It's reported that the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, currently in production for the US Marine Corps and US Air Force, may be offered by Boeing as a replacement for the helicopters used to transport the President of the United States.
Unfortunately, the V-22 has a very strong downdraft indeed from its twin engines. As an illustration, CNN reported today that 10 people were injured by flying debris during a V-22 demonstration flight in New York. Here's a video clip showing how the aircraft kicked up dust and knocked down tree limbs as it came in.
As Al Kamen commented in the Washington Post not too long ago:
Asked whether the craft can land on the White House lawn, Marine Col. Greg Masiello, the program manager for the Osprey, said: "It fits, by the way."
But given the aircraft's history, will the Obama administration go for it? No question. The Osprey, "when landing, will unleash high-speed sod clumps in all directions," said Winslow T. Wheeler of the Center for Defense Information. So the Osprey "will have the added -- much to be desired -- effect of scattering the White House press corps to end those pesky shouted-out questions as the POTUS ambulates to the White House back door."
What was that sound? Ah, yes. Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs lunging for an order form.