In 1947, Howard Hughes redirected the Hughes Aircraft Co.'s efforts from aircraft to helicopters. In 1948 helicopter manufacturer the Kellett Autogiro Corporation sold their latest design to Hughes for production. The XH-17 "Sky Crane" first flew in 1952, but was commercially unsuccessful. In 1955, Howard Hughes split the helicopter production unit from the Hughes Aircraft Co., and reconstituted it with the Hughes Tool Co. as the Hughes Tool Co. Aircraft Division, with a focus on the production of light helicopters. The Hughes Model 269 was their first successful helicopter design. Entering production in 1957, it captured a large portion of the commercial market for Hughes. It would eventually become part of the Army inventory as a primary trainer (the TH-55 Osage). In May 1965, the company won the contract for a new observation helicopter for the U.S. Army, and produced the OH-6 Cayuse (Hughes Model 369). The OH-6 was later developed into the civilian Model 500, variants of which remain in production to this day. In 1972, Hughes sold the tool division of Hughes Tool Company, and reconsolidated his remaining holdings as the Summa Corporation. The Hughes Helicopter Division was formed by the Summa Corporation in 1972, and was reformed as Hughes Helicopters, Inc. in 1981. However, throughout its history, the company was informally known as "Hughes Helicopters". It was sold to McDonnell Douglas in 1984 and made into a subsidiary under the name McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems.
C-GZUN, Hughes 369E
This Hughes 369E, C-GZUN, waits at Waterville, Nova Scotia before starting on a wildlife survey.
OH6A Cayuse sometimes refered to as the Loach or Little Bird flying a display at Southport Airshow 2...
Hughes 500M Cayuse H-245
Danish Army helicopter photographed at the Danish Collection of Vintage Aircraft, Stauning Airport, ...
Trans North C-GLHI
Type Aircraft : Hughes 369D
Registration : C-GLHI
Company: Trans North
Building year : 1981