Richard Whittle

  • Aired:  04/27/10
  •  | Views: 47,033

Richard Whittle calls the notorious V-22 Osprey a real-life transformer that takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane. (6:20)

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK MY GUEST TONIGHT LONGTIME PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT FOR THE DALLAS

MORNING NEWS.

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED THE DREAM MACHINE.

THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE B-22 OSPREY.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM RICHARD WHITTLE.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

WELCOME, SIR.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Jon: THIS IS -- THIS IS ABOUT THE B-22.

>> OSPREY.

>> Jon: OSPREY.

WE HAVE A SHOT OF THAT.

I DON'T KNOW IF PEOPLE KNOW WHAT IT IS.

IT'S A PLANE HELICOPTER HYBRID.

THERE IT IS IN FLIGHT.

>> IT'S A REAL LIFE TRANSFORMER IS WHAT IT IS.

TAKES OFF WITH BIG ROTORS ON THE WING TIPS.

TAKES OFF LIKE A HELICOPTER,

TILTS THEM FORWARD AND FLIES LIKE AN AIRPLANE.

>> Jon: WHY IS THIS NOTORIOUS?

THE AMOUNT OF MONEY SPENT, THE DEATHS OCCURRED?

>> ALL OF THE ABOVE.

THE MARINES SPENT 25 YEARS $22 BILLION, 30 PEOPLE WERE KILLED DURING THE DEVELOPMENT IN

CRASHES AND THAT'S A TERRIBLE RECORD.

IT'S -- SO THAT IS WHY IT'S NOTORIOUS.

>> Jon: YET NOW.

IT CANNOT BE KILLED THIS PROGRAM.

THE B-22 OSPREY CANNOT -- YOU CANNOT -- IT IS JASON.

IT RISES.

[ LAUGHTER ]

AT THIS POINT WHAT IS KEEPING THIS ALIVE?

IS IT A GOOD PRODUCT?

>> WELL, LOOK, THE OSPREY THAT WAS IN DEVELOPMENT FOR 20 YEARS AND HAD A H- THAT TERRIBLE

RECORD WAS REDESIGNED AND RETEST RETESTED STARTED IN 2002.

THE OSPREY IS NOW FLYING -- THE MARINES MARINES ARE FLYING IN AFGHANISTAN NOW AND THE AIR

FORCE, TOO.

THEY'VE FLOWN IT MORE THAN 70,000 HOURS WITH A GOOD RECORD.

>> Jon: THERE WAS A RECENT --

>> THERE WAS A CRASH A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AND WE DON'T KNOW THE

REASON FOR IT YET BUT I SUSPECT IT'S GOING TO BE SIMILAR TO THE

REASONS FOR THE 227 HELICOPTERS THAT HAVE BEEN LOST IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN OVER THE LAST EIGHT YEARS.

>> Jon: COMBAT OR CONDITIONS,

BROWNOUT?

>> BROWNOUT LANDINGS ARE A MAJOR CAUSE.

JUDGING BY THE CIRCUMSTANCES IT'S POSSIBLE THAT THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED HERE.

I DON'T KNOW YET.

>> Jon: HOW DO THE MARINES FEEL ABOUT IT?

THAT'S WHEN THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD WHEN YOU ASK THE GUYS.

IS THIS TECHNOLOGY THEY WANT,

THAT THEY CAN USE?

>> I WANT TO GO BACK TO WHAT YOU SAID EARLIER, WHY DID IT STAY ALIVE?

IT'S BEEN EXTRAORDINARY.

THERE'S BEEN LOTS OF PENTAGON PROGRAMS KILLED OVER THE YEARS.

>> Jon: DICK CHENEY WANTED TO KILL THIS WILL PROGRAM.

HE MET A PIECE OF MILITARY TECHNOLOGY HE FELT WAS NOT USEFUL.

>> THAT'S NOT WHAT HE SAID BUT IT'S AMAZING YOU AND DICK CHENEY AGREE ON SOMETHING.

[LAUGHTER]

HE SAID IT COST TOO MUCH.

AT THE TIME HE NEEDED TO CUT $10 BILLION OUT OF DEFENSE BUDGET.

HE WAS LOOKING FOR BIG PROGRAMS TO CUT.

THE HEAD OF PROGRAM ANALYSIS AND EVALUATION OPS AT THE PENTAGON SAID THIS WAS SOMETHING MARINES

COULD DO WITH HELICOPTERS BECAUSE IT'S USED FOR CARRYING TROOPS, CARGO AND ESPECIALLY FOR

AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT.

IT'S A LOGICAL ARGUMENT.

IF YOU LOOK BACK ON THE HISTORY OF OSPREY OVER THE 20 YEARS, $22 BILLION AND THREE CRASHES,

TERRIBLE CRASHES THAT KILLED 30 PEOPLE, YOU WOULD HAVE TO SAY,

WELL, YOU KNOW MAYBE THEY WERE RIGHT AT THE TIME, THE MARINES MAY HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF BUYING

HELICOPTERS BECAUSE THEY HAD TO WAIT A LONG TIME TO GET THIS.

THIS AIRCRAFT IS ACTUALLY A POSTER CHILD FOR WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE DEFENSE ACQUISITION SYSTEM.

TERRIBLE MISTAKESES WERE MADE WHEN IT WAS BEGUN.

AND DURING THAT DEVELOPMENT PERIOD ONE OF THE MISTAKES THAT WAS MADE WAS THEY WERE RUSHING

IT ALL THE TIME.

TRYING TO GET IT IN AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

THEY CUT BACK ON TESTING ON IT.

THAT MAY HAVE LED TO A COUPLE OF CRASHES.

>> Jon: WHAT WAS THE RUSH --

>> I JUST WANTED TO SAY THIS.

>> Jon: YES.

>> AFTER 2002 THEY STUDIED IT AND STARTED TRYING TO DO IT RIGHT INSTEAD OF IN A HURRY --

>> Jon: TRYING TO DO IT RIGHT --

>> INSTEAD OF IN A HURRY.

>> Jon: INTERESTING PHILOSOPHY.

YOU'VE FLOWN ON IT, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

>> I LOVE FLYING IT ON IT.

I WOULD MUCH RATHER FLY ON THE OSPREY THAN A HELICOPTER.

>> IT'S NOT AN E-TICKET RIDE BUT IT'S CLOSE.

YOU TAKE OFF ON A HELICOPTER AND TILT IT FORWARD AND IT'S LIKE YOU ARE IN A CORVETTE.

>> Jon: IS LIKE THE TECHNOLOGY -- RATHER THAN THE ALLEGHENY JUMP PUDDLES WE GET AN OSPREY?

>> ABSOLUTELY.

WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF I COULD GO UP ON THE ROOF AND HOP ON AND FLY BACK HOME.

>> Jon: AND ATTACK WIT AN OSPREY HELICOPTER.

>> IF I COULD SEE MY ENEMIES.

[LAUGHTER]

THAT WAS PART OF THE DREAM AND PART OF WHAT KEPT THIS AIRCRAFT ALIVE AND CONGRESSMAN CHENEY

TRIED TO KILL IT WITH THE PROMISE OF CIVILIAN TILT -- THAT HASN'T HAPPENED YET BECAUSE OF

ALL THE THINGS THAT MADE IT NOTORIOUS.

>> Jon: HELICOPTER GUYS DON'T LIKE IT, PLANE GUYS DON'T LOVE

IT BUT OSPREY GUYS LOVE IT.

>> I COULDN'T GENERALIZE ABOUT ALL HELICOPTER GUYS OR AIRPLANE GUYS.

>> Jon: THAT'S WHAT I WAS GOING FOR.

>> A LOT OF HELICOPTER GUYS DON'T LIKE IT.

IT'S AN EXOTIC TECHNOLOGY.

THERE ARE COMPANIES WORKING ON IT STILL, ON CIVILIAN TILT ROTORS.

THERE'S AIR DESIGNER IN CALIFORNIA WHO THINKS HE HAS A TILT ROTOR HE COULD TELL TO

AIRLINES IN 2013.

>> Jon: I KNOW THAT GUY.

HE IS FULL OF (bleep).

TILT ROTOR THIS AND THAT.

I'LL BELIEVE HIM WHEN I SEE IT.

>> I'LL SEE HIM NEXT MONTH, I'LL TELL HIM.

>> Jon: PLEASE DON'T TELL HIM THAT.

TILT ROTOR JOHNSON.

THE DREAM MACHINE I EXPECTED -- I EXPECTED IT WOULD MORE EMOTIONAL.

YOU LAID IT OUT REASONABLY AND RATIONALLY AND I GUESS THAT'S WHAT REAL REPORTERS DO.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> THAT'S WHAT I TRY TO DO.

>> Jon: THE DREAM MACHINE SON||||

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