Talk:Hughes OH-6 Cayuse

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Military history (Rated C-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Aviation / Rotorcraft (Rated C-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of the Aviation WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see lists of open tasks and task forces. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by the rotorcraft project.

Armament question[edit]

In the box, it says two miniguns or two rocket pods, yet in Black Hawk Down (both movie and book), it states that AH-6's carry two 70mm rocket pods AND two miniguns. In addition, various sources say that MH-6's carry arnament. Explain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

>> Explanation: some H-6's at this point have gone through substantial refit, including some special operations aircraft which have gone through structural refit and now have four hard points (two mounted to the extreme interior) to accommodate four briefcases. It should be noted these modifications are not sufficiently substantial structurally to allow four heavy briefcases (four chaingun pods plus ammunition) but plenty stout to mount either two chaingun pods and two rocket pods or, in some situations where the range compromise is not an issue (the Mogadishu operation), two rocket pods AND two chaingun pods. The H-6, even in its modified, most modern fighting form, cannot carry a full range of weapons and ammunition, however, even if range compromise is not a consideration and even if weight of payload is only a minimal consideration. For instance, the H-6 cannot mount a 30mm chaingun weapons compliment that includes M799 ammunition, due to prohibitions in its payload manuals. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Whirling (talkcontribs)

Xian H-6[edit]

Add short note and redirect link for Xian H-6 aircraft -- Adeptitus 16:59, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

MH-6 Little Bird merge[edit]

The MH-6 is not that important to have his own article. There's enough space here to handle this H-6 subversion. --Denniss 12:59, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, and I'm not even sure how accurate the MH-6 article is. It looks like it was written by a Black Hawk Down or Battlefield 2 fan. ericg 15:36, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
I just stumbled upon that article. I've cleaned it up a little, but support the proposed merger. The proposal has had more than long enough and no objections; I don't have time right now but if anyone here does, we should go ahead. – Kieran T (talk | contribs) 19:14, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Article name and focus[edit]

This article should be more about the Hughes Model 369 and its derivatives rather than the Hughes H-6. That would justify the discussion of the Hughes 500MD Defender and NOTAR. (Born2flie 20:15, 15 July 2006 (UTC))

The Wiki naming conventions suggest that this article should be named the OH-6 Cayuse. This produces several problems.
  • The article attempts to address civilian and militarized derivatives (Hughes/MD500 and variants) as if they were variants of the OH-6.
  • Causes a name/search conflict with the MH-6 Little Bird (AH-6 is used to refer to the armed MH-6). Earlier versions of the Little Birds were true OH-6 variants. Current Little Birds are MD520/MD530 militarized variants.
I think that a split of this article could be possible in the future if all the aircraft are treated properly. I remember that there was much discussion about joining the previous Little Bird article to this one, and that merge happened. So, it is possible that those two could remain together in this article so long as it is developed more completely and the Little Bird given prominent treatment in the structure and development of this article. You can reference the OH-58 Kiowa article for an example of how I have attempted to do this for the original OH-58A and the OH-58D which is more of a derivative than a variant, but still considered a variant by virtue of its designation. P.S. I renamed this section to more accurately reflect the issue.
--Born2flie 17:06, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Part of the problem solved. The type certificate for the Model 369 shows many of the MD 500 to be in name only. They are listed on the Type Certificate as 369 variants.[1] Which one is which? You tell me!
--Born2flie 07:16, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Another part is solved now also, as we are covering the civilian MD 500 variants and its derivatives (including the MD 600; does its type certificate call it a 369 also??) in the MD Helicopters MD 500 article. We can mention the military MELB there in passing, but as they still designated H-6 in US Army service, I have no problem with them being covered in detail here. We may need to decide where to covr the civilian variants from before they became MD 500s. I don't think we need another article for the civilian Hughes 369/500; there's just not enough content as yet. Your thoughts? - BillCJ 18:27, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure which is which on the type certificate. It's going to take quite a bit more work to find a reference that "detangles" the whole designation thing for the 369. I believe the 520N is the 500 and there is no missing which one is the 600.
--Born2flie 22:02, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
I read this week (I'm not sure where, but I think it was on Wiki) that McDD made the number "500" offcial when they renamed in the MD 500. As far as the type certificate goes, though, I would surmise they continued to use the 369's so as not to have to go trough a new certification process, or because the FAA deemed a new certificate unnecessary for a minimum-change variant. You mentioned that the 520N is the 500 (I assume you meant that it is not on the 369's TC), which is probably due to the NOTAR. I would think the 600 would be different too, both because of the stretched fuselage and the NOTAR. I have absolutely no firsthand knowledge of type certificates, but this seems logical from what I have heard. Of course, being a government buearacracy, the FAA doesn't have to be logical.
For the article's purposes, I think what a company calls the aircraft should be sufficient. Hughes named the 269, shouldn't they be allowed to name the 269B the 300? Same with the 369 and the 500. Companies aren't always consistent, but even with the 269/300 and the 369/500, there's some consistency (tho one might say to be completely consistent, it should have been the 400!) - BillCJ 23:09, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Bill, look at the Type Certificate in the link. The 520N is listed as the 500N[2][3] and the 600N is, well, the 600N. The FAA allows things to happen like the Bell 407 to be type certificated on the same TC for the 206.
What we probably don't understand is the reasonings of either the FAA or these corporations that make decisions about variants based on market research or some other motivator (Bell reportedly named the 47 because of the year they offered it, not an actual model number). But, look at the Boeing history site;[4] Hughes seems to have started the issue with the name of the 500, not MD.
--Born2flie 04:53, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't say what I meant about MD renaming the 500. I should have that MD made the MD 500 their official model number for the type, rather than just a marketing version of Model 369. Anyway, I think we've just about flown this topic to death. :) - BillCJ 05:01, 3 December 2006 (UTC)


I would like to see the addition of information concerning the MH-6M Mission Enhanced Little Bird (MELB). I will do it if I get time. (Born2flie 20:36, 15 July 2006 (UTC))

Hughes Tool Co. Aircraft Division vs. Toolco Helicopters.[edit]

I've found a reference for the Hughes Tool Co. and its various incarnations at Boeing's site under history.

  • 1953, Hughes created the Hughes Medical Institute and gave the Hughes Aircraft Co. as its sole asset.
  • 1955, Hughes separated the helicopter unit out of the Aircraft Co. and joined it to Hughes Tool Co. as the Aircraft Division. It was during this time that the OH-6 was developed and produced.
  • 1972, the Aircraft Division was reformed as the helicopter division of the Summa Corp. when Hughes sold the Hughes Tool Co.
  • 1981, it became Hughes Helicopters Inc. [5]
  • 1984, Hughes Helicopters Inc. became a part of the McDonnel Douglass Corporation.
  • 1985, it was renamed McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. and then later that year, it was renamed again to McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems.

I will be editing the article for content specific to this timeline. (Born2flie 13:54, 16 July 2006 (UTC))

Allison T63[edit]

The type certificate for the Allison T63-A-5A shows 317 shp, but the type certificate of the OH-6A, with the T63-A-5A installed, shows the 5 minute limit at 250 shp. I'm assuming that there is a transmission limit that isn't described, but I have no references to establish that. Anyone have an anecdotal reference?

--Born2flie 07:10, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

MD Helicopters MD 500[edit]

I have completed the major portion of the MD Helicopters MD 500 article, tho it still needs pics of MD 500s. I have tried to keep the overlap to a minimum by focusing on the civilian models of the Hughes/MD 500, as this article already focuses exclusively on the military models. Any input on the new page would be appreciated, especially new pics! - BillCJ 23:10, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Crew number[edit]

This article says this helicopter has a crew of two. Does this mean 2 pilots, or a pilot and an observer? Jecowa 20:30, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

This aircraft is traditionally a single-pilot aircraft. During Vietnam, it would've carried a pilot and observer/gunner, or two pilots for training or familiarization. The AH and MH versions use two pilots for survivability if the aircraft is struck by small arms and the pilot on the controls is incapacitated. --Born2flie 01:58, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks you. Jecowa 04:45, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Captain Jon E. Swanson[edit]

Captain Swanson was recently, posthumously awarded the U.S. Army Medal of Honor. I wanted to include him as a notable because as far as I can find, he is the only OH-6A pilot that has been awarded the MOH, although I have to say, I've read/heard enough stories of OH-13/OH-23/OH-6 pilots in Vietnam to know that Captain Swanson's actions are the standard. The problem is how do you write that and maintain NPOV without simply being politically correct? Here is what I had edited from the award citation:

Please let me know what your suggestions are to be able to include this mention of the kinds of conditions faced by OH-6A pilots in combat. --Born2flie 14:33, 3 May 2007 (UTC)


I was trying to determine which numbers in the specifications applied to which aircraft. I'm pretty sure that they don't apply to the OH-6A since they are those would be relatively close to the following:

Specifications (OH-6A)[edit]

Data from "McDonnell Douglas MD 500/OH-6 Cayuse Light Helicopter (military and civil)".  and "U.S. Army Helicopter Info". 

General characteristics



  • Guns: One M134 7.62 mm gatling gun (1500 rounds) or one M129 40mm grenade launcher (150 rounds)

--Born2flie 10:26, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Too much info on specic operations[edit]

I don't think it's appropriate for this article to have so much blow-by-blow info on specific operations the Loach was involved in. Sure, it's interesting and relevant to discuss this stuff, but the length and detail is over the top.

Somebody want to have a go at condensing this stuff? I'm hesitant to just start pruning as I'd like the person who included this info to have the opporunity. But if the article stays like this, I'll pull out the clipers. It's just too bloated! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Actionsquid (talkcontribs) 17:49, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

You're more than welcome to. I've been looking for information on the Vietnam use. Too much of it is anectdotal and way too many stories and operations to include here. I've thought that maybe the 160th SOAR section was a bit much. Maybe what we have is the necessary information to split the article back into a separate A/MH-6 Little Bird article, where such a detailed Operational History would be very appropriate? --Born2flie 21:05, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd support a separate article, either on the 160th SOAR's use of the LB, or on the LB itself. As far as I know,the current Little Birds are new builds, not upgraded or rebuilt early OH-6s. If that's so, then a separate article makes sense, as they do have different missions that the original OH-6s. If we do split off the LBs, then I'd support renaming this page as the OH-6 Cayuse, the early model's official name, with "Loach" in quotes in infobox, as now. As for the new article, A/MH-6 Little Bird would work. - BillCJ 05:18, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
I suspect that addressing the variants, it would look a somewhat like the OH-58 Kiowa article which addresses several rebuild and reconfigurations over the history of the aircraft. I concur with all of your suggestions. --Born2flie 18:31, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
After a couple of false starts, I've crearted the spin-off page at the old MH-6 Little Bird ariticle. Talk:A/MH-6 Little Bird seemed to think it was a subpage of Talk:A, so I didn't stick with that one. However, If that bug causes no problems, we can still move the new page to A/MH-6 Little Bird if we want. - BillCJ 07:00, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Now what to do with the H-6 redirect, continue to redirect it to OH-6 Cayuse or to a disambiguation page? --Born2flie 10:43, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
Since we how have at least 3 articles on H-6s, I think a DAB page at H-6 is warranted. Otherwise, we just leave it as a redirect to OH-6 Cayuse, since it is the original H-6 helicopter model. - BillCJ 17:19, 10 October 2007 (UTC)


BillCJ, needless reversion is akin to vandalism. Be helpful. Spot a copyvio, then edit. Need to move something, then move it. Just deleting people's efforts makes you a less than helpful individual. If you want to add/edit/modify/move text, than do it.

You're not the only wikieditor around, try not to *own* the articles.

kthxbye (talk) 00:43, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

The AH-6S info was moved to Boeing AH-6 if you'd bother to check. -Fnlayson (talk) 01:00, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Fnl. Mr. IP, the AH-6SA is being covered on the Boeing AH-6 article. There is no need to cover it here. In addition, this page is about the Hughes OH-6 models, which were never built by Boeing. There are 5 or 6 articles for the OH-6 and Hughes/MD 500, each on a specific group of variants. I removed you item because I was moving it TO the AH-6 page. I mentioned the copyvio becasue you need to be careful not to copy from copyrighted material. So I did not just delete your efforts, but put them in the proper place. Fnl also cleaned up your copyvio, and the revised text is at Boeing AH-6. Please refrain from false accusations of vanadlism before you know all the facts. Thanks. - BillCJ (talk) 02:19, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

Dirtbag19 contributions[edit]

Dirtbag19 (talk · contribs) edited the article and included the following, not to mention "corrected" an image resulting in a redlink. My issue isn't necessarily the content itself, but rather that portions are not OH-6 specific, and appears to be original research, e.g. the author's opinion/experience/personal research.

The helicopter quickly became noted for high performance and low noise due to its four-bladed rotor and small size. The OH-6A would act as a scout to spot enemy positions, while only lightly armed with a fixed minigun. The most common configuration had an observer/gunner, usualy an enlisted man, either in the left seat or in the rear seat, armed with an M16. Most commonly, the Loach worked in conjunction with another OH-6 or an AH-1 Cobra gunship. A pair of OH-6s was sometimes known as a "White team", while an element of AH-1 Cobras was referred to as a "Red team". An OH-6 and an AH-1 operating together comprised a "Pink team". These designations were appropriate for teams employed by the various elements of the 1st Cavalry division such as the 1/9 cavalry unit depicted in the film Apoclypse Now. While the 5th Cavalry Regiment is subordinate to the 1st Cavalry Division, D Troop 3/5 Cavalry was fragged off to the 9th Infantry Division in 1967 and independently developed tactics that included search and destroy. These tactics included the employment of a team of Loaches (covered by a team of Cobras) flying low and slow looking for signs of enemy activity. The scout aircraft were designated "lead" and "trail" with the lead OH-6 pilot being the more experienced. The trail aircrafts pilot's task was to watch the lead and provide cover. This arrangement was often used for training and the trail pilot was routinely paired with an experienced gunner. This overall operation was in turn covered by a Huey with a mission commander flying in a Command and Control(C&C) designation. In addition to the pilot fired M134 Minigun mounted on the port side,the D Troop observer/gunner was equipped with an infantry style M60 machine gun hanging from a bungie cord. Another offensive minded tactic unique to D 3/5 was a bag filled with smoke, fagmentation, white phosphorous, incindiary and tear gas grenades sitting on top of a ceremic chest protector (called a Chicken Plate)located between the gunners feet. The Chicken Plate was an improvement added when earlier sccouts learned that ememy fire entering the OH-6 thorough the floor would sometimes ignite the grenades with catastrophic results. Fragmentaion grenades were used to attack VC bunkers and fighting positions, while the smoke and white phosphorous grenades were used to mark targets for the Cobras. The incindiary grenades were used to set fire to grass thatched building, and the tear gas was employed or to flush out and/or confuse the enemy.

Again, my intent is to not permanently remove the information from the article, but to refine it and reintroduce it into the article with references. --Born2flie (talk) 21:49, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

The AH-1 is not a gunship, it is an attack helicopter. --THE FOUNDERS INTENT PRAISE GOOD WORKS 12:05, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

The Quiet One[edit]

I would like user BilCat to clarify why he wiped out a major section of The Quiet One. Even the reference/source of "Air America's Black Helicopter" by James R Chiles did shown ROCAF/Taiwan's 34th Black Bat Squadron did took part in this. Unless he's stating that the Taiwan involvement didn't exist.....

My original edit here was done in Sept. 2009, which was based on posts in forum(in Chinese) that was quoting from Clarence Fu Jing Ping's book(in Chinese) on Black Bats published in 2006. Chris Pocock's most recent book published in April 2010, "The Black Bats - CIA Spy Flights Over China From Taiwan 1951-1969" (ISBN: 978-0-7643-3513-6) was co-wrote with Clarence Fu. In the book, Chapter 8: South Asia 1960-1973, page 115 to 118:

CIA again Needs the Black Bats

.....[snips] Col Yu Chuan Wen found himself heading for a third time to the top-secret airbase at Groom Lake in the US. This time, though, it wasn't to fly the C-130(see Chapter Seven). Yu and eight other Chinese airmen were tought to fly the De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter.[snips]

After three months of training in precision nighttime navigation nad airdropping over the mountains of Nevada, Yu and his group returned to Taiwan, and the Twin Otter was airfreighted to Hsinchu. After the Chinese pilots received more instruction from an Air America pilot there, the aircraft as fitted with extra fuel tanks in the cabin and ferried to Laos.

During the day, the Twin Otter was flown on routing resupply support missions within Laos by an Air America crew. At dusk, they ferried it to 'PS-44' --- an isolated guerrilla base on a mountain plateau in southern Laos. [snips]

Back on Taiwan, meanwhile, 12 more Chinese pilots were training on helicopters so that they could fly Commando Raider-style operations in Laos. Col Lu Wei Heng, a C-123 pilot and deputy commander of the 34th Squadron, was put in charge of the operation, which was codenamed Golden Strike. The pilots were all from other CAF squadrons, and only a couple of them had previous helicopter experience. After some familiarisation flights in UH-1 Hueys at Hsinchu the group were sent to Fort Rucker, AL, and took and US Army's basic helicopter training course.

Six of them then returned to Taiwan, where they were checked out on the Sikorsky S-58T, a twin turboshaft-powered version of the old H-34 troop carrying chopper. It was already being used in Laos. The Chinese pilots deployed to PS-44 later in 1971 and began flying covert missions. They dropped agents and supplies along the border between Laos and North Vietnam. They also hauled some other 'special' cargo --- such as an unattended rocket launcher that could be set up on remote hilltops to fire automatically.

The 'Quite One'

The other six Chinese pilots moved on from Fort Rucker to Groom Lake, where they were introduced to the unique Hughes 500P. This was an extensive modification of the OH-6A Light Observation Helicopter to reduce its noise level to the absolute minimum. This was achieved by adding an extra main rotor blade, making changes to the blade tips, providing mufflers for the air intake and exhaust, and providing the pilot with a control to slow the main rotor speed when required.

The modified OH-6A was named 'The Quite One.' After flight trials and pilot training at Groom Lake, two of them were airfreighted to Taiwan in October 1971. More flight training followed on the unusual choppers, which were now also fitted with sophisticated night navigation avionics. This comprised an AN/AAQ-5 forward-looking infrared(FLIR) system mounted on the nose and cooled by nitrogen supplied by two tanks fixed tot he chopper's belly, plus an inertial navigation system and a LORAN-C set carried in pods fixed on each side of the cabin.

Back in Loas, the Chinese crews were still flying out of PS-44, sharing duties on the Twin Otters and the S-58Ts with crews from Air America.[snips]

In June 1972, the two modified Hughes 500P helicopters were collected from Taiwan by an Air America C-130 and flown to Takhli airbase in Thailand. Here the Quiet Ones were re-assembled and flown to PS-44. Five Chinese pilots followed, led by Col Lu.

The CIA was planning a daring mission into North Vietnam, to place a wiretap on a major military telephone line.[snips]

[snips].....But from aerial photography, US intelligence identified a weak spot where the line ran through remote terrain, near the town of Vinh. The plan was for two Chinese pilots to fly the quiet Hughes helicopters to this location at night. They would carry 2 Lao commandos who would secure the tap while the pilots dropped a radio relay antenna in the form of a net on the top of some nearby trees. Meawhile, two S-58Ts would be hovering across the border in Laos, ready to mount a rescue mission if the Quiet One got into trouble. Above the S-58Ts, the Tiwn Otter would act as a radio relay and command post. The airmen from the CAF 34th Squadron would be flying all these aircraft.

But the Chinese helicopter pilots were having difficulties in Laos. They couldn't get used tot he night vision goggles that were supplied --- a new technology still at the experimental stage. Then they destroyed one of the two modified Hughes choppers during a hard night landing at PS-44. According to Col Lu, the infrared system was not working properly, and the high ground surrounding PS-44 required the two pilots to land the small helicopter downwind at too high an approach speed. The CIA decided to fly the wiretap mission with American pilots instead. All the Chinese airmen --- including those assigned to the S-58T and Twin Otter --- were sent home.

So, as you can see, what I wrote really did happen, and back up now by Chris Pocck's latest book. I know most of people here can't read Chinese, but that shouldn't be the reason for deleting one's work just because you can't read the source/reference in a different language. Hopefully user Bilcat would retract his statement of me of "incomprehensible material, and has been known to use unreliable sources", which never raise or proven to be the case here. I don't want to start a edit war, just want to set the record straight and clear my name.14:37, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Regardless of your sources, it's still incomprehensible, and it's far too much detail on a single op. This isn't GlobalSecurity, we don't go in depth in an encyclopedia. If the op is notable, then try creating an article on it. - BilCat (talk) 15:23, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Feel free to update the existing section with info from the new source. There's nothing wrong with that, but try to keep it close to roughly the same length if possible, not counting the souce data. - BilCat (talk) 15:32, 22 September 2010 (UTC)