Hughes OH-6A 'Cayuse'

Hughes OH-6A 'Cayuse' at the New England Air Museum


Type:   Light observation/utility heicopter
Crew:   2
First Flight:   
Capacity:   2 passengers
Length:   30'
Height:   9' 1”
Rotor Diameter:   26' 5”
Empty Weight:   1,230 lbs.
Gross Weight:   2,700 lbs.
Cruise Speed:   150 mph
Maximum Speed:   175 mph
Range:   265 mi.
Service Ceiling:   14,400'
Powerplant:   Allison t63-A5A Turboshaft
Armament:   2 machine guns, 2 machine gun pods, 14 rockets in 2 pods, 4 TOW missles in 2 pods, 4 Hellfire missiles in 2 pods
Year:   1967
Serial No.:   67-16127
Location:   Military Hangar

Courtesy of the United States Army

The OH-6A is a light observation helicopter (LOH, hence the nickname “Loach”) which was first flown in 1963. Extremely maneuverable, it was used during the Vietnam War by the U.S. Army for command and control, observation, target acquisition, and reconnaissance.

The OH-6A was often teamed with the Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter as part of what were known as “Pink Teams.” The Cayuse would find the targets and mark them with colored smoke for the the Cobras to then attack. The OH-6A could also be armed with side-mounted guns and grenade launchers.

The Cayuse, which replaced the Bell OH-13 Sioux and Hiller OH-23 Raven in the Army's inventory, was also sold in ten countries and built under license in Italy and Japan.

Variants based on the OH-6 are still in active use by the Army and police departments, as well as with the Spanish Navy and Japanese Ground Defense Force. Hughes also developed a civilian version, the Model 500 which today is being produced by MD Helicopters as the MD 500.

Send in this Contact Reference Form if you have any information or comments on the Hughes OH-6A 'Cayuse'.

© New England Air Museum 2016-2021
36 Perimeter Rd., Windsor Locks, CT, 06096