received special permission to fly at low altitude, before landing in sequence at Heathrow. The captain of the New York to London flight was Mike Bannister. The final flight of a Concorde in the US occurred on 5 November 2003 when G-BOAG flew from New York's Kennedy Airport to Seattle's Boeing Field to join the Museum of Flight's permanent collection. The plane was piloted by Mike Bannister and Les Broadie who claimed a flight time of three hours, 55 minutes and 12 seconds, a record between the two cities. The museum had been pursuing a Concorde for their collection since 1984. The final flight of a Concorde world-wide took place on 26 November 2003 with a landing at Filton, Bristol, UK.

 

All of BA's Concorde fleet have been grounded, drained of hydraulic fluid and their airworthiness certificates withdrawn. Jock Lowe, ex-chief Concorde pilot and manager of the fleet estimated in 2004 that it would cost £10–15 million to make G-BOAF airworthy again. BA maintain ownership and have stated that they will not fly again due to a lack of support from Airbus. On 1 December 2003, Bonhams held an auction of British Airways’ Concorde artifacts, including a nose cone, at Kensington Olympia in London. Proceeds of around £750,000 were raised, with the majority going to charity. G-BOAD is currently on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York. In 2007, BA announced that the advertising spot at Heathrow where a 40% scale model of Concorde was located would not be retained; the model is now on display at the Brooklands Museum.

 

Chrysler Concorde (1998)

 

The Concorde was completely redesigned for the 1998 model year. The new design was similar to the new Chrysler LHS, however the two models each had a unique front end shape and different rear fascias. The "Second Generation" design was introduced in 1996 as the Chrysler LHX Concept Car. This concept vehicle had large 20" wheels, and a centrally located instrument cluster. The wheelbase was expanded to 124 inches (3,100 mm) to allow for rear passenger supplement restraints, rear occupant entertainment center and storage compartment.

 

Despite overall length increasing by 7.5 inches (190 mm), the second generation's weight dropped by nearly a hundred pounds. This was achieved by extensive use of aluminum for the rear suspension, hood, as well as the two new engines. In addition the 214 hp (160 kW) 3.5-liter V6 engine, there was also a new 200 hp (149 kW) 2.7-liter V6 and 225 hp (168 kW) 3.2-liter V6. The 3.5-liter was redone and output upgraded to 253 hp (189 kW) and was available on the 2002-2004 Concorde Limited (formerly LHS).

 

Much was done in the design process to make the second generation LH sedans look more distinct from each other. The 1998 Concorde differed far greater from the Dodge Intrepid and the new 1999 Chrysler 300M (successor to the Eagle Vision), than did the first generation models. With the exception of the doors and roof, the Concorde shared little sheetmetal with the Intrepid and 300M. The new Concorde's front end was underscored by a striking full-width grille, relocated to the front bumper to give the impression of a bottom breather. Sweeping curves and a more rounded front end also helped set the Concorde apart from the Intrepid and 300M. The second generation Chrysler LHS had an appearance very similar to the Concorde; The only major differences being its more centrally located single frame grille and amber turn signals on the taillights.

 

As in the previous generation, six passenger seating with a front bench seat and column shifter was optional. Cloth seating was standard on base LX with leather seating optional. Leather was standard on upscale LXi and later Limited models.

 

The Concorde, 300M, and Intrepid were discontinued in 2004. The all-new Chrysler 300 replaced the Concorde (and 300M) in late 2004 as a 2005 model.

 

The Concorde 2nd generation replaced the first generation car (launched in 1991), itself derived from the AMC division Eagle Premier (and Dodge Monaco). Interestingly, these two AMC products were directly related to the then-new Renault 25 and inherited the Renault north-south installation of the powertrains, with the engine mounted ahead of, and driving, the front axle. This layout is very similar to that used in the larger Audis, thus permitting the installation of a all-wheel-drive system for added traction, though there were no volume models of either the AMC division cars, or the latter LHS platform Chryslers that used this system.

 

Notes on each of the aircraft Concorde and automotive Concorde are taken from excerpts published on Wikipedia.

 

The two models shown here, the Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde and the second generation Chrysler Corcorde have been designed in Lego. The aircraft in approximately 1:50 scale, and the car in miniland (1:21) scale for Flickr LUGNuts 79th Build Challenge, - "LUGNuts goes Wingnuts" - featuring automotive models named after, inspired by, or related to aircraft.

The U.S. homeownership rate, which soared to a record high 69.2 percent in 2004, is back where it was two decades ago, before the housing bubble inflated, busted and ripped more than 7 million Americans from their homes.

 

With ownership at 65 percent and home values rising, housing industry and consumer groups are pressing lawmakers to make the American Dream more inclusive by ensuring new mortgage standards designed to prevent another crash are flexible enough that more families can benefit from the recovery. Regulators are close to proposing a softened version of a rule requiring banks to keep a stake in risky mortgages they securitize, according to five people familiar with the discussions.

 

Lawmakers currently shaping housing finance are seeking to reduce the government’s role in keeping rates affordable for riskier borrowers while ensuring homeownership is within reach of minorities and first-time buyers who could be needed to sustain the housing recovery as borrowing costs rise from record lows. Who will be able to buy property depends on the balance they reach, according to Anthony Sanders, a professor of real estate finance at George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia.

 

“Low down-payment loans coupled with exotic adjustable rate mortgages helped fuel a massive housing bubble, which ultimately burst and took down the financial sector,” said Sanders, who was the former head of mortgage-bond research at Deutsche Bank AG. “So the question now is do we want to do this again?”

Hitting Bottom

The homeownership rate in the second quarter was unchanged from the prior three month period, according to Census Bureau data released today. It will hit bottom at about 64 percent in the next year as families leave the foreclosure pipeline and enter rental homes, according to a May analysis by London-based Capital Economics Inc. It’s currently the lowest in almost 18 years after averaging about 64 percent for 30 years through 1995.

First-time buyers and minorities are among the groups that have seen the sharpest declines since the crash. While property ownership among senior citizens was little changed at about 81 percent, the share below age 35 that own a home fell to about 37 percent from almost 42 percent five years earlier.

 

The rate for blacks reached almost 50 percent in the second quarter of 2004 from about 43 percent in 1995, Census Bureau data show. By the second quarter of this year, it had dropped to 42.9 percent. The rate for whites fell to 73.3 percent in the second quarter, from 76.2 percent in 2004.

 

Economic Push

In the midst of a new economic push, President Barack Obama, who spent much of his first term managing the foreclosure fallout, is now turning to buying homes.

“The key now is to encourage homeownership that isn’t based on bubbles, but is instead based on a solid foundation where buyers and lenders play by the same set of rules, rules that are clear, transparent and fair,” Obama said in a July 24 speech.

Presidents have been promoting homeownership at least since the Federal Housing Administration was created by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1934 to insure mortgages so more borrowers could qualify. Over more than 50 years, administrations touted property buying as a way to put lower-income families on a path to social and financial stability by forcing savings and making for a more involved citizenry.

 

Successive Clinton and Bush administrations unleashed ambitious programs to widen buying. Clinton’s “National Homeownership Strategy” in 1995 set a goal of allowing millions of families to own homes, in part, by making financing “more available, affordable, and flexible.”

 

Everybody Wants

President Bush credited his policies with homeownership reaching an all-time high after he set a goal in 2002 of allowing 5.5 million poor and moderate-income and minority families to buy homes so that “everybody who wants to own a home has got a shot at doing so.”

At the center of these efforts were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which financed mortgages for low- and moderate-income borrowers according to goals set by the federal government that steadily increased until 2008.

As Wall Street helped create subprime and riskier mortgages for borrowers with low credit scores and zero down payments, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bought more of the loans to meet those targets. After house prices peaked in 2006 and then fell as much as 35 percent, defaults surged and the companies required a $187.5 billion bailout from the taxpayer.

Mid-2000s Rhetoric

 

Stuart Gabriel, finance professor and director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA, said the crisis was brought on in part by the belief that homeownership could drive the economy and give the middle class access to a relatively safe leveraged investment, combined with the housing industry’s thirst for profits.

“The rhetoric going into the mid-2000s was that on a national basis and subsequent to the Great Depression housing prices only moved in one direction and that was up,” Gabriel said. “If you study the housing policies of the Obama administration, there’s an effort to push the needle back to some balance with rental assistance. There are reasons for that, including the massive homeownership failure he was dealing with.”

As the economy heals, first-time buyers and second-chance borrowers with damaged credit want a crack at property. While affordability is near a record, they’re facing a tight mortgage market, rising borrowing costs as the Federal Reserve weighs reducing its stimulus efforts, and a housing market drained of low-cost listings by private-equity firms building an industry of single-family houses for rent.

 

Prices Rise

The median home price rose 13.5 percent in June from a year earlier as 1 in 3 properties were purchased with cash, according to the National Association of Realtors. The share of first-time buyers, which historically averaged about 40 percent, has fallen to 29 percent, according to the Realtors’ group.

Buyers in their 20s and early 30s are often at a disadvantage because they have thin credit files and limited assets for down payments, said Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that studies social and economic issues.

 

“I’m not suggesting indiscriminate access to homeownership but there are many borrowers who are capable of demonstrating the capacity to pay,” Wartell said. “Those who are able to benefit from the low rates and prices are the investors and those families who weathered the recession most successfully. And those who had a job loss or foreclosure, in many cases through no fault of their own, have the double whammy of being shut out of a rising market.”

Adult Transition

 

Julie McKinney, 26, and her fiancé Chris Miller are saving for a down payment so they can begin married life in a house of their own. McKinney, a college marketing coordinator, took on weekend work at a gym and winery and the couple moved into her sister’s basement outside Baltimore. McKinney and Miller, a first grade teacher, also bag lunches and cut grocery coupons, she said.

“We’ve never taken anything on that is this big and it’s so exciting to have a goal in mind,” said McKinney, who hopes to amass about $7,000 for a down payment on a Baltimore starter home. “It’s a transition into adult life.”

Their opportunity to buy depends on a mortgage underwriting system that’s in transition.

Six regulators, including the Fed and the Securities and Exchange Commission, plan in the next few weeks to ask for public feedback on a rule mandated by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that’s known as the Qualified Residential Mortgage rule, or QRM.

 

Facing Pushback

Facing pushback from a coalition of more than 50 organizations advocating homeownership including homebuilders, Realtors and consumer groups, the panel is preparing to unveil a weakened version of a proposal that will require lenders to keep a stake in risky mortgages that they securitize.

 

The agencies are scrapping an earlier, more stringent proposal that would have required banks to hold a share of mortgages issued to borrowers spending more than 36 percent of their income on debt and those who made less than a 20 percent down payment. Instead, it will require lenders to retain risk on loans issued to borrowers spending more than 43 percent of their income on debt.

“If what we’ve heard about the proposed QRM rule is true, then we are very pleased that the agencies are moving towards a broad definition that will benefit the American people by ensuring access to safe, affordable options for buying a home,” Gary Thomas, president of the National Association of Realtors, said in an e-mailed statement.

Fannie-Freddie Future

 

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have both introduced bills that would overhaul the housing finance system by winding down government-owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which back more than two-thirds of all mortgage originations.

A House bill from Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas, would eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and remove the federal backstop from most of the residential mortgage market.

 

The Senate bill, written by Tennessee Republican Bob Corker and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner, reflects a growing bipartisan consensus that the U.S. should have a role as a catastrophic reinsurer of mortgages, behind significant private capital. The bill was written with input from the Treasury Department.

 

‘Our Goals’

“They’re looking for a way to accomplish goals that very much reflect our goals,” Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said in a July 18 interview on Bloomberg Television.

Those goals include limiting taxpayer risk, getting private capital back into the mortgage markets and maintaining access to credit for worthy borrowers, Lew said.

 

Obama said in the July 24 speech in Galesburg, Illinois, that he is acting on his own “to cut red tape for responsible families who want to get a mortgage but the bank is saying ‘no.’”

“We’ll work with both parties to turn the page on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and build a housing finance system that’s rock-solid for future generations,” Obama said.

While legislators delve into the intricacies of mortgage lending, what they aren’t debating is homeownership and how much of it is a good thing, said Isaac Boltansky, an analyst with Compass Point Research & Trading LLC in Washington.

 

“We don’t have as much of a focus on the big picture,” Boltansky said. “We don’t talk about whether we should be a homeownership society any more. It’s not where the debate is. There’s a discussion about mechanism.”

 

Taxpayer Strain

Owning a home that is fully paid off provides stability in retirement and if the U.S. has a greater share of aging renters that could put a strain on taxpayers, said Christopher Mayer, a real estate professor at Columbia Business School in New York.

“Having a path that people can become a homeowner is an important path,” Mayer said. “And it’s really important for middle to lower income folks who have a hard time saving and for whom targeting savings programs are not very successful.”

While homeownership has a natural appeal because people like permanence and the ability to make a property their own, it has been oversold, Yale University economist Robert Shiller said.

 

The 65 percent homeownership rate may even be high compared with robust economies such as Germany’s, where 53 percent own homes and Switzerland, which has a rate of about 35 percent, Shiller said. Homeownership may inhibit economic growth by limiting the ability of families to move as freely for jobs and the government subsidies could be used for other purposes, he said.

“We’ve learned that the risks matter,” Shiller said. “We’ve seen the consequences of encouraging people to put all their life savings in one investment. Public support for homeownership will be lower for years to come and I would be surprised if this boom turned out to be as big as the last one.”

Editors: Pierre Paulden, Rob Urban

To contact the reporters on this story: Prashant Gopal in Boston at pgopal2@bloomberg.net; Clea Benson in Washington at cbenson20@bloomberg.net