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Bell Getting Out Of 206 Business?!


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Murdoch -----it all promotes questions and some very good ones, so I should have been a tas more specific or technical. so here goes:

 

1) The CORRECT deignation is LOH, but we spelt it like it sounded, so LOACH won the day.

 

2) "Yes indeedy"........the Cayuse (OH-6A) was formerly known as the Hughes model 369. Also correct on the position of the rotor, etc. Good questions.

 

3) They came with 285HP Allison engines........not 'motors' either.......'motors' come in lawnmowers and blenders, etc. :lol:

 

4) They were also teamed-up with the Cobras (we called them 'snakes') and they went 'trolling for fire" (one of many terms we used for that). If they found any the LZ would be saturated with gunfire from both 7.62 6000RPM chain guns and cannon fire carried by the 'Snakes'. Now getting the use of a 'snake' from the Marines was another story though because they loaned them out as though they were loaning out their virgin sisters to a bunch of partying GI's :D . So many times the LOH's had to play both roles and you can then understand they really earned their pay.

 

5) I saw them armed with all or a combination of some of the following: the 6 barrel chain gun; a 40mm grenade launcher; and a 7.62 machine-gun.

 

6) They cruised about 144MPH and it took one **** of a lot of small arms fire to being them down. They also got used for command and control, observation, target acquisition and recon.

 

They arrived at the tail-end of my last tour, so I didn't get to work with them as much as many others did. I worked more with the Sioux (Bell 47 military model.....107MPH top speed)) and the Raven (Hiller 12E to you). The other items being discussed post date me. Hope this cleared-up some questions for you because you got me 'tapped-out' on the Cayuse now.

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There was a civilian 500 (no letter) with a c18 as well but I'm sure they were almost all converted to C's by now which had a c20. Much like how you would be hard pressed to find a 206a with a c18 now.

 

CAP, is it true that the OH-6's were just discarded if they hit a certain time life? People say they were build to be disposable helicopters does that just mean it was hard to do maintenance on them or were they actually tossed after a certain number of hours?

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Thank you Skidz, Lunchbox, Screwdriver, TwistedSpar (the picture is a perfect example) and Cap.

 

 

Since it was mentioned about different armament combinations of the Cayuse, if anyone may be curious about more vietnam gunships and how they came to be ou might want to pick up "Without Parachutes" by Jerry W. Childers. He was involved in implementing the first Cobras into action and trying out different attack tactics. All in all a good book with good stuf but *warning*, it's more of a biography than a book about helicopter ops.

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Freefall ------it was wartime military and retiring a/c after they reached a certain A/F time etc., etc. was a 'non-factor' shall we say :D . Disposable helicopters? The Cayuse and the Huey were expected to last 90 days on average. Some didn't last one day and some didn't last one hour from new. That's why, if you examine the Huey you will find it to be 'slab-sidded' with no flush-riveting and about as 'Spartan' inside as you can get. It was needed by the military to transport personnel and provide them with support in a military theatre......and that's ALL they were built for. So 'disposable' meant me AND the Huey I flew........that's war. IF I was lucky they found my remains to send home to the folks. Many pilots and their a/c simply disappeared in explosion and flame and nothing got sent home.

 

From everything I heard, the Cayuse was very easy to work on as far as the maintenance guys were concerned. Parts? It was the 1st Air Cav and they were and still are the largest Division in the US Army at 16,000+ or if you like....a complete self-sustaining Army onto itself........ships, boats, tanks, artillery, personnel carriers, helicopters, paper shufflers and troops. So you wanted a part...you got it and there were no accountants around to ***** about it either. :lol:

 

Sharkbait -------I've heard that come from mouthes over there and it was usually followed-up with a hard glare from others. Smart-mouth comments about parts of the team trying their best to support you or your opinion of their chances of survival doing so went over like a pregnant pole-vaulter. IF made, that comment would typically come from a FNG......either an enlisted one or some brand-spanking new Lt. fresh outta West Point. Either way, they'd say it only once.

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Freefall ------it was wartime military and retiring a/c after they reached a certain A/F time etc., etc. was a 'non-factor' shall we say :D . Disposable helicopters? The Cayuse and the Huey were expected to last 90 days on average. Some didn't last one day and some didn't last one hour from new. That's why, if you examine the Huey you will find it to be 'slab-sidded' with no flush-riveting and about as 'Spartan' inside as you can get. It was needed by the military to transport personnel and provide them with support in a military theatre......and that's ALL they were built for. So 'disposable' meant me AND the Huey I flew........that's war. IF I was lucky they found my remains to send home to the folks. Many pilots and their a/c simply disappeared in explosion and flame and nothing got sent home.

 

From everything I heard, the Cayuse was very easy to work on as far as the maintenance guys were concerned. Parts? It was the 1st Air Cav and they were and still are the largest Division in the US Army at 16,000+ or if you like....a complete self-sustaining Army onto itself........ships, boats, tanks, artillery, personnel carriers, helicopters, paper shufflers and troops. So you wanted a part...you got it and there were no accountants around to ***** about it either. :lol:

 

Sharkbait -------I've heard that come from mouthes over there and it was usually followed-up with a hard glare from others. Smart-mouth comments about parts of the team trying their best to support you or your opinion of their chances of survival doing so went over like a pregnant pole-vaulter. IF made, that comment would typically come from a FNG......either an enlisted one or some brand-spanking new Lt. fresh outta West Point. Either way, they'd say it only once.

 

Sorry Cap I meant no disrespect - I was told this by a vet in James Bay who used to be a Loach pilot. It was supposedly cynically used between the pilots when someone in a bunker somewhere wanted someone not in a bunker but in a very fragile helicopter to go and recce an area already known to be very dangerous. Usually preceded and followed by some choice obscenities.

Again - Sorry if I offended anyone.

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Sharkbait

 

Hey buddy, no offense was taken and I was sure none was meant. In fact, it never crossed my mind and you surprised me with an apology concerning it. So stand easy.

 

'Fragile' was definitely a misnomer for the Cayuse because the amount of fire it took to cripple it was beyond belief. The statement you heard was basically correct, but most definitely cynical for sure. The LOH's guys lived exactly as they flew and partying with them or just hanging-out with them was an adventure in itself. They laughed a lot off-duty and were a rowdy bunch, but that was just a 'mask' if you like. I went 'in harm's way' myself, but their job was to go begging for it and it caught up with many real quick. It wasn't a normal job and you couldn't quit and find another job so they dealt with it however they could. Some mangaed to do that, did their time and came back to 'the world' to pursue careers and have families. Others never did learn to handle it and when they came home, their minds remained behind in 'Nam. I was once told by a buddy that the suicide rate amongst the LOH crews, once they arrived Stateside, far exceeded that for the rest of those who served there. If you wanted to see what a 500 could do in flight, that was the crowd to watch though.

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My understanding of the Hughes 500 which I was told at the factory on course 1970 was that it was the only helicopter built to crash. One of the requirements that the army had for the LOH program (Light Observation Helicopter) was that the crew be afforded the best designed airframe to survive a mishap. My personal preference when crashing is to be in a H500. If you ever want to roll down the side of a mountain do it in a 500. The fuselage is egg shaped to roll better and the pax and crew are sitting forward of two overhead bulkheads. One roll and the blades are gone from the xmsn. The sports helicopter at the time, did over 7K in all models and loved them.

 

One time in Ethiopia1976, in the Ogaden Desert, I had just dropped of a crew and as heading back to Gode when I blew my cooler belt. I landed with temps getting high, shut down and said WTF. The closest helicopter to me was back in Addis Abba and I was 25-30 miles from Gode with no way to contact anybody. So, I took the rear insulation of and was going to put a new belt on. The only problem was that the input drive shaft had to come off (eng. to xmsn). Took the rear coupling of first and then proceeded to the one on the main xmsn, there is a set of splines coming of the xmsn which the coupling fits onto. Once the coupling was removed low and behold the gd splines were almost worn off. So, doing a Risk Assessment I proceeded to put the forward coupling back on (this is the one the belt is attached to) took to large split pins and drove them in at 180 degrees apart into the remaining grooves of the splines, put everything back together, gave it the engineer blessing and told it that it would only be required to stay together for twenty minutes. Put my pilot hat back on, fired the sucker of and proceeded to home base. Everything stayed together. Ordered a new xmsn from Addis and was back in service in two days. It takes about two hours to change a xmsn, one guy.

 

How many machines can you do that with.

 

Cheers, Don

 

PS: xmsn=transmission

 

Input shaft to xmsn turns at 20,000 rpm if I remember correctly.

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