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Loach Driver

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Everything posted by Loach Driver

  1. Very nice model. The level of weathering and the various shades of the overall colour are done to perfection. LD.
  2. A couple of up-coming rumoured releases in 1/72 scale include: 1. A re-issue of the old Aurora Cheyenne kit by Atlantis/aurora. 2. A 1/72 Sikorsky S-51 by AMP. 3. A 1/72 HH-43 Huskie in resin by Croco Models. LD.
  3. Great work on this DHC. It's one of those left-field aircraft that has always been of interest. LD.
  4. This is a blast from the past! I remember building one of these as a kid. Basic kit but affordable at the time, compared to Hasegawa and all those exotic manufacturers! Good build. LD.
  5. Hopefully, licencing isn't an issue when it comes to Italeri or anyone else kitting this helicopter. LD.
  6. It's a helicopter that is in widespread use around the globe. With a bit of luck, we might now get a 1/72 kit of the 139. LD.
  7. If you want to find photos of late-80's and early-90's SuperCobras, look for issues of Koku Fan magazine from around that time frame that feature the AH-1W and USMC helicopters in general. Osprey produced photo-books around that time as well. Heliborne was a title they published that might be of use. LD.
  8. Thanks for the link to the Kayak LB story. So much of the history of the Little Bird is still hidden away. At least a few nuggets slip out every now and then. LD.
  9. I checked back through one test report and an XM8 grenade launcher was fitted to an AH-6G at Edwards AFB circa 1988 for testing. LD.
  10. In relation to grenade launchers, the XM-8 was tested on the OH-6A and a few may have been fitted to OH-6As in Viet Nam. It's possible the 160th might have fitted grenade launchers to their Little Birds. They also seem to have access to hand-held grenade launchers too. Hughes also tested the XM175 grenade launcher fitted to a rear cabin mount in an OH-6A. I'm pretty sure this never saw service! LD.
  11. I was only passing on the information I had discovered during my research. LD.
  12. The unit below the artificial horizon looks like the Eventide Argus 7000 moving map system. I guess it might be an early-ish GPS system. I've no idea what the numerical display unit showing "86" is but there is no indication on the display as to what it is so it must be something fairly straight-forward. Could it be an outside air temperature gauge? It's quite possible they are flying somewhere warm on the day the photo was taken! Purely a guess though! LD.
  13. Nice find, Tim, and thanks for sharing. Compared to the standard panel on an OH-6A or 500D, there are quite a few changes and upgrades. The illuminated strip indicators for TOT, torque, N2 and NR are a nice touch. Nicely clustered together and much quicker to read. LD.
  14. I think those tanks have been around for at least six or seven years now. There were photos on this forum previously I think. Still a relatively rare sight. I'd say they might struggle with six and full tanks! I think the next interesting thing that will happen to the MELB fleet will be the Block III upgrade. Some of the mods have been test-flown already and a full Block III prototype might be in testing now but I've heard that the fleet won't be upgraded until 2023. If FVL doesn't deliver an MELB replacement (and it looks like the 160th like the compact characteristics of the MELB and want to retain it for as long as possible) then a Block 3.1 upgrade will see some really new features incorporated into the fleet. They might even build a new fleet of MELBs as some of the current ones might be based on 500D airframes that date back to 1980! It'll be time to freshen up the fleet a bit. LD.
  15. We have got to start getting paid a consultancy fee from that website! 😉 LD.
  16. I paid a recent trip to the American Helicopter Museum and discovered a document that featured the Kurt Muse rescue mission. It stated that the two AH-6 Little Birds that flew top-cover for the MH-6s that landed at the prison complex used the call-signs "Air Papa 06" and "Air Papa 07". It also mentions that 06 was "unofficially designated" "Iron Maiden" while 07 was designated "Bad Company". Could "Bad Company" and "Iron Maiden" be nicknames or artwork applied to these individual Little Birds? It seems possible given that artwork that is apparent on the Gothic Serpent Little Birds. LD.
  17. Thanks for posting up the pic. The UH-61 was an interesting design. LD.
  18. I spoke with a former Vertol engineer who volunteers at the American Helicopter Museum today, during a visit and put your question to him. He said that there is no master blade. Whatever blade is over the fuselage serves as the master blade and the other two fold around it. In fact, he said all three blades go through a certain degree of folding during the process. The swash plate has to be tilted to a certain angle to facilitate folding too. I hope this helps. LD.
  19. Hi. Yes, my main area of interest is the testing carried out in relation to the LAAV program. I seem to recall that the DTIC website had a link to the title and synopsis of the report but the PDF for the actual report was not linked. That might indicate that DTIC never received the actual full report. This is the synopsis I saved from DTIC (at least I am pretty sure it was DTIC). I can't find the link to this report now, sadly. "FLEET OPERATIONAL INVESTIGATION OF THE YOH-6A HELICOPTER AS A LAAV (LIGHT AIRBORNE ASW VEHICLE) Abstract: The YOH-6A helicopter and the USS HAWKINS (DD 873) FRAM 1 destroyer were provided to conduct this investigation into the feasibility of light-manned helicopter operations from FRAM destroyers. Results indicated that manned helicopter flight operations and organizational level maintenance are feasible on FRAM I destroyers. However, further operational tests will be necessary when the potential LAAV (Light Airborne ASW Vehicle) is selected. Project operations were conducted by Air Development Squadron 1 in the Key West, Florida and Newport, Rhode Island operating areas from 29 May to 11 August 1967. Report Date: 17 November 1967" The three solid pieces of information I have are the serial for the helicopter itself, the ship name and VX-1 being the squadron concerned. I might try to get someone in the USA to submit an FOIA for me and perhaps that request will unearth the report or more information. The other helicopter I am trying to get info on is N9009F. This was the first ASW-configured company demonstrator/prototype Hughes 500. Photos exist of it on the helideck of the USS O'Brien, probably from around 1969. It may simply be that Hughes requested a photo-op for their helicopter on a Navy vessel or perhaps the Navy carried out a short sea-trial with the 500. They may have facilitated that because they saw the 500 as suitable for FMS sales to friendly nations, such as Spain. Perhaps a Navy test report exists in relation to this helicopter and the USS O'Brien and it is also likely that Hughes would have compiled various test reports for this helicopter. Where any company test reports are now is anyone's guess. Boeing may have something in their historical archives but there is no access to that for researchers, as far as I can tell. I have heard that a huge amount of documentation was dumped when Hughes moved from Culver City to Mesa in 1882/83 and it's likely that documentation and test reports were lost at that time, sadly. I will keep digging. Thanks. LD.
  20. Thanks for that info. It looks like there is a strong chance that the report I am looking for no longer exists or at least is not available to the public. I'll keep digging, Thanks. LD.
  21. Apologies for what will be a monumental piece of thread drift but my request for assistance is focused on an Army test asset that went to the Navy for a short while. As some here may be aware, I have been researching the history of the various prototypes and test ships of the Hughes/MDHC/Boeing series of OH-6/Model 500 series of helicopters. Currently, I am looking at the test work that was undertaken employing the OH-6 as an Anti-Submarine Helicopter. A short-lived test program called "Light Airborne ASW Vehicle (L.A.A.V.) saw the Navy borrow a YOH-6A from the Army in the summer of 1967. Test Squadron VX-1 flew YOH-6A 62-4216 during June, July and August of 1967. The test involved flying the helicopter from the heli-deck of the USS Hawkins. I have only a few scant snippets of information on this test. One thing I do know is that test report would have been compiled and forwarded up the chain of command. At this point, that test report is unlikely to be classified, if it ever was. I have searched online but can find no sign of any report other than the fact that the publication date for the report is the 17th of November 1967. In addition, there was a U.S. Navy program called L.A.S.H. (Light Anti-Submarine Helicopter). It appears that this was a program (as was L.A.A.V.) whose aim was to replace the Gyrodyne QH-50 Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter (D.A.S.H.) with a more capable manned alternative. I believe L.A.A.V. was replaced by L.A.S.H. which later evolved into L.A.M.P.S. Hughes had offered an ASW version of the 500 for the LASH program and some limited testing took place, including sea trials with a U.S. Navy destroyer in 1969. My question is: Does anyone know where information might be available with regard to these trials? I would presume that test reports, however short, were written and are on record somewhere in the Navy archives. The two ships involved were the USS Hawkins and the USS O'Brien and VX-1 was also involved. Can an FOI application be forwarded somewhere or is there a Navy Historical Archive that anyone knows about? The DTIC website is very useful for Army test reports but I'm not sure they carry too many Navy reports there.Thanks for any assistance anyone can offer. LD.
  22. Can I ask who the "Apache Mafia" was? Are they a group of decision makers within the Army that were pro-AH-64? Thanks. LD.
  23. Great photos. I love the multi-colour MERDC camo. I wonder did the OH-6A ever get the same camo scheme? LD.
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