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EDWMatt

Some Pics from Army Flight Test...

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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.

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What you are after was conducted by NADC According to "History of the Naval Air Development Center" documentation at DTIC. According to this document there were recorded interviews Tape 13 specifically with Richard James among others, pg 53-54. If anything this is a useful index for it's timeline.

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a123645.pdf

 

DTIC does in fact have quite a large number of Navy documents and more controlled documentation if you have a CAC card.

 

NADC was permanently closed in the 90s as part of BRAC. It was moved to NAS Patuxent River @ Lexington Park, MD. In 1992 BRAC pushed the NADC Navigation Department (Code 40) to transfer the NCCOSC (Naval Command, Control and Ocean Surveillance Center) Research, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Division to San Diego, CA. NCCOSC works with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). SPAWAR supports over 150 programs managed by the Program Executive Office (PEO).

 

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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.

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You're welcome. I wouldn't bet that the report no longer exists. In fact I am sure it's out there. Plenty of information I uncovered in my research into SEANITEOPS existed in multiple places and required a declassification request as well. There are doctorate papers on DTIC that reference the report you are after for those specific systems. You will just need to dig harder. The link I sent is a path forward with some chronology as well as 3 possible HUMINT sources to search out.

 

Are you only looking at US DoD programs? Only reason I ask is because another avenue is the Spanish Navy Fleet Air Army as they flew the Hughes500ASW from the Dedalo R.01 aircraft carrier (former USS Cabot CVL-28) and more typically from the destroyer Blas de Lezo. The Spanish 6a Escuadrilla was commissioned in 1972 with the Hughes 500ASW, thirteen initially with 11 still in service in 1982. They carried 2 Mk44 or 46 torpedoes, only 1 torpedo was carried when equipped with the AN/ASQ-81 MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector). They were also capable of carrying a 7.62 minigun on their port side and in the early 80s were slated to replace the AB-47s in the Naval Fleet Air Army.

 

Hughes+500ASW+1982.jpg

 

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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. 

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On ‎2‎/‎5‎/‎2010 at 12:33 AM, rotorwash said:

Rob,and an AH-1Q (YAH-1Q?) being weighed in the third pic. Believe me, I have tons more. If Matt or you or anyone can tell me how to tell the YAH-1S from an AH-1Q other than tail number, I would be grateful. Later AH-1S's are pretty easy to tell from the AH-1Q as the S's had WSP kits and the original Q's did not. However, you will notice that both of the birds below lack the WSP kit so I am a bit lost without the slide captions or tail numbers and many slides don't have either.

Ray

 

Cobra%20TOW00573%20getting%20ready%20to%20weigh%20AH-1S.jpg

Cobra%20TOW00575%20getting%20ready%20to%20weigh%20AH-1Q.jpg

 

 

The shot above is the YAH-1Q 70-16055, the picture was taken at Ft Hood in 1975 during the OFCON tests.  they weighed the AC before each flight, that's what the Crain was used for.

 

I covered the tests in a UH-1H RC fitted with fire suppression gear, I think it was late spring of 1975 because everything is still green.  It's armed with a 7.62 min and 40mm.

 

In Dec of '75 we flew the birds out to Edwards, covered a high risk test for a chinook with a retractable cargo handling system.  After the test we left the birds at Edwards.  UH-1H 70-16295 & 16296 I have a shot of the Hook with the cargo handing gear extended down and a Milvan hooked underneath.  There is a thread on 40 MM on this board, with more shots taken from the test.  It was a flyoff as it were between the AH-1R and AH-1Q.

 

Bryan

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On ‎8‎/‎17‎/‎2010 at 5:22 PM, rotorwash said:

DH-1A:

 

DH-1A0002.jpg

"Unstable Mable" (this was apparently what the test team called her anyway):

Ray

This contraption was a "Hover Trainer".  In flight school at Wolters you had about 8 - 9 Hrs to get to the point where you could hover without a risk of bending the TH-55A. 

 

The 55 was a short coupled overpowered hand full, that had a throttle rev limiter that was flat out nasty.  It was not uncommon on approach for a noob to lower the collective without first retarding the throttle a tad, and the rev limiter would literally split the needs on you.  You could tell when someone was having issues as they would be yawing all over the sky on the way down.

 

They used it for people with no previous flight experience, which I had.  Everyone in my class that got volunteered to train on it, were washed out.

 

Bryan

 

ala BW Falls Church...

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On ‎8‎/‎20‎/‎2011 at 7:07 PM, BW Falls Church said:
On ‎3‎/‎14‎/‎2010 at 5:30 PM, rotorwash said:

Michael,

Thanks for the link to the v-22 pics.

Matt,

As always thanks for the info. Here area few pics that should be a trip down memory lane. I found them in some miscellaneous stuff but I'm pretty sure these are all of the Edwards test facility.

Here's a shot of the fire suppression Huey you mentioned above. For everyone else the sign on the building says "US Army Aviation Engineering Flight Activity"

 

Misc%20Helos%202009-40001%20small.jpg

Very nice shot. Bring back memories.

This is a bit strange, quoting myself under a different account!

UH-1H_16295_FtHood_GrayAAF_7_75_SM_BryanWilburn_Crp.jpg.bc49003e3ff35a9b416158fac685c255.jpgI finally found the negatives for the RC birds.  I must confess I was more interested in the T-39 Sabraliner than in the bird I had flown in.  The shot was taken at Robert Gary AAF, West Ft hood, summer of 1975.  the 25 Gal tanks sat on two rings, that were just about a stall as the tool box next to them.  The rings provided a protected area under the tanks to run the lines.  the tanks were pressurized by bleed air off the engine.  The firefighters were very carful in mixing the AFFF, Light Water, as it could make for a lethal situation if the tanks pressurized and blew an O ring.  As did happen a few weeks after this picture was taken.  The crew was able to get the bird on the ground, another unit was not so lucky and lost a bird an crew when the cabin filled with foam.  Pressurizing the tanks was a little like playing Russian roulette...

 

We had our Fire Pit training sight at RGAAF.  We got our fuel from "contaminated stock" form the G4 for III Corps.  Under training flight was always pulled the 22" Jump Doors.  Hoist was on the other side, on final the CE would unlock the 22" door and the hoist would push it open.  The unit that Floyd makes is a fairly close example of the rescue hoist we used.

 

The negatives are some what worse for wear.  the birds were painted in Gloss OD, and constantly waxed by the Fire Fighters and Medics.  they would first clean off the tail booms with tooth brushes then was the birds.  they were some of the cleanest UH-1's on Ft hood.

 

If you look across the runway you'll see the 3/507th Lifesaver "Dustoff" bird parked in front of Base Ops.  After we flew the 218th birds to Edwards I ended my stay at Ft Hood flying Dustoff.  The 218th birds were based out of Hood AAF.

 

Bryan

 

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On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2011 at 7:31 PM, thatguy96 said:

I think those skids were developed as part of the JOH-58C Light Combat Helicopter, which was a parallel development to the JOH-6A LCH. The JOH-6A LCH was judged to be the better of the two and was designated AH-6C. The JOH-58Cs were passed on to the High Technology Light Division program if I remember correctly.

Actually, in the flight Test reports on the LCH, JOH-58C, and OH-58C+, the landing gear was referred to as "BHT two-position landing gear".  MPLH referred to the aircraft, not nessasariuily the skids, although most people today refer to the gear a "MPLH".

 

Bryan

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On ‎5‎/‎25‎/‎2010 at 1:48 AM, rotorwash said:

It's just my opinion based on reading and talking to others, but I think the Army was annoyed with Hughes for jacking the price of the OH-6 up so much after they underbid the initial contract. Plus, of course, the Army had a pretty tight relationship with Bell. It's my opinion that these two factors, one financial and one political, led to the OH-58A being adopted (also the fact that Hiller became frustrated with the bidding process and eventually withdrew it's YOH-5 from the second competition also helped) .

Onward and upward. Here are some pics of the Hiller YOH-5. While not ever selected by the military, the design did enjoy commercial success as the FH-1100.

Ray

Finally, a beauty shot:

OH-5005.jpg

Ah yes, but like a red head I once knew, lovely to look at but a hand full...

 

The Hiller had a couple of issues going against it.  One was price.  The other was it's early SAS.  During the flight test phase the SAS would kick off at random times.  Without SAS the bird was, as reported in the flight test docs, "dangerous" in the hands of an inexperienced pilot in turbulence.  It was simply not stable without the SAS.  The 58 was a bit twitchy in turbulence, but no where near as dangerous. 

 

In retrospect there is no doubt now that Hughes "bought" the contract for the LOH.  It was priced under the cost of materials for the OH-5A.  Remember the engine and radios were GFE, Government Furnished Equipment, and not part of the cost from the manufacture.  Hughes made up for it, in part, on spares, a lot of the major components were throw always on the OH-6A, while the OH-58 gear was overhaulable. 

 

Both birds used the same engine, but the fuselage of the 58 was heavier.  The 58 was a heck of a lot quieter inside to fly than the OH-6.  The 500 was the only bird I flew, out side of the 47, where I had to use both earplugs and a helmet.  I think the 500 was even louder than the 47 in the cockpit.

 

And for those OH-6 fans remember the "Hughes tail rotor stall"?  Turn down wind at low speed and you got a stall, spin, crash sequence.  Early on the "Old Hands" demanded to fly the OH-6 when they showed up in Viet Nam.  Then the swashplates uniballs started having "issues" and the Old Hands, decided it was better to give the OH-6's to the "new guys" until they got them fixed...

 

Bryan

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On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2010 at 9:40 PM, Longbow Mech said:

The Arctic paint job on Huey's freakin rock!!!!!!!!

Brock

 

On ‎2‎/‎9‎/‎2010 at 3:00 PM, EDWMatt said:

 

BTW, here's what 532 looked like before the Border Patrol paint job...

Photo10.jpg

Actually this is the Desert/Arctic scheme.  The birds at White Sands also used this scheme, along with OH-58A's.

 

Bryan

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9 minutes ago, rotorwash said:

Well I see you are having fun with this thread, Bryan!

    Ray

I now "remember" where I saw the pics of the UH-1H RC bird boom.  It was here!.  At that time I didn't know where my shots of the 218th AC ended up.

 

I'll call a bit later this afternoon.

 

Bryan

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Posted (edited)

@BWDenver

 

Thanks for sharing that pic - any chance you might be able to upload some more Crash Rescue (Huey) photos? I already have a decent selection thanks to Ray, but always on the look out for more ;).

 

Additionally, do you happen to know if these particular aircraft were technically classified as HH-1D?

 

Thanks,

 

Robert

Edited by RGS

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