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  • Classic Hughes

    Queen Charlotte Helicopters Hughes 500D C-??CA at Anthony Island in British Columbia (Date unknown)

    Bill Perkins at the controls of Pelita Air Services Hughes 500C PK-PEC at 'Delta' seismic camp in North Sumatra, Indonesia in 1976 (Photo: Bill Perkins)

    Pelita Air Service Hughes 500C PK-PEW in Irian Jaya, Indonesia in 1976 (Photo: Bill Perkins)

  • #2
    Nice 500 photos Sav, thanks for posting. Both the 500D and the Indonesian 500Cs are in standard Hughes factory paint scheme. Both very simple and elegant.

    Originally posted by Savoia View Post
    In fact in Kenya the first two anti-poaching ships (both Hughes 500C's) sported an assortment of patches on the fuselage - evidence of their encounters with the ivory hunters.
    One of these 500s might just be 5Y-AYV, which was previously N9000F, the very first civilian Hughes 500 to fly and be delivered to a customer. The fate of this airframe has always been something of a mystery. It does appear to have ended its days in Kenya but how exactly is unknown. I've heard two different stories as to what might have befallen it.

    The stories I've heard appear to confirm it was indeed employed in anti-poaching operations and apparently it was either damaged beyond repair by poachers using some form of incendiary or was written-off when performing an overloaded hot and high take-off. Which story is the correct one is unknown to me but I'd love to know the truth. The story regarding this heli being blown up came from a source formerly from Hughes Helicopters. If anyone has any information (or photos!) on these old Kenyan 500s and their history, I'd be very grateful. I understand 5Y-AYV wore a white-and-green paint scheme during its time in Kenya. Thanks.

    500 Fan.
    Last edited by 500 Fan; 21st September 2015, 21:15.


    • Helipixman
      Helipixman commented
      Editing a comment
      It was me asking about Kerry Fodie... I swapped many photos with him mainly 500s and have many more he may want but lost touch with him. He knows me by name not Helipixman (aka Paul Kelsey) Maybe you can help me get back in touch ?


  • #3
    Kenya's first Anti-Poaching Unit was run by the late Ted Goss with whom I used to drink tea at Wilson Airport in Nairobi in the mid-80's. I would wander along to his hanger (just a few doors away from Autair) and chat with him about his experiences flying around Kenya. His many stories as well as practical advice on flying operations were treasured by a 'newbie' - such as I was at the time!

    In those days there were two 500's in his hangar, 5Y-AYV and 5Y-BDP. During my time I only ever saw BDP flying - I think AYV was down waiting for an engine change for almost a year (the delay being related to funds) but I had no idea that this was the 'first ever' civilian 500! I don't know about AYV's final demise but, will enquire from friends next time I pass through Nairobi.

    Ted told some quite dramatic stories about his encounters with the poachers and, as stated in my original comment, both craft had riveted patches on various parts of the fuselage .. scars from Ted's involvement in the 'Ivory Wars'.

    He told me of one account when he and his crew had been shot at by Somalian poachers who were 'chasing' him from an open-top Landcrusier. Ted was so infuriated by this that he promptly landed (at a distance), removed the passenger side doors, thrust a pair of rifles into the hands of his rangers, and then re-appeared in front the Cruiser with the 500 broadside over the road while telling his crew to "let rip" (or words to that effect). Not being a monster, Ted had told his crew not to annihilate the poachers, but merely to take out all the vehicles tyres, thus leaving them with something to think about for a few days! Actually, once Ted introduced the anti-poaching unit, the Kenyan government began to see a noticeable drop in the number of 'successful' poaching attacks and, according to Ted, the 500's played a crucial role in this achievement.

    Aside from his poaching stories, Ted would sometimes ponder whether he wouldn't have been better off operating 206's (such as I was flying at the time) though like most 500 drivers, he readily appreciated the craft's manoeuverability. His reasoning was based solely on cabin and baggage space. For my part I was lamenting my separation from the 500 having recently flown the type in Brasil - I think we were both victims of the 'grass is greener' syndrome!

    I only ever saw Ted flying BDP but, I believe there were one or perhaps two others who flew part-time with the unit.

    Re: photos, this is what I have for now but, again, I will ask around and see what can be found locally when I'm back in Nairobi.

    The late 'great' Ted Goss with 5Y-AYV in Tsavo Game Reserve c.1975

    The Kenya Anti-Poaching Unit's second Hughes 500C, 5Y-BDP c. early 80's

    Ted Goss with his army of rangers (many of whom were ex-poachers) c. mid 80's

    The late Ted Goss with 5Y-BDP

    ~ ~ ~

    This post is dedicated to the memory of the late Edward 'Ted' Goss


    • #4
      Elipix, do you have any photos of G-HEWS, a 'D' model which lived in Aberdeen for a time when she belonged to a local company Apex Tubulars?

      The craft was sadly written-off in December 1987 while practicing autos.

      Also, do you know of any other 500's which have operated in Scotland over the years?

      500 Fan, FYI and seeing as we have mentioned Hughes' and Kenya, there were a small number of Hughes 300's which made it out to Kenya in the 1960's and early 70's. One of these was an ex-Irish bird .. EI-AOV which became 5Y-ADV.

      IIRC then it was Freddie Wilcox who told me that Trans Wolrd Helicopters had some connections in Kenya for some years, and it is a matter of record that an Irish registered Hughes 300 (EI-ACE) encountered an accident on the slopes of Mt. Kenya on 16th March 1966.

      And to solidify the 'connections' even more, one the the early Hughes 300's (5Y-AUB) belonged to Kenya National Parks but sadly, and as with EI-ACE, she too encountered an accident (in Tsavo National Park) on 27th August 1974.

      You can probably imagine what it must have been like to operate a piston-engine craft in hot and high conditions .. I mean it was challenging enough with a turbine!


      • Helipixman
        Helipixman commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Sav

        Yes I have shots of G-HEWS ... Apex Tubulars have had other 500's as well. There have also been a small number of other 500's in private hands and one currently here; G-MRAJ at Dundee, owned by Mr Alan Jardine, hence the registration.

        Will post them on return from holiday.


      • Savoia
        Savoia commented
        Editing a comment
        Great stuff Elipix.

        Buone Vacanze!

    • #5

      Sav, thanks for the info and photos of the Kenyan 500s. The photo of 5Y-AYV is very welcome and confirms the information I have heard previously about this airframe. The history of the anti-poaching unit is very interesting too. Any further info on -AYV and Ted Goss' operation will be most welcome.

      There does appear to have been a strong connection between Trans World Helicopters in Shannon and Kenya. The January 1967 issue of "Helicopter World" magazine features a photo of a TWH Hughes 300 in use during a trial with the Kenyan Police Force. The registration is not visible, sadly. It mentions that Wilken Air Services Ltd of Nairobi had an agreement in place with TWH to distribute the 300 (and presumably the 500) in Eastern Africa. Thanks.

      500 Fan.
      Last edited by 500 Fan; 21st September 2015, 21:15.


      • #6
        Just as well that we keep alive the memory of those intrepid deer hunters!

        During my time in PNG I was surrounded by Kiwis who rarely ceased speaking about their deer recovery antics; and when they weren't talking about deer recovery, then they were watching it .. on well worn video cassettes which they had brought with them from Kiwiland. God bless 'em!


        • #7
          More classic Hughes in Africa ..

          Viking Helicopters Hughes 500C C-GOEC (cn 34-0578S), Ethiopia early 1980's

          C-GOEC at the Blue Nile Falls in Ethiopia, early 1980's


          • #8
            Alpenair Hughes 500D OE-KXI (cn 21-0893D) flying equipment for a local TV company during the 1991 World Ski Championships held in Saalbach, Austria and piloted by Werner Kurz:


            • #9
              Further to the photos of Viking Helicopters 500Cs, here are two interesting albums of photos featuring float-equipped 500s on geological surveys in Canada. The first ship is fitted with a neat little water-sampling system.

              Viking Helicopters Hughes 500C Capre Dorset, Baffin Island

              CF-TUP in the first link is marked as a "Hughes 500" while the Hughes in this second is labelled as a "500C". The only visible difference seems to be the bigger metal tail rotor blades on the 500C.

              Viking Helicopters Hughes 500C CF-TUP, East Arm of Great Slave Lake

              500 Fan


              • #10

                Some nice photos there 500 Fan!

                I think this may have been a Viking bird:

                Hughes 500C C-GAED as seen in Canada c.1974 (Possibly belonging to Viking Helicopters)


                • #11

                  YOH-6A Cayuse 62-4213 as seen at Le Bourget on 19th June 1965 (Photo: RA Scholefield)

                  Archive footage (no sound sadly) of OH-6A's from the 17th Air Cavalry in Vietnam in 1968:


                  • #12
                    Thanks for that photo of -213, Sav. 62-4213 might possibly have held the most FAI World Records at any one time for a single airframe (23). Some still stand to this day and some of those might never be bettered. April 2016 will mark the 50th anniversary of those records. I might mention them again around that time.


                    • Savoia
                      Savoia commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Great stuff! It would be nice to locate a list of these 23 records some day.

                  • #13
                    J have been researching the history of the various H-6 and H500 prototypes from 1963 to the present and the original YOH-6 group of prototypes were involved in quite a few interesting test programmes. I will write a little piece on those record-setting flights, including a complete list of the records, and post it in April 2016 along with some rare photos from the US Army Archives. Don Porter, a former employee at Hughes Helicopters, has written a book on the history of Hughes Helicopters (entitled Howard's Whirlybirds) and a chapter in that book covers in detail these record flights. He hopes to have a magazine article published in 2016 to commemorate those record flights.


                    • #14
                      500 Fan: Sounds wonderful! We look forward to reading about the celebrated exploits of the 'flying egg' in the times ahead.

                      Record Breaking Hughes ..

                      OH-6A Cayuse H-192 65-12949 (cn 034) as seen at Le Bourget on 3rd June 1967 (Photo: RA Scholefield)

                      Classic 'C' in Belgium ..

                      Heli-Belgium Hughes 369HS 500C OO-VDH (cn 32-0373S) as seen at Ghent Sint-Denijs-Westrem Airport, Belgium on 11th May 1974 (Photo: Mick Bajcar)

                      Cayuse in Ireland (Perhaps even 500 Fan flying!)

                      N239MY departing Ballyboy Airfield


                      • #15
                        Hi Sav. I have had the immense pleasure of flying N239MY but it wasn't me flying that particular day.

                        The 500 is a popular civilian machine but it did, of course, start out as a military aircraft. As well as seeing service with the U.S. Army, Army National Guard and numerous foreign military operators, the 500 and H-6 series of helicopters also lurk in the shadows, quietly serving with the U.S. Army's Special Operations community. The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (S.O.A.R.), a more secretive U.S. Army aviation unit called "Sea Spray", the F.B.I.'s Hostage Rescue Team and private military contractors like Blackwater and Dyncorp all operate versions of the 500/H-6 family. One of the best sources for information on these helicopters is to be found on a scale modelling website, believe it or not. Here is a link to an interesting and comprehensive thread on the 160th SOAR and its "Little Birds".


                        Here is a further link to a thread on the more secretive helicopters operated by the U.S. Army and other secretive operators.


                        I hope this is of interest.

                        500 Fan.


                        • #16
                          Of great interest, grazie mille!

                          More classic Cayuse ..

                          US Army Hughes OH-6A Cayuse 24211 (No further details)


                          • #17
                            Classic 'C'

                            Seeing as we already have one classic 'C' (above) from Belgium, it seems only fair to add another:

                            Hughes 369HS 500C OO-TLK (cn 110280S) as seen at Brussels Zaventem Airport in November 1991 (Photo: Luc Barry)


                            • #18

                              As requested by Sav in post #4, here are a few pics of G-HEWS.


                              John Carroll Construction Ltd, 13.5.81
                              Carroll Industries Leasing Ltd, 16.9.83
                              Apex Tubulars Ltd, 29.10.84
                              Crashed at Banchory,
                              Aberdeenshire 5.12.87 (see accident report here) - Wreck sent to Sywell

                              Apex Tubulars have also owned G-BLKO 369HS, G-BTLJ 369E, G-TUBE 369E, and N252JP.

                              All photos Helipixman Collection


                              • Savoia
                                Savoia commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Lovely to see these rare photos of G-HEWS Elipix, grazie mille!

                                Lovely also to see a glimpse of John Heyward's remarkably rare D model G-BHWD in the top photo, and which firmly places this shot between 1980-82. And in the second photo I think I spy something of McAlpine's Gazelle G-BBHW.

                                The bottom photo is however a little sad, thankfully though no lives lost and no injuries even, so a double portion of thanksgiving!

                                Have to say that I've never been a great fan of shooting autos on my tod, but instead always felt more comfortable having someone alongside with recent experience in throttle-chopping activities! An observation .. the terrain (from what we can see) doesn't appear to be especially even, meaning that a run-on might not have been advisable. Bringing a 500 in a powered-off auto to a zero-forward-speed touchdown does require a fair degree of flare, and this presumably (and according to the report) is where things came undone.

                            • #19

                              Following on from G-HEWS are some details for another 500.

                              G-HEWT was an apt registration for owner Hewitts of Cranleigh Ltd, 14.4.87, sold to A.H. Canvin 21.11.88 and sold in Germany becoming D-HSUR.

                              Hewitts have been involved with helicopters since the 70's having the following:-

                              G-ATZX Bell 47G-2 F & D.M. Hewitt Ltd, 21.6.72
                              G-BBER Bell 47G-5A Hewitts Investments Ltd, 25.9.73
                              G-BNUW Bell 206B III Hewitts of Cranleigh Ltd, 27.8.87
                              G-HEWT Hughes 369D Hewitts of Cranleigh Ltd, 14.4.87
                              G-OIOW Hughes 369D Hewitts of Cranleigh Ltd, 3.2.89

                              Helipixman Collection


                              • Savoia
                                Savoia commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Lol, excellent! Never realised HEWS had a sister ship! Nice one.

                            • #20
                              Nice photos, Helipixman.

                              Interestingly, the three 500Ds featured in the preceding photos are painted in the three different factory paint schemes offered by Hughes in the late 70's and early 80's. G-HEWT is painted in the grandly-titled "Plummage III" scheme!


                              • #21

                                Hughes 369D c/n 30-0689D owned by John Patrick Desmond Heyward 21.5.80 - 6.9.82

                                This was seen at Elstree Aerodrome numerous times, 1.6.80, 23.7.80 and 30.12.80 mostly in connection with Avionics fitting.
                                Around the same time other 500s were at Elstree G-AYIA and G-BMJH on 1.6.80 and G-BIOA on 22.2.81

                                Helipixman Collection

                                Seen at Elstree with taped registration.


                                • #22
                                  Got to say it again top draw picture Helipixman,Brilliant!!!


                                  • Savoia
                                    Savoia commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Hear, hear. Must have missed this when you posted it Elipix. A rare 'classic Hughes' shot. I love the tie down!

                                    Will post some G-AYIA shots (from near Elstee) up ahead.

                                • #23

                                  Even the Boss had to work!!

                                  Hughes 500 (369D) C/N 1160029D G-BESS, being moved into the HPB Aviation hanger at Leavesden for repainting in 1985.

                                  The picture shows Frank Dodd (Paint Shop Manager) on the tail boom, Henry Hewitt (Chairman & Managing Director) nearest to the exhaust & all smiles, Abdul Qayoom (Paint Shop Operative) taking absolutely no notice!!& if you look carefully there's a face looking through the rear STB side window, this is Robert Hood another paint shop operative, i was often asked "go on take a picture!". Well you cant say no to the boss!!!


                                  • Savoia
                                    Savoia commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    Ha ha, great stuff Adrian, lovely shot! I see Henry is quite literally offering a 'hand'!

                                  • Adrian Batchelor
                                    Adrian Batchelor commented
                                    Editing a comment
                                    I think it was more of a pose than genuine help Savoia but seriously as Bosses go Henry was a very good boss to me & even though those days are long in the past i do miss them,i had 22 years working on every shape and size Helicopter & Fixed wing aircraft that i could ever wish for...

                                • #24
                                  Another Take On BESS

                                  Hughes 500D (369D) G-BESS (cn 1160029D) as seen at Cranfield on 3rd September 1977 (Photo: Keith Sowter)

                                  Seen here having been recently acquired by Micro Consultants of Surrey who went on to buy the Ecureuil G-MAGY which Adrian also photographed and most likely repainted.

                                  BESS was then sold to a former associate of Denissimo, Peter Millward. There is an interesting story about one of Peter's landings with BESS at Booker, involving her tail rotor - to perhaps recount another day.

                                  Visible in the background is Ferranti JetRanger G-AWJW.


                                  • #25
                                    Winter Hughes

                                    The Gazelle thread featured a few wintry photos of Fenestrons on the snow, so I thought it might be an idea to show the 500 in a colourful paint scheme cruising along over a pristine snowy background, in this case Antarctica. A belated Happy Christmas.

                                    Jayrow Helicopters Hughes 500C VH-SFS in Antarctica Photo: John Manning


                                    • Savoia
                                      Savoia commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Lovely shot 500!

                                  • #26
                                    Classic 'C'

                                    Hughes 500C (369HS) N9221F (cn 104-06565) as seen at Miami's Opa Locka Airport on 20th June 1978 (Photo: Mick Bajcar)


                                    • #27
                                      For 500 Fan

                                      CLASSIC CAYUSE

                                      US Army OH-6A Hughes Cayuse 17830 as seen in Vietnam 1970

                                      This aircraft was delivered to the US Army in April of 1968 and was then assigned to D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 5th Cavalry, 9th Infantry Division Light Horse from February to July 1970.

                                      In 1972 she was assigned to C Troop, 16th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade Outcasts where she flew as 'Dark Horse 12'.

                                      On 12th January 1994 she was assigned to the City of El Paso Police Department, El Paso, Texas and registered as N2091R.


                                      • 500 Fan
                                        500 Fan commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Thanks Sav. It appears this Loach is still in service in El Paso.

                                    • #28
                                      YOH-6A 62-4213 RECORD BREAKING FLIGHT

                                      50 years ago today
                                      .. around this time, Hughes Test Pilot Robert Ferry was in the air in his Hughes YOH-6A prototype, 62-4213, as he set the world record for the longest distance flown in a rotorcraft, non-stop and un-refuelled. He flew for 15 hours and 8 minutes and covered 2,213.8 miles as he flew between Culver City, California and Ormond Beach, Florida. The record still stands to this day!

                                      In theory, a helicopter as small as the OH-6 should come nowhere near setting such a record, but the radical design of the OH-6 has made it ideally suited to these type of flights. Clean aerodynamics, a fuel-efficient engine, a favourable power-to-weight ratio and the associated favourable fuel fraction (the weight of the fuel carried as a percentage of the total take-off weight, if I understand it correctly) all contribute to an exceptional range. One of the Hughes engineers calculated that the only way to beat the current record was if someone could come up with a lighter helicopter capable of carrying a greater amount of fuel!

                                      Hughes engineers felt they could have constructed the OH-6A to be 200 pounds lighter but the Army went with the design that ultimately went into production. A friend of mine who has visited the Army Aviation Museum and examined 62-4213 noted that the construction of -4213 was lighter than that of a production OH-6A. This more lightweight construction probably contributed to this amazing record.

                                      A couple of attempts to break this record have been announced in the past but they never came to fruition. Steve Fossett was going to use a modified BO-105 and someone else was going to use a Sikorsky S-76. Maybe they crunched the numbers and realized they needed a different helicopter! Perhaps the only way at the moment to beat this record would be to strip-down and lighten a Hughes 500C or OH-6A and try to increase the fuel fraction.

                                      Robert Ferry being briefed before his record breaking flight

                                      The record-breaking bird 62-4213

                                      A map of Robert Ferry's flight from Culver City in California to Daytona Beach, Florida

                                      500 Fan.

                                      More info

                                      Edit; I thought I would try to put the distance covered in this flight into perspective by seeing how far one could fly in Bob Ferry's YOH-6A if the flight started from Dublin! The most impressive flight I could come up with was this, a flight from Dublin to Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Newfoundland, Canada. IN AN OH-6A!!!!!! Granted, the conditions were quite different for Bob Ferry's flight but Dublin to Newfoundland is 2,187 miles, well short of his 2,213 miles. The extra fuel might have come in handy fighting that nasty headwind, though.

                                      Last edited by 500 Fan; 7th April 2016, 19:48.


                                      • Savoia
                                        Savoia commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        Wow! What a wonderful story - one I wasn't aware of. Well done to the Hughes team and to Bob Ferry for this feat of endurance. Astonishing (and delightful) that so many of the 'old birds' still retain various records. Brilliant post 500 Fan, well done!

                                    • #29
                                      More Classic 'C'

                                      Continuing our review of the Classic 'C' model, this lovely shot courtesy of Zishelix:

                                      Hughes 500C (369HS) G-AZVM (cn 610326S) as seen at Goodwood Aerodrome in March 1973 (Photo: Zishelix)

                                      Some 44 years after her delivery to the UK this craft remains flying and remains in Britain, now sporting the registration G-TCEE. She was delivered to her initial owner in May 1972 and went on to become an Air Gregory bird in 1974.


                                      • #30
                                        Hughes Aircraft OH-6A Promotional Film