Tag Archives: Score

V-22 Osprey gets rave reviews from deployed US Marines

Here’s a photo of the V-22 Osprey – it can change from a helicopter to a plane:

V-22 Osprey Joint Service Aircraft
V-22 Osprey Joint Service Aircraft

Here’s a quick run-down on what the V-22 Osprey can do.

Excerpt:

The V-22 is a tiltrotor aircraft, taking off and landing like a helicopter, but, once airborne, its engine nacelles can be rotated to convert the aircraft to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight.

It can carry 24 combat troops, or up to 20,000 pounds of internal or external cargo, at twice the speed of a helicopter. It includes cross-coupled transmissions so either engine can power the rotors if one engine fails.

The rotors can fold and the wing rotate so the aircraft can be stored aboard an aircraft carrier.

[…]The Osprey has two, large, three-bladed rotors that rotate in opposite directions and produce lift. Because the rotors turn in opposite directions, there is no need for a tail rotor to provide stability as in a helicopter. The wing tilts the rotors between airplane and helicopter modes and generates lift in the airplane mode. The Osprey can convert smoothly from helicopter mode to airplane mode in as few as 12 seconds.

The major advantages of the Osprey over a helicopter are:

  • Longer range – The Osprey can fly from 270 to 580 miles (453 to 933 km).
  • Higher speed – The Osprey’s top speed is 315 mph (507 kph), which is twice as fast as a helicopter’s top speed.
  • Increased cargo capacity – The Osprey can carry 20,000 pounds (4,536 kg) of cargo or 24 troops.

The advantage of the Osprey over an airplane is that it can take off, hover and land like a helicopter. This makes is more versatile than an airplane for such missions as moving troops to remote areas, especially those without landing strips, or conducting long-range rescue operations at sea.

The Hill has battlefield reports about the performance of the USMC V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

Excerpt:

Military and industry officials rave about the V-22 tiltrotor’s performance in Afghanistan but know they need to show the aircraft is worth its high price tag.

The Marine Corps are flying V-22 Ospreys in theater and “it’s more effective than we expected,” Maj. Gen. Jon Davis, Second Marine Corps Air Wing commander, told reporters here recently. “We have only scratched the surface with this aircraft. … “We’re doing things with the V-22 we did not plan to do.”

The V-22 takes off vertically but can fly like a plane, allowing it to travel faster than traditional helicopters. The military is using the craft to haul teams of Marines, special operators, combat rescue personnel and cargo.

But there are questions in defense circles about whether — after years of technical delays and cost spikes —such glowing reviews will be enough to avoid future cuts as White House, Pentagon and congressional officials look for ways to trim the annual Defense budget.

Despite rave reviews from war fighters, the program is among the most expensive at the Pentagon.

Each Osprey has a flyaway cost of $65 million. The Pentagon already has spent over $30 billion on the V-22 program, according to the Congressional Research Service.

But some people would rather cut the V-22 than cut Obamacare:

Liberal lawmakers often come after the Osprey initiative when looking for places to trim Pentagon spending.

Last month, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to a Pentagon policy bill that would have directed the department to spend no monies on the program in 2012.

Woolsey dubbed the program a “boondoggle” for the “military-industrial complex.” Terminating the program would save more than $12 billion over 10 years, and $2.5 billion in 2012 alone, she claimed.

The House overwhelmingly defeated her amendment, but not before Woolsey said the aircraft has gotten “mediocre marks” from independent auditors and “underperformed across the board.” There are reports the V-22 has struggled in “high-threat environments,” she said.

She also said it has failed to “prove its worth” operationally and has had a number of major crashes. But Davis says it has proven its value, citing the fleet’s strong record in a rugged war theater.

Program officials and advocates are ready to fight back as Washington continues talking about an era of federal spending cuts.

Their embryonic message, as Davis put it: “Why would we terminate something that works?”

Marine Corps and Bell-Boeing officials also say to avoid budget cuts or a reduced buy, they will have to show critics like Woolsey that the fleet is reliable.

Right now, the Osprey’s closely monitored reliability rate in Afghanistan is around 73 percent, according to program officials.

Davis wants to push that figure to 80 percent, saying that would make the V-22 among the military’s most reliable aircraft.

I love the V-22 Osprey. It is a force multiplier, in my opinion. And can you imagine that some people wanted to cancel it just because of some difficulties they had early on in testing?

Related posts

Education reform in India and in Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana

India is focused on education reform
India is focused on education reform

Consider this article from the Philadelphia Bulletin.

Excerpt:

In 2007, the School Choice Campaign, a New Delhi-based education think tank, designed, funded, and implemented a pilot school choice program in the city. The program randomly selected students to be offered a school tuition voucher, which was taken up by 63 percent of students selected. The money could be used at any qualifying private school.

India’s teacher unions have fought the privately funded program tooth-and-nail. “They fight vouchers [because] they will enable students to leave the malfunctioning government schools and make the teachers redundant,” says Jan S. Rao, director of the School Choice Campaign in Delhi. “It is already happening in urban areas. In Delhi there are schools with more teachers than students, since the students have left.”

Oxford economist Francis Teal examined the effect of teacher unions on academic performance in India for a 2008 study. “We thus have in this data clear evidence that unions raise cost and reduce student achievement,” he bluntly states.

[…]For leaders of India’s education choice movement, the success of this trial is only the beginning. They will not be satisfied, says Dr. Parth J. Shah, president of India’s Centre for Civil Society, until “the Delhi government immediately adopts funding all new government schools on a per-pupil basis through vouchers.” That is already the national strategy in Sweden and Chile.

If I ever go totally crazy and just do whatever I want to do, then I’m moving to Chile. Just to see what it would be like. I’d like to move to India, but I’m told that there are a lot of mosquitoes, and the roads aren’t good. But that could change.

What about Louisiana?

Bobby and Supriya Jindal

Well, Louisiana has an Indian-American Republican Governor – his name is Bobby Jindal, and he is very enthusiastic about education reform. What has he done to make education reform work better?

Consider this study done by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. (H/T Independent Women’s Forum)

Excerpt:

The charter environment thrives in New Orleans. Louisiana state law places no cap on the number of schools that can operate, and it provides for adequate funding of both charters and authorizers. The Louisiana Charter School Start-Up fund also provides zero-interest loans for charter schools to use for facilities-an element of charter funding that many states ignore. New Orleans leads the country in its percentage of students in charters at 57 percent.

That’s right – Louisiana is number one in education reform!

And there’s more:

Every city that receives a D or an F in this analysis is in a collective-bargaining state. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the top nine scorers (cities receiving a B) are located in right-to-work states.  All of the cities located in right-to-work states included in this study received a B or C, and none received a D or F.

Right-to-work means that a teacher can work without having to join a union! And that means that they can be fired if they can’t perform – but if they can perform, then they make more money! So they have an incentive to work harder and to make their students learn more – there is no safe job for them if they underperform.

Is South Carolina next? South Carolina has an Indian-American Republican Nikki Haley running for governor, so they’re probably next for major education reforms. I’m being silly, but you have to wonder… is there something about the Indian culture that makes them take education more seriously?

Walter Williams asks how well public schools perform for the money

Walter Williams explains how much public schools cost and how well they perform.

One of the most left-wing places in the country is Washington, D.C. – which votes 90% Democrat.

How good are schools run by Democrats?

Only 14 percent of Washington’s fourth-graders score at or above proficiency in the reading and math portions of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test. Their national rank of 51 makes them the nation’s worst. Eighth-graders are even further behind with only 12 percent scoring at or above proficiency in reading and 8 percent in math and again the worst performance in the nation. One shouldn’t be surprised by Washington student performance on college admissions tests. They have an average composite SAT score of 925 and ACT score of 19.1, compared to the national average respectively of 1017 and 21.1. In terms of national ranking, their SAT and ACT rankings are identical to their fourth- and eighth-grade rankings — dead last.

And how expensive are schools run by Democrats?

During the 2006-07 academic year, expenditures per pupil averaged $13,848 compared to a national average of $9,389. That made Washington’s per pupil expenditures the third highest in the nation coming in behind New Jersey ($14,998) and New York ($14,747). Washington’s teacher-student ratio is 13.9 compared with the national average of 15.3 students per teacher, ranking 18th in the nation. What about teacher salaries? Washington’s teachers are the highest paid in the nation, having an average annual salary of $61,195 compared with the nation’s average $46,593.

Public schools cost too much and perform too little.

How do homeschooled students perform compared to public school students?

Here’s an amazing study sent to me by the amazing Miss Marprelate.

Excerpt:

Drawing from 15 independent testing services, the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics included 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who took three well-known tests—California Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 2007–08 academic year. The Progress Report is the most comprehensive homeschool academic study ever completed.

The linked article reports on the raw scores of homeschooled students vs public school students.

And for the homeschooled students, it also analyzes how certain factors affect the scores:

  • household income
  • parent’s education level
  • parental teaching certification
  • parental spending on education
  • state government regulation

Please click through and get ready to be impressed!

Do affirmative action policies help or hurt quality of service?

Commenter ECM sent me an article from a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, written by a professor at the Naval Academy. The author is a professor of English, and he doesn’t think that affirmative action provides taxpayers with good quality service. Quality of service is very important because the Navy keeps us safe from harm. They have an important job, so shouldn’t we be hiring the best candidates?

Excerpt:

Midshipmen are admitted by two tracks. White applicants out of high school who are not also athletic recruits typically need grades of A and B and minimum SAT scores of 600 on each part for the Board to vote them “qualified.” Athletics and leadership also count.

A vote of “qualified” for a white applicant doesn’t mean s/he’s coming, only that he or she can compete to win the “slate” of up to 10 nominations that (most typically) a Congress(wo)man draws up. That means that nine “qualified” white applicants are rejected. SAT scores below 600 or C grades almost always produce a vote of “not qualified” for white applicants.

Not so for an applicant who self-identifies as one of the minorities who are our “number one priority.” For them, another set of rules apply. Their cases are briefed separately to the board, and SAT scores to the mid-500s with quite a few Cs in classes (and no visible athletics or leadership) typically produce a vote of “qualified” for them, with direct admission to Annapolis. They’re in, and are given a pro forma nomination to make it legit.

Minority applicants with scores and grades down to the 300s with Cs and Ds (and no particular leadership or athletics) also come, though after a remedial year at our taxpayer-supported remedial school, the Naval Academy Preparatory School.

By using NAPS as a feeder, we’ve virtually eliminated all competition for “diverse” candidates: in theory they have to get a C average at NAPS to come to USNA, but this is regularly re-negotiated.

Try and reflect on the fact that when quality goes down in an area where performance means life or death, the consequences for NOT hiring the best could be disastrous.