MC-27L Seaplanes: doing what no one in DoD wants to do---but has to be done
The sad truth is that no one in DoD wants to do seaplanes and we are now in a quandary of either land-based planes with rubber-tired wheels that need constant refueling to stay aloft and runways to land on if we donít parachute drop, or smaller sea-based aircraft carrier planes (runway on a ship) that have to be close to the mission area, or dangle fuselages under fuel hungry rotors of helicopters that canít fly fast or reach far. All because we donít want to land on the water. Why donít we stop worrying about getting our trousers wet and use the water landing to our advantage? If done cleverly, the aerodynamic penalties are small and the mission flexibilities dramatic. NLMB U-27s and Little Birds can land on water easily by floats using non-developmental items. The NLMB will initially be able to air-deploy all 3D elements by C-27J onto land by parachute or STOL airland. Itís a given that USAF C-130/C-17s can pitch in to expedite 3D maneuver. However, the C-27J with air-to-air refueling and tail-hook/folding wings could also land/take-off from USN and the RO-RO Commando aircraft carriers, perhaps a ďMC-27KĒ designation. However, a MC-27L that could land on water would open myriad options, and should be a follow-on force multiplier.