The Hughes OH-6 Cayuse (nicknamed “Loach”, after the requirement acronym LOH—Light Observation Helicopter) is a single-engine light helicopter with a four-bladed main rotor used for personnel transport, escort and attack missions, and observation. Hughes Helicopters also developed the Model 369 as a civilian helicopter, the Hughes Model 500, currently produced by MD Helicopters as the MD 500.
The Connecticut Air & Space Center’s OH-6A Serial number 67-16477 served proudly for many years.
- 101 Airborne , 2nd Brigade, Brandy Company in Vietnam logging over 2200 hours and being shot down twice! 1968 – 1971
- Transferred stateside to Fort Rucker and joined the Silver Eagles, an Army stunt flight team 1972-1974
- 1st Battalion, 342nd Aviation, ARNG, based at Albany County airport, NY 1974 – 1991
- 1/142 Aviation Brigade, ARNG based at Rochester, NY 1991 – 1994
- Westchester County Police Department Aviation Unit at the Westchester County Airport in New York 1994-2013.
- With a coordinated effort between the Connecticut DAS, GSA, Westchester County Police and the Connecticut Air & Space Center’s Director, Andrew King, 67-16477 was transferred to Connecticut in September 2014 to become part of a display to honor Vietnam Veterans.
She is currently at the paint shop about to be returned to her original paint, 101st Airborne, 2nd Brigade, Brandy Company.
Changing the Rotorhead
Our first big project was to swap out the Hughes MD-500 rotorhead for the military OH-6A rotorhead that came with the helicopter. Tony did a fantastic job making sure everything went off with out a hitch. Take a look at the photo essay below.
Stripping the Interior
The original color used on the airframe was grey.
Our plan is to strip out the interior as completely as possible and mask the rest off, scuff and shoot.
Readying the Engine Compartment
The engine compartment has suffered the years of repaints and heat damage. Our decision after much discussion and research was to go with a simple gloss white paint job. Tony Racine and his son AJ as well as Ray Miller, Drew King and other volunteers spent time scraping and cleaning out the engine bay . A fresh coat of paint was been sprayed and The engine was reinstalled after Tony made new engine mounts in the machine shop. The engine compartment doors were stripped and painted as well.
Interior Stripped & Painted.
The interior was stripped out and repainted a more proper gray to reflect her service during the Vietnam war. The reason aircraft were switched to flat black was due to Night Vision equipment. The light gray would flare the goggles.
On the road again
The OH-6 makes the trip to Route 1 Autobody in Fairfield Ct for Paint. We owe the gang there a big debt of gratitude for helping us out with the paint.
On Display at the 2015 Corsair Restoration Benefit and Car Show.
Special thanks for tracking down specific airframe history to:
We would also like to thank the following people/companies for their help:
Trucking provided by:
Analog Digital Sound & Surveillance Systems
PO Box 1199 – Southport CT 06890
Trailer provided by:
Alan Goodman – The Classic Car Gallery
3266 Post Road – Southport, CT 06890
A really big air compressor & tire repair by:
DeSantie Tire Co
8 Tunxis Hill Rd – Fairfield, CT 06825
Exterior bodywork and paint provided by:
Route 1 Autobody
280 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824