From an expert opinion of flying the 'CH46 Knight': "I recently read an article about replacing the CH46s. And they are in the middle of testing an alternative aircraft. The Osprey – if it ever goes into service will have a tough time replacing The "46 in the hearts of those who flew her or were rescued by her! I was shocked to see a transport aircraft – the Osprey – with ejection seats for the pilots! "
"I'm stationed on new river with HMM-263 prongs will always rule especially to be flying with 38+ years of service. I get to see them fly 1-2 ospreys every day and night not a bad plane for distance and speed but Overall it will be a OK plane but its going to be a long time before you see the last CH-46E retired and placed at the front gate of new river! "
"We have so many upgrades going on with the birds its insane to even think there is a replacement aircraft in the works! It is really amazing that the 46's are still in service. I was in HMM 265 1963-64 when they were the first Squadron to receive the first two for the Marine Corps. It seems that it is impossible to have been 40 years ago. They were truly state of the art compared to the 34's. I remember they were grounded some problem with the hydra fluid foaming or something Like that. "
"To answer about the hydro problems it was because of the utility pump we had at the time, It was very apt to internal failure supplying hydro fluid everywhere hydro fluid would get sucked into the generators on the after trine and a fire would come next , We now have a new hydro pump and it is almost problem free. I just checked in down here at the "Osprey Test and Evaluation Squadron." This thing is great … I came from HMM-264 and I too love the Phrog The V-22 will be a great V-22 but she will never be a Phrog! What this thing can do is very impressive. "
"I can tell you this much, I've been and close to the V-22 Osprey as any of you. I have not just appeared from here on this forum, I've been around long enough. Load test and downwash testing with the V-22. That was ten years ago and it's still not operational. "
"It's a money pit ok, face it." I've had enough 53E's, 46's and even UH-1's hovering over my head to know about their capabilities. I've also had the V-22 hovering over my head and struggling with A 5K load. Again, that was 10 years and it's still not up to lifting its prescribed payload … internally or externally. "
"So why do not you tell us why the V-22 is such a kick butt aircraft and why it has not gone operation since its invasion in 1983. Tell us why the Marine Corps should continue to spend billions more beyond the 14+ Billion already spent. "
"Tell us how the Marine Corps can justify neglecting other Marine Corps aviation with this chalk board" aircraft of the future "Tell us when the V-22 Osprey will finally hit the fleet and transport Marines into combat. I need about the V-22. And please do not get me wrong, I would like the V-22 to succeed, but me also am a realist and after two decades of R & D, its way past time to look at alternatives. "
"As supercobraz has stated, we'd all absolutely LOVE to see the Osprey work as designed but after 20 some odd years of R & D coupled with the aging of our venerable Phrog fleet, we are getting justifiably skeptical and concerned that the MV-22 will Never deliver as advertised. "
"Your input, as an actual pilot would add immensely to our ongoing convoys regarding the MV-22." Of course, knowing that you are active duty and can not necessarily "enlighten" us with your 1st hand knowledge is highly understood. Any positive info on the MV-22 Osprey is as welcomed here as the negative. Please feel free to share what you can with us. "
"I was a Black Knight many moons ago and the Phyrog is still near and dear to my heart after all these years, but I also know that all good things must go, all in due time. The mid and late 70's, but it must seem ancient now. If there is a better bird for the mission, then I say, by all means, bring it on. "