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OH-58 US Army

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  • Member since
    November 2005
OH-58 US Army
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 6:07 PM
I am building the MRC 1/35th scale OH-58D. This is to be a surprise gift to my cousin who flew them in Alaska at Ft. Wainwright in about 1980. The problem is that the model he flew was not the D model, nor (apparently) was it the 1 crewman A model. I can find nothing on the web about the B or C model. Questions I need answered: Was the rotor 2 or 4 bladed. Was the class tinted, and if so, what color. Did the observation model carry any weaponry at all. Was it indeed a 2-crew bird as is my guess.Were stripes painted on the tail rotor. If there are any 58 drivers or mechs out there who could answer these questions, I and my cousin would greatly appreciate it.
Anthony Ryan
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 10:11 PM
The a model was a 2 crew job, and as far as I know, the d model is the only 4 blade job. Try a search on Google using OH-58 and see what pops up. Good luck.

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 10:14 PM
Hey Tony,

I was stationed at Ft. Wainwright in 1983 as a Chinook mechanic. From what I remember about the OH-58's, they had 2 rotor blades and the tail rotor did not have stripes painted on them. I don't believe the glass was tinted at all, but I am drawing from memory and could be wrong about that. I never saw them outfitted with weapons so I am not sure about that one.

The airfield at Wainwright was not that big and where our hangar was located gave me a great view of the only runway. Anyway, hope this helps you out.

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by eaglecentral on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 11:06 PM
Ahoy Tony,

The only OH-58 I ever saw while I was in the
Army was in Oct-Nov 1968 at Ft. Sill, OK out on the rocket range. The OH-58 was a new aircraft at the time (two rotor blades like the other Bell products) and it was undergoing rocket firing tests with 2.75 in FFAR's using the tubes that fired 7 rockets.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, May 29, 2003 10:39 PM
The OH-58 D is the only variant with four blades. We used to kidd the '58 guys that's what finally made the '58 'real' helicopters. Kidding aside, the B model carried no mounted weapons that I ever saw. Later versions of the C model could be found with Stingers mounted to provide air-to-air support for the gunships. All versions of the '58 are two man crews. Most tail roters were yellow tipped, not striped but this varied by the unit and year. I'm sorry I can't recall if there was any green tint for the windows over the crew's heads ... green house windows as we called them in Hueys but no other winders were tinted. Many of the C model ships had a different front windscreen than the B model. They changed it from a rounded one piece (on each side) to a 'flat plate' two piece design to reduce the glare that would come off the rounded versions. (Same idea as the change in the canopy of the Cobra) They added an additional structural shape that seperated the two pieces.
Hope this helps,
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, June 1, 2003 3:54 PM

Thank you all for your input on my OH-58 efforts. In my 50 years of model making, this is my first helicopter. My hat's off to you "rotorheads" who do these critters; those hub assemblies are enough to put a guy (or gal) in the State Home for the Hopelessly Bewildered. So thanks again,all. You're a great group. Now to go finish the xx##%%7* thing!
Tony Ryan
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by FITTER on Sunday, June 1, 2003 5:17 PM
FWIW, I found a couple of photos depicting the OH-58A with a minigun mounted on the port side, ala OH-6A. I didn't scan these pics in, but the sources are as follows:

Koku-Fan Illustrated: Heliborne, page 124


An Illustrated Guide to Military Helicopters, by Bill Gunstan, pages 34-35

I didn't bother to run an online search, but I do know that this configuration existed.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 7, 2003 5:09 AM

This may be a bit late for you, but you have hit on a subject I can fill you in on. I have worked on and flown OH-58s in the Army for the last 18+ years.

OH-58A, A+, and Cs are two bladed semi-rigid systems with two tail rotor blades. The Kiowa Warrior (OH-58D(I)) is the four bladed armed version that we fly now.

I was also stationed at Ft. Wainwright from 91 to 93. The Kiowas there were A models. In 93 they were modded to become A+s and were turned into the Guard. The 6th ID reverted back to the 172nd INF BDE and only kept UH-60s and Ch-47s.

I saw pictures in 1991 of the 4-9th Cav's Kiowas in Red and White paint schemes, with high rise skids, skis and miniguns from the unit's past. When I got there they had the traditional CARC job with OG Blades (main and TR). If you looked at the blades closely, you could see the stripes under the paint (paint was thicker).

If you are building an A model, it may or may not have a tail rotor driveshaft cover, and will definately not have infrared exhaust stacks. It will have the curved ones (versus the mushroom shaped ones with heat vanes). It will also have round front windows, versus the flat plate later found on the C models.

An A model was upgraded to become a A+ by upgrading the engine, tail rotor drive train, engine driveshaft to KFLEX, addition of IR stacks and main rotor hub upgrade from oil lube to grease lube.

An A+ was basically a C model after mods, except it still had the round windows, instead of flat plate.

This was important, because later when the CS was fielded, it was an A+ with the addition of an ATAS (stinger) system with PDU (pilots display unit) for aiming the thing.

Also, A and A+ birds in good shape, became feeder aircraft for modification to become OH-58Ds. They went through two programs. The original was the AHIP (army helicopter improvement program), unarmed, followed later by by the Kiowa Warrior program where they received the OH-58D(I) designation for 'improved'. Now the aircraft is being upgraded again to the OH-58D(R).

My aircraft have three data plates in the nose. Most of them are 1970 models, with an upgrade to D model around 1985. The I model upgrade followed in 90/91. They are now slated for the next upgrade.

Back to your original scheme. If you are doing a circa 1980 model, it will have high rise skids, skis, a minigun, no tail rotor driveshaft cover (they collected ice), and possibly a red and white paint scheme. The minigun leaves a hot grease stain from the barrels turning on the side of the bird.

Hope this helps. If any of you guys are thinking about doing a OH-58D, I can send you plenty of pictures.

Oh and Tony...whatever model you make your cousin, I am sure he will appreciate it with all his heart. All us Rotor Heads day dream back to clear weather VFR with the wind in our faces and our cares left on the ground...


  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 7, 2003 2:19 PM
A giant Thank You to madmac, or John, as you signed the reply: I have not yet gotten too advanced on the -58, so your input will be enormously helpful. The kit offers a bit of a challenge since it is a -58D kit, but with the input of you and others who contributed to my question, I feel confident in the outcome.
My cousin is W-4 Paul Latour, currently flying Hueys after a few years of flying Blackhawks. He is currently stationed at Ft. Irwin here in California. He tells me that the -58 was a joy to fly, especially in Alaska. I am very eager to present the model to him.
Since I am the world's slowest modeler, any more input is sure welcome.You can contact me here or if you prefer , at my E-mail address as listed on my biography.You folks are what modeling is all about!! Big Smile [:D]
Tony Ryan

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