M2 Carbine, Have any Hughes 500 comments?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by jungle, Oct 16, 2005.

  1. jungle

    jungle

    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Wondered if you had any time or tales of the Hughes 500/MD 500 series Helos?
     
  2. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

    Messages:
    25,538
    Likes Received:
    14,392
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    When I hired on at Petroleum Helicopters in 73 the company had a few.

    They didn't work out well because of the lack of baggage space and the passengers didn't like the cramped seating.

    I don't know how well they rode the waves if they went down, but I suspect not well.
    I've seen Bell 206's stay upright in 6 foot seas.

    Our roving maintenance teams ended up with the Hughes 500 since mostly all they carried was a mechanic and pilot-mechanic and tools.

    I rode in the back of them a few times and didn't like it.

    From what I heard the guys that flew it liked it and I heard the Army LOH pilots in Vietnam liked it. I also heard it protects the pilot pretty well in a crash.

    Personally, when I was instructing in the Hughes TH55 there were so many instructors and students killed (about 50) in and by the helicopter that I got a real dislike for anything Hughes. Especially after it tried to kill me a few times.;Q

    But without any stick time in the Hughes 500 I can't honestly say much about it.
     

  3. jungle

    jungle

    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Thanks M2, I've always heard the pilots loved them because of their sweet handling, but Bell has a much bigger chunk of the market because they made a more practical machine.
     
  4. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

    Messages:
    25,490
    Likes Received:
    7,086
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Location:
    Bend Oregon
    not really.......actually Bell had a lesser machine and LOTS of Government corruption on their side
     
  5. jungle

    jungle

    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Claims of corruption have been made with every government contract let. Care to elaborate on your claims?
     
  6. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

    Messages:
    25,538
    Likes Received:
    14,392
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    Government corruption, that's a laugh. The Hughes company was the "man" when it came to corruption.
    The Commanding Officer at the Army primary helicopter school retired to a VP job at Hughes after he stonewalled anyone opposed to the purchase of the Hughes TH55 as a trainer.
    The Flight Commander of the test class that used the first TH55 wrote,
    "The TH55 is totally unsuitable for use as a training aircraft and shouldn't be flying at all".
    The base Commander tore up the recommendation and tried to get the Flight Commander fired when he wouldn't "play ball".
    The Hughes company continued to BS and outright lie as that POS helicopter continued to kill instructors and students.
    The pressure from Hughes was so bad that, at one point when the cabin heater was killing the students and instructors and we tried to carry the little carbon monoxide testers we were forbidden to have a tester on the flight line under penalty of court marshal or being fired.

    The pressure from Hughes was so bad that the Hughes could not even be criticized under penalty of being court marshaled or fired.
    Southern Airways of Texas had the contract for the whole flight school, maintenance, ground and flight instructors, etc.
    The President of SA called all the employees into a big hanger and said,
    We are stuck with the Hughes. We are going to have to maintain it and fly it. There will be NO criticism or derogatory comments made about this aircraft by Southern Airways employees. If I hear of you openly criticizing the TH55 I will personally fire you.

    BTW when a General's son was killed in the Hughes, the ex Base Commander, now Hughes vice president, was activated and court marshaled.:)

    As far as the Bell 206 being a "lesser machine", not hardly.