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Evolution of the V-22 Osprey The Osprey will be a hybrid airplane and helicopter It will combine an airplanes range and speed with a helicopters capability for hovering and vertical take-off and landing It will look like a plane with big propellers when in helicopter mode the rotors will tilt upward This tilt rotor technology is still unproven but it is quite possibly far more effective than that used by existing primitive vertical takeoff and landing aircraft The Osprey however is to be a different bird It will have the capability of flying more than 1000 miles with a 10000 pound payload or self-deploying over 2000 miles -- and with in- flight refueling even further It will be able to travel at 250 miles per hour loaded with 24 fully equipped combat-troops When George Bush became president he faced strong budget pressures caused by his predecessors huge deficits On April 14 1989 Bush agreed with Congressional leaders to cut 97 billion from the military budget This was only a 3 percent decrease however The Osprey had already encountered technical difficulties and cost overruns in the development stage and there were sharp increases too in estimates of what it would cost to actually produce the planes When Defense Secretary Dick Cheney submitted his new budget for 1990 on April 25 it called for canceling the V-22 program and for funding instead a new helicopter as a cheaper alternative Although the initial cost for the Osprey was not great Cheney argued the project was projected to cost some 25 billion over the decade an unaffordable investment since the military budget was declining The Marines were furious at Cheneys decision but the Bush administration faced strong opposition as well from Congress which at the time was run by a majority of Democrats Congressional supporters of the Osprey soon had more telling ways to express their support for the plane the military budget had to be considered by
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