Rotorcraft Update: NASA panel recommends a return to V-22 flight test

 - May 27, 2008, 7:25 AM

In an independent assessment of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor program conducted by NASA at the request of the U.S. Navy, a blue-ribbon panel has given the often troubled program a clean bill of health, at least from the aerodynamic point of view. Chaired by Dr. Henry McDonald, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, the panel issued a broad range of test program recommendations, emphatically calling for a return to flight test “without delay” and that the program be beefed up with additional aircraft, personnel and resources. Among the most interesting recommendations is development of a new rate-of-descent display, needed to help crews avoid the ring vortex state, cited as a contributing factor in one of the Marines’ three fatal tiltrotor accidents. Just what effect this report will have on V-22 program management remains to be seen.