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Presidential Ospreys Get a Paint Job

by Mike Hoffman on May 17, 2013

Osprey Marine One 1The first MV-22 Ospreys set to fly presidential support missions for Marine Helicopter Squadron One have arrived at Quantico, Va., and they received a new paint job.

The Ospreys will not be white tops like the VH-3D Sea King and VH-60 White Hawks, which get their nickname from the white paint job up top. These are the helicopters that carry the President of the United States. Instead, the Ospreys were painted green as they will carry presidential support staff and the media.

The Marines started flight operations with the Osprey on April 26, however the tilt-rotor aircraft will not start carrying reporters and presidential support staff until later in 2013, according to the Marine announcement.

Questions remain how the Ospreys will work together with the Sea King and White Hawks. The Osprey is significantly faster than either the Sea King or the White Hawk. The tilt-rotor Osprey flies at 280 knots, according to a Marine fact sheet. The Sea King has a maximum speed of about 166 knots and the White Hawk has a maximum speed of 159 knots, according to Navy statistics.

If anything, the support staff will be able to arrive much earlier than the president depending on where they are flying.

Of course, the Osprey has faced a checkered crash history. However, Marine officials now refer to it as their safest aircraft after it’s faced a rigorous operations tempo for the past four years in Afghanistan. The Osprey has been able to prove the Osprey’s worth delivering Marines and supplies over the long distances between forward operating bases in Afghanistan.

Osprey Marine One 2


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{ 69 comments… read them below or add one }

Musson May 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm

The Osprey was the clear winner in the search for a replacement aircraft for the Presidential entourage. Of course the only criteria they were judged on was: What is the most expensive way to get from point A to point B.


Kim May 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Plus – possibly – "What is the coolest way of getting from point A to point B?"


FormerDirtDart May 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Yeah, why would the USMC replace the CH-46s assigned to HMX-1 with the same aircraft they are replacing all Corps CH-46s with?
Obviously, they should have procured an entirely different aircraft than is used, or will be used anywhere in the Corps.
You know, so a bunch of morons can have something real to complain about.


blight_ May 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

To be fair, Marine 1 is going to be those old Sea Kings, and the Sea King is going to disappear from the Navy soon.

There a reason POTUS can't use a Chinook as Marine 1?


CharleyA May 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Chinook is pretty big, like H-53 big. The Marines are clearly trying to maneuver the Osprey into the Presidential mission (and AEW, COD and tanker missions,) although it cannot autorotate like a conventional heli. Whatever aircraft finally wins the competition is going to be expensive. My money is on the H-92 airframe.


blight_ May 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Well, the Ospreys are going to support the Marine One mission, but my comment was more that Marine One is still ancient (especially after the VXX fiasco), and once the Sea King is replaced in the Navy, will be far more difficult to support.

jamesb May 17, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Good Bet!

FormerDirtDart May 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Ummm..the Sea Kings have already disappeared from the US Navy.
Yes the only Sea Kings flown by the US Military are in HMX-1, but, they are legacy aircraft. I would offer that it was odder to see Army pilots sharing the Sea Kings duties prior to '76 when the USMC took soul possession of the task.
Also, both the VH-3 & VH-60 serve as the regular "Marine 1"

As for using a CH-47, I would say it is probably way more helicopter than needed for "Marine 1", and neither the Navy nor Marines fly it. though, Boeing is said to be offering a -47 derivative for the new VXX program.

Now, whatever helicopter is selected in VXX, I think it would be smart to have HMX-1 as type pure a squadron as possible, using as common as possible mil-grade a/c to the VIP a/c. Though probably need to keep a few VH-60s for away games, unless they select an a/c that easily folds up and packs away in a C-17.


blight_ May 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I figured they were gone, but I imagined there would be some niche case somewhere I had not forseen.

I'm perplexed. The VH-60 exists, so why did we have VXX, unless VH-60 "doesn't do enough"?

jamesb May 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm

…..actually Obama HAS flown in a Army One Chinook Helo into Afghanistan on one of his 'secret' trips….

retired462 May 20, 2013 at 8:30 am

Yes, more helicopter than needed; and in tough times you can say that a Boeing 747 aircraft is much too big an aircraft for short trips by the prez. Especially since he has gulfstreams etc. for that purpose.

USS ENTERPRISE May 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Yeah, a Chinook won't be bad. A bunch of space for the president to plan, whatever that may be. I think one big thing is if the Marine Corp can make it land on the White House Lawn, I would imagine.


BosunBob May 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Well said.


Frank May 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm

There is absolutely no need for this type of aircraft in the Presidential fleet. This is a case of some idiot gov't employee just wanting the most expensive aircraft to show off to everyone.
And people wonder why America is almost 20 trillion dollars in debt….


Jayson May 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I believe the old birds can fly only so long till the airframes age so much they can't handle the stresses anymore and fall out of the sky with a catastrophic failure. They frankly need replacing bad, why not have the whole entourage and president have the Osprey? If the Marines love them to death and demonstrated operations stability and reliability … it'll be foolish to put it off. Then the speed, the faster the better right? Then sell the old retired heli's to Canada. They'll buy anything if verbally "packaged" right to justify the purchase.


jamesb May 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm

They DID sell the 101's to Canada….

But I'd bet you knew that, eh?


blight_ May 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm

What's funny is that the civilian version does come in a VIP version.

Would it have been so hard to buy COTS and upgrade them aftermarket? Betting that's how Stealth Blackhawk came to be: I doubt it could've been kept under wraps by writing an RFP…


Ajjax May 20, 2013 at 10:11 am

I agree. This type of platform will show dubious needs regarding presidential mission support. The helos work fine so why fix something that's not broken. These platforms are designed for in theater operations at best. Any type of pseudo civilian applications wouldn't be touched with a ten foot pole.


jamesb May 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm

If you want sell an a/c type ?

Why not put where the media can see it?

The current actual helo's transporting the President are as old as the hills….

Look for an American type from Boeing or Sikorsky to get picked to succeed the SeaKnights….

Don't cross you fingers when the new Presidential Helo's are gonna get here….Could be more than a decade out….


jamesb May 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Cause his handlers are SMART….


Vic Peters May 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm

The new Osprey is as safe as any helicopter and much faster. While I don't care what happens to the idiot in the white house, I feel that the President should be as safe as possible and able to get to secure places as fast as possible. That is in an Osprey.


USS ENTERPRISE May 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Well, got my wish to see the paint job. Not bad looking!


Lance May 18, 2013 at 12:34 am

Well its better to get support staff there first any way before the Pres. he need security and equipment ready. So its good to keep the Sea King flying but use ospreys for support crews.


Lance May 18, 2013 at 12:37 am

Oh I agree I wouldn't trust USMC Brass since they wanted the MV-22 anyway and lead to it being rushed to service with fatal consequences for crew and marines flying it. Its not the safest bird out there by far.


rudyh60 May 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

We real aviators know, and Right On you are!!


Restore Palestine May 18, 2013 at 1:56 am

This is truly a poorly designed and ugly looking plane. It's fuel inefficient, and aerodynamically unstable.


Joe Mamma May 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm

so is an F-16…………


Restore Palestine May 20, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Osprey is no f-16. No comparison there.


rudyh60 May 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm

We keep tellin' 'em to dig out the 1950's 'cancelled' version of the 'Osprey' with the jet thrusters on gimbal system…..They flew!… the U.S. and German politicos dumped the program…rotors are archaic for this mission aircraft………


USS ENTERPRISE May 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Oh yeah. Of course it is. Its not like it has long range, or it IS aerodynamically stable with flight computers. Jealous Puti and his comrades have nothing like it?


Vic Peters May 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Don't know what you are talking about. The revised Osprey is a safe and stable aircraft. I have flown in them


Rick Eriksen May 18, 2013 at 7:13 am

Great new look for the Osprey. Suk on that Finland!


Juuso May 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm

What Finland has to do with Presidential Osprey?


USS ENTERPRISE May 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Uhm. Finland. A country with better education. Yeah, connection?


hammer6048 May 18, 2013 at 8:22 am

What a waste of precious military resources. How come this was not cut for sekester reasons?


USS ENTERPRISE May 18, 2013 at 12:30 pm

It was purchased before the "sekester".


Jeff May 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

What is a sekester?


joe May 20, 2013 at 3:22 am

"Qu" was reduced to "K" for budgetary reasons under the sequestration policy.


blight_ May 20, 2013 at 9:29 am

K Street lobbyists have decided to replace Qu with K, just to show that their ownership extends beyond politicians and now to our spelling.

All glory to newspeak and Ingsoc


sandra May 18, 2013 at 1:53 pm

the president is a waste of resources… the military would do a much better job of running this country.


blight_ May 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Pinochet agrees, along with the ghost of Colonel Hugo Chavez and Sergeant Idi Amin, who ran their countries as military dictators.

I have nothing against military men running as civilians, but being in the military isn't an automatic guarantor of virtue. The problem is that we assume generals have a monopoly on virtue, and so those are the guys civilians turn to for advice. We are learning now that they are…human.


SJE May 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Also Mao Tse Tung, Kim Il Sung, Pervez Musharraf, Saddam Hussein, Assad, Ghaddaffi…..

The brilliance of the US is that General Washington hung up his sword before becoming commander in chief, and that he left when his term ended.


USS ENTERPRISE May 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm

He left PEACEFULLY, which was important. At the time, between all the revolutions and Kings and Queens, it was interesting to see a relatively peaceful chain of command. Still lasts today, in fact.


USS ENTERPRISE May 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Let me direct your attention to North Korea. Yeah, does military rule still look appealing now?


wlodell May 21, 2013 at 1:09 am



joe May 20, 2013 at 3:20 am

The military fights the enemies of the state, the civil government serves and protects the people. When the former and the latter become the same, historically "the enemies of the state" and "the people" tend to become the same as well…


Eternal Patriot May 20, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Sandra, What a great idea! I totally agree. Unfortunately, I fear politics would get in the way of deciding which 4-star general should be in charge, with the result that we would be right back to where we are today! :-(


wlodell May 21, 2013 at 1:08 am



Dfens May 20, 2013 at 8:24 am

I'm not a big fan of Obama, but I still hope Biden gets more time in this vehicle than the president.


Diego May 20, 2013 at 9:36 am

I'm just wondering why it's not the new model? Maybe testing isn't done yet or manufacturing. I know they have a new model with the props that move without taking the whole engine with it. It's supposed to be much safer.


FormerDirtDart May 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I believe you are referencing the Bell V-280, which doesn't actually exist.


Colgate May 20, 2013 at 9:37 am
Russell May 20, 2013 at 2:29 pm

They need to recall all the Ospreys from the AOR and repaint them if they will be flying Obama and his staff.


USS ENTERPRISE May 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Why? It has the right markings. It doesn't have a Maple Leaf accidentally painted on the side.


haloguy628 May 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Dear Leader must be scared so only support staff will fly the Osprey. He will gladly lead from behind in the 40 years old helo.


Vitsing May 20, 2013 at 10:07 pm

The White House, Department of Defense and Media all need a Long Time Out here. I find it amazing that we have money for this effort to fly Presidential support staff and the media all around the country and probably the world; however, we don't seem to have money to allow our children to visit our White House or continue the airshows and static displays of the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds and Golden Knights that are a part of America's tradition.


wlodell May 21, 2013 at 1:06 am

I would wish the new aircraft with a full load of politicians to exceed the VRS-vulnerable descent rate but out of respect for the pilots and crew, I will not.


wlodell May 21, 2013 at 1:14 am

When in the U.S., do as the Romans do….
We can survive an idiot in the WH, but not sure if we can survive if the country is full of them.


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Sev May 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Not like there aren't idiot generals out there.


FormerDirtDart May 17, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Doesn't carry enough people. I believe the VH-60 has half as many (or less) seats than the VH-3


Big-Dean May 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm

well said pcleech, just wait until their beloved F-35s start falling out of the sky, what will they say then "the F-35 is too important to crash…"


big guy May 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm

We should show our best for the Prez. It is not our problem that Green Energy is taking more than it's fair share of the tax money I pay. ( there could be more Osprey) At least the Osprey will not Kill as many Eagles and look good flying.


wlodell May 21, 2013 at 1:11 am

Bet you don't have to fly in them.


Restore Palestine May 18, 2013 at 2:03 am

general MacArthur comes to mind. Brash, vain, arrogant, low on brains.


rudyh60 May 20, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Yeh, let us just observe…….


USS ENTERPRISE May 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

He is back! MacArthur, you mean that guy that returned? Yeah, okay.


USS ENTERPRISE May 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Or have them pay to get on the Ospreys. Hey, its Sequester!


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