Walkaround - Hughes OH-6A Cayuse S/N 67-16506

Walkaround - Hughes OH-6A Cayuse S/N 67-16506
The Helicopter Museum / Weston-super-Mare
November, 8th, 2018.

Few things symbolize the Vietanam war more than helicopters. One of them, however, is not as celebrated as Hueys, Jolly Greens and Cobras: The Cayuse.
The Hughes OH-6A Cayuse was designed for use as a Light Observation Helicopter - LOH, and the 
pronunciation of the acronym led to its nickname Loach by the troops. The OH-6A made its first flight in 1963. The Cayuse was publicly introduced in 1966 and set several records, including record for endurance, speed and rate of climb - some of them still hold. In 1966 it entered military service with the US Army.

The Cayuse was a military scout intended to meet the U.S. Army’s need for an extremely maneuverable observation helicopter during the Vietnam War.
Cayuses were quite effective when teamed with the AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter as part of what were known as Pink Teams, combining the OH-6A (white team) with a AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter (red team). The OH-6A would find targets by flying low as a bite, attracting fire, and lead in a Cobra, or Snake, to attack. The OH-6A could be armed with the M27 armament subsystem, the M134 six-barrel 7.62mm minigun or the M129 40mm grenade launcher on the XM8 armament subsystem. Due to its clever design, even when this helicopter was shot down it refused to crack. In the event of a crash the tail boom and engine separate from the egg-like cabin, improving the survival chances of the crew.

This is a short walkround I made during a visit to The Helicopter Museum
in Weston-super-Mare, UK in 2018. The museum is said to have the largest helicopter collection in the world and deserves a visit (exact location here)


  Hughes Tool Company’s Aircraft Division
ModelOH-6A Cayuse Light Observation Helicopter - LOH
TypeObservation Helicopter
First Year of Production
Production total1420
Engine1 × One Allison T63-A-5A or T63-A-700 turboshaft, 317 hp (236 kW)
Engine rating317 SHP
Main rotor4 Blade Semi-Rigid - diameter 27 ft. 4 in (8.33 m)
Maximum take-off weight3,549 lbs (1,610 kg)
Empty weight1,975 lbs (896 kg)
Never exceed speed152 knots (175 mph, 282 km/h)
Maximum cruise speed135 knots (155 mph, 250 km/h)
Range232 nm (430 km (267 mi)
Service ceiling
15,994 ft (4,875 m)
Rate of climb2,067 ft/min (10.5 m/s)
Length30 ft 10 in – 32 ft 2 in (9.4–9.8 m)
Height8 ft 6 in – 11 ft 2 in (2.6–3.4 m)

This particular airframe, s/n 67-16506, was built 1968 in Culver City, California, USA and was delivered for operations in Vietnam in 1968. It was shot down in 1970 but rebuilt for further service with the Army National Guard until retirement and subsequent acquisition by the Museum. The airframe was delivered to Weston-super-Mare at the end of September 1999 [The Helicopter Museum].





The OH-6 Cayuse still is in active service today through several modernized military and civilian versions.

The 317 shp Allison T63-A turboshaft of the OH-6A scout helicopter.

I hope you find these photos useful somehow. If you have any interesting information about the history of this aircraft, please drop me a line.

Rato Marczak © 2018