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50 Years of the Fabulous 500.

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50 Years of the Fabulous 500.

Old 23rd Apr 2018, 19:25
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I see that Ned finally finished his Loach family poster:



(Mods - Posted purely out of artistic appreciation, sans weblink. Hope this is acceptable.)

I/C
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Old 24th Apr 2018, 21:29
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Originally Posted by Ian Corrigible View Post
I see that Ned finally finished his Loach family poster:



(Mods - Posted purely out of artistic appreciation, sans weblink. Hope this is acceptable.)

I/C
FAC4241 made it onto that poster, along with an even older OH-6A that's also still airworthy!

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Old 3rd May 2018, 13:23
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It is confirmed. FAC4241 has passed the impressive milestone of 50 years in continous service with the Air Force of Colombia. There is no mention in this small piece of its retirement.

Fuerza Aérea Colombiana celebra los 50 años de operación del helicóptero Hughes H-500 | Webinfomil

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Old 19th Aug 2022, 12:55
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Is there any information available on which civilian operator or owner has the most number of C models (or variants) still on a register?
Also which military or police force has or operates the most as well?
Thanks
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Old 19th Aug 2022, 15:17
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500Fan, we used to routinely ferry 500D's using a 55 US Gallon fuel drum for an aux tank.

My longest trip was from DeadHorse in Alaska to Lafayette in Louisiana....took about 37 hours flight time as I recall.


Rough approximation of the route taken....all done at about 300-500 feet AGL and in some cases much lower due to the weather down the ALCAN an into Prince George....where I was the first aircraft to land in three days...and depart....as I approached Jasper the weather went beautifully clear and bright the rest of the flight.

I made two of those ferry trips that year....the other was to San Diego, California....and went down the Inland Passage route into the Seattle area....in some really not nice weather until I managed to find a way over Mount Ashland into California.

The closest young Captain Sasless came to doing himself in was on such a flight the following year....really hazy weather....and as I was approaching the Grand Canyon in Arizona....and concentrating on the map trying to figure out exactly where I would reach the Canyon.....I did....and flew right off the edge of a. mile deep hole in the ground....with no attitude indicator or airspeed indicator (it had decided to go U/S after takeoff on that leg of the flight.

I just managed to catch the edge of the canyon wall out of the corner of my eye....and immediately realize what I had done to myself....no visible horizon except for the canyon wall that was getting pretty vague already....and behind me....and no sight of the ground beneath me a mile away.

I did a rather abrupt return to the ground I could see having almost lot sight of it.....and landed and shutdown for a bit.

It took more than a few minutes to get my knees to stop shaking so I could get out and walk around and enjoy being on the ground.

I elected to take a detour and find a better way around that small terrain feature.

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Old 20th Aug 2022, 01:37
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C models - would have to be one of the tuna boat companies. With Hansens being shut down not sure who would be left out there - maybe Tropic.
Italian Military has a lot of D and E models but not C anymore.
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Old 23rd Aug 2022, 09:55
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Hi SAS, glad you made it out of that sticky situation!

Originally Posted by rotorfish View Post
Is there any information available on which civilian operator or owner has the most number of C models (or variants) still on a register?
Also which military or police force has or operates the most as well?
Thanks
It looks like the Spanish Navy are possibly the biggest current military operator with six Hughes 500Ms still in use as training aircraft. These were recently refurbished and will continue to fly for another few years yet with no retirement date set. The Guardia Di Finanza in Italy may have a few 500MCs still in service but it is unlikely they have more than six. Argentina still fly the 500M, I believe, but I think their numbers might be around three.

Japan would have been the largest military operator, historically, with 120 OH-6J (500M version) but all have been retired. I understand that Japan is possibly prohibited from selling military aircraft on, so none of these are flying now. This also applies to their OH-6D (500D) fleet recently retired, which seems a waste of perfectly good second-hand aircraft.

On the commercial side, Ned is correct in saying the Tuna Boat operator companies have the biggest fleets, usually a mix of 500C and OH-6As along with some 500Ds now. There probably are a few 500Cs in use with Police Forces in the USA and elsewhere but their numbers are very low. The most numerous version from Hughes still in law enforcement use is probably the former US Army OH-6As donated to various agencies in the USA. Their numbers are dwindling but some still fly on. The Spartanberg County Sheriff's Office might have the only fleet that numbers greater than one (with two airframes currently operational, I believe).

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Last edited by 500 Fan; 23rd Aug 2022 at 10:08.
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Old 24th Aug 2022, 08:48
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The 500s are still operating down here in NZ still lifting a ton….
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Old 24th Aug 2022, 11:07
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... the 500 never lifted a ton ... sorry I had to.
@EMS R22. They are talking about the C model. AFIAK there are none left in NZ either.
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Old 24th Aug 2022, 15:26
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Wish they would lift a ton as much nicer machine than a 350. Lovey to see what a MELB would lift
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Old 24th Aug 2022, 17:58
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Wouldn't the MELB not be like a 530F more or less? You could convert your's to an F model.
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Old 24th Aug 2022, 20:01
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Actually on sep note myself and Bill Hales from Alpine Springs Helicopters are putting together a Fly In here in NZ for 500s. Its being held in Feb 2023 and so far we have about 43 variants of the 500 confirmed. Should be a great event.
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Old 25th Aug 2022, 08:27
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Originally Posted by Rotorbee View Post
... the 500 never lifted a ton ... sorry I had to.
@EMS R22. They are talking about the C model. AFIAK there are none left in NZ either.
Roughly 15 "C" bangers still on the register in NZ.

"Still lifting a ton" - is the local vernacular. Not actually the weight on the hook!
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Old 25th Aug 2022, 08:29
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Originally Posted by KiwiNedNZ View Post
Actually on sep note myself and Bill Hales from Alpine Springs Helicopters are putting together a Fly In here in NZ for 500s. Its being held in Feb 2023 and so far we have about 43 variants of the 500 confirmed. Should be a great event.
Skid-biters Paradise. Better put it in my diary.
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Old 25th Aug 2022, 11:01
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MELB has the 600 drive train and engine in it ie C47 shp 680 plus and 6 blades whereas the F has C30 and 5 blades
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Old 25th Aug 2022, 13:50
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Hughes 500
Now I get it why you want it. Not a lot of information about it to find ... or I look at the wrong place.
The Little Bird has an endurance of 12 hours and carries a maximum mission payload of 2,400 lb (1,090 kg
From Military Wiki. But 12 hours endurance? That I doubt.
But it could lift a ton. But why not taking the MD 600 then. It can lift a ton, too.
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Old 24th Sep 2022, 23:09
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Just an update on this little event that Bill Hales and I are putting together in Hanmer in Feb. Below is what we have coming so far.

13 x 500C (there are currently 13 in NZ and we have ALL of them coming)
23 x 500D
19 x 500E
13 x 520N
2 x 530F
1 x 902

Total: 71

Largest gathering ever of 500s in one place at one time.
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Old 24th Sep 2022, 23:31
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12 Hours endurance.....uh....no way!

If the 62 US Gallon spec is correct and the range of 430 KM is right....at the given 90Kts Cruise Speed.....it would seem there is decimal point error.

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Old 1st Oct 2022, 10:30
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Originally Posted by KiwiNedNZ View Post
Just an update on this little event that Bill Hales and I are putting together in Hanmer in Feb. Below is what we have coming so far.

13 x 500C (there are currently 13 in NZ and we have ALL of them coming)
23 x 500D
19 x 500E
13 x 520N
2 x 530F
1 x 902

Total: 71

Largest gathering ever of 500s in one place at one time.
Skid biter heaven.
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Old 2nd Oct 2022, 06:32
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Up to 76 now
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