OH-58A "Kiowa"
Scout Helicopter

(Bell Model 206A)



The OH-58A Kiowa was procured by the US Army when the Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) program was reopened for an additional buy in March 1968. It was first deployed to Vietnam in early Autumn 1969.

The Kiowa operated with air cavalry, attack helicopter, and field artillery units. It could also be configured as a troop transport, MedEvac, or for external lift missions using an external hook.

Kiowas were commonly paired with the AH-1 "Huey" Cobra. The Kiowa would fly low, "trolling" to draw enemy fire, mark the target, and call in the Cobra to attack.

The OH-58A Kiowa could be armed with the M27 armament subsystem, the port side mounting M134 six-barrel 7.62mm "minigun".

The Kiowa had a two-bladed, semi-rigid, seesaw, all metal main rotor and a two-bladed, rigid, delta hinge, all metal tail rotor. The OH-58A (1969) was powered by a single Allison 250-C18 317 SHP turbine engine and had a speed of 115 knots (132 mph). The OH-58C (1979) was powered by an Allison 250-C20B 420 SHP turbine engine.

The Bell 206A was sold in eight countries, was built under license in Italy, and was licensed for co-production in Australia.


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