The media's predictable obsession over Malaysia's lost airliner focuses on a narrow band of quires. Many of these are more a glimpse into the naiveté of the press than anything else.
I have a question. Why none of these magnificent birds on the case? Why are Japan and Russia the only nations on the earth fielding a fleet of these very useful aircraft? The present search is impeded by the fact that the aircraft with sensing instrumentation cannot land to confirm what they think they sense. So ships must be dispatched to investigate. This is slow and a bit old fashioned in my opinion. They could make a much more economical and effective search by using these.
The US, Great Britain, France and others had fleets of these handy craft. Nations snapped them up in the post war era and used them till they wore out. On what basis was the decision made to stop our further development of these handy assets?
The aircraft picture is currently manufactured in Japan for the Japanese Self Defense Forces and will shortly be sold/manufactured in India. It clearly affords Japan and search and rescue capacity that we lack.
This is just another example of our military/government sector refusing to build useful craft that might actually help ordinary Americans. Previously, I wrote about our absence of amphibious vehicles that are useful in floods. We used to have a great fleet of these amphibious trucks call DUKW's. Now we have none. Why?