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Bell Getting Out Of 206 Business?!


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Mark_ --------not bad for a helicopter that was designed simply and 'slab-sidded' with no flush-riveting, for a military that expected them to only survive for 90 days in combat Anything longer than that was considered a bonus. Cost? The large sum of $350,000 per machine. They've increased a bit in value since that time haven't they? :lol:

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Bell 206 technology is circa 1964 and if not for the Vietnam War and the US Army's need for a LOACH (Light Observation Attack Helicopter) it might never have seen the light of day or not until a later evolution. It even failed in that Army tender and lost to the Huges 500. It ended-up being a 'jack-of-all-trades' and master of none.

 

Cap, Was not the Hughes 500 tagged with the LOACH nickname and the 206 became known as the Slick in Vietnam terminology?

 

 

Trying to dig out old dried up brain cells

 

GW

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Cap, Was not the Hughes 500 tagged with the LOACH nickname and the 206 became known as the Slick in Vietnam terminology?

 

 

Trying to dig out old dried up brain cells

 

GW

 

Oh ! I know ! Iknow ! :blur:

 

LOH = Light observation helicopter (Pronounced "loach") = Hughes 500 and later OH-58 (Bell 206 then 407 military variant)

 

Slick = UH-1 (205) troop transport with only two M-60 door guns

 

The Hueys were known as either Slicks or Gunships in Vietnam. The "Slick" name was used to describe a Huey devoid of all those weapons pods on either side.

 

Wasn't there (Cap's almost old enough to be may grampa :) ), but a couple years back, TQN was kind enough to mail me a copy of Chickenhawk... :lol:

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Also both of those aircraft (206, UH-1) were built to be flown by 18year old kids with 300 hrs of training, and maintained by 18 year old kids who probably didn't finish highschool. KISS. :lol:

 

I was a Bell a few years back and they told use that in 1968 they were building 11 UH-1s per week.

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212wrench........average age for pilots and mechanics was 21. Everybody had done High School on the outside or while in the military. 300 hrs? Not in your wildest dreams, unless you'd been in the military for some time before posting to 'Nam. The 206 was not a factor in any part of Vietnam. "Yes" you could find the odd one around, sitting someplace and hardly been used. They were useless pieces of crap in that enviroment. 206's with C18A engines perform worse than your Briggs & Stratton lawnmower at 85%-95% RH and temps of 30-35C. Try augering-up vertical 150' to clear the 'canopy' of trees in those temps and you would have automatically become the the long term 'guest' of the VC in many cases.

 

Bell would have had to build that many Hueys per week because approximately 4000 alone went over to 'Nam and never came home again.

 

Skidz-------- didn't know you were that young kiddo :lol:. Do not use Viet Nam and the Bell 206 in the same sentence. It never happened, no matter what Hollywood might say. :D

There's a whole litany of military slang terms and you missed some, but they'll do for now because who cares anymore anyway? Knew Mason by name only back then as we were in two different Regiments of the Air Cav. He was considered just anothe FNG (F....ing New Guy) then and I was finishing-off my 2nd and last tour when he first arrived. If you enjoyed his book, he's got a website also and has written some other good ones. He's had some personal 'issues' to deal with so his book-writing production had fallen-off greatly for the last number of years. His books are one man's perspective as all didn't have the same experiences, but he does a good job of it. Can't say that for many of them concerning that era though.

 

Gary Watson -------as stated above, cancel out any thought in your brain concerning 206's and Vietnam. The Hughes 50 was the LOACH. Designed for a pilot and one man behind with a .50 cal, back doors off and if nothing in the back at all (including seats), then up to 7 ARVN troops jammed-in......yeah you read correct.......SEVEN!!

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Chickenhawk is the most incredible book I have ever read and Low Level **** is the second. In a day where a lowtimer isn't trusted to fly lease site to lease site in perfect VFR, these guys were flying overloaded all the time in high temps and getting shot at...they and you Cap, have every bit of respect that I can muster.

 

Mark

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Thanx Cap, 212 etc. I wasn't "lucky" enough for a free year's vacation in SEA but instead spent 4 years in Europe at the same time working on fast-movers(RCAF). Met lots of USAEUR guys who were headed to SEA to get away from the military BS in Germany.

 

Had some interesting conversations a number a few years ago at a former company with our secretary's hubby who flew out of Laos in a 204/205/etc for this company called Air America, she spent 10 years in Saigon as a nurse and narrowly avoided being on the C141 that went down with all the kids on it. Interesting stories and far far different from the movie version with Mel G- even though they had the a/c regs and clothes correct.

 

I did have some first hand experiences :shock: with some of the Vietnam pilots who ended up flying in Canada in the mid 70s

 

 

GW

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