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  • Mc Donnell Douglas

    McDonnell Douglas Helicopters

    Product of the join of the companies founded by James S. McDonnell and Donald W. Douglas, Mc Donnell Douglas was a leader manufacturer in commercials, military, helicopters and space aircrafts.

    The WWII C-47/DC-3, the military jets A-4 Skyhawk, F-4 Phantom, F-15 Eagle, F-18 Hornet and the DC family of civilian jets are some examples of the success of this corporation.

    The helicopter's history of McDonnell Douglas will be considered in this page through their early firms McDonnell and Hughes.
    Mc Donnell Factory, Santa Monica, 1922

    April 27, 1946 : Mc Donnell Whirlaway (XHJD-1)
    The first helo of the company was designed for the US Navy.
    The engine were 2 Pratt & Whitney R-985 of 450 Hp each
    One unit built.
    See also Platt-LePage XR-1

    May 5, 1947 : Mc Donnell "Little Henry" (XH-20)
    First world's ram-jet helicopter. It was powered with ram-jets mounted at the tips of the rotor blades. It had no tail rotor and weighed only 280 pounds. Was cancelled due the heavy consumption of fuel. A proposed H-29 improved version was also cancelled.

    August 1948 : Hughes acquired Kellett projects
    Little Henry

    1952 : Hughes "Flying Crane" XH-17
    First project of the Hughes company, the XH-17 had a two-bladed main rotor system with a diameter of 40.8 m, and was capable of flying at a gross weight of more than 18600 kgs One unit built. The H-28 was a derivate with a max weight of 47.000 Kg but the program was cancelled and therefore none built.

    July 14, 1954 : Mc Donnell Model 86 (XV-1) [former H-35]
    Convertiplane compound helicopter for the US Army. Two units built.
    It engine was a Continental R-975 of 525 hp and was capable of reach a max speed of 322 km/h

    April 29, 1955 : XV-1 made the first successful conversion from vertical rotor lift to horizontal winged flight

    McDonnell XV-1

    1956 : Hughes 200 / 269 / 300 (TH-55 Osage)
    First military aircraft production of the Hughes Company. An observation version called YHO-2 was cancelled.
    792 units of the military Osage were built.

    Rotor diameter: 8.18 m
    Length: 9.40 m
    Height: 2.67 m
    Weight: 480 kg - Max: 930
    Engine: 1 Avco Lycoming
    HIO-360 of 190 hp
    Speed: Max: 150 km/h
    Range: 370 km
    Service Ceiling: 3100 m

    November 13, 1957 : Mc Donnell Model 120
    A private project of the company that uses the XV-1 concept, the model 120 was a flying crane that was also cancelled

    February 27, 1963 : Hughes 369 Cayuse (OH-6)
    Model 120

    1964 : Hughes "Hot Cycle" (XV-9) Was an experimental design, where the engine exhaust was ducted through the rotor hub and the blades, and expelled from the rotor tips. One unit built

    1966 : Hughes 500 Commercial version of the OH-6 Cayuse

    April 28, 1967 Merger of McDonnell and Douglas

    1968 : Hughes OH-6 Cayuse 's peak production, during the Vietnam War, as many as 100 OH-6As were built a month.

    August 1970 Last deliveries of OH-6A, 1434 units completed.

    Continue with PART II

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