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TH-55A Osage Training Helicopter

The TH-55A Osage training helicopter is a Hughes Model 269 single three-blade rotor, lightweight 2 seat trainer. The Hughes models were later changed to Model 200 (2 seats) and Model 300 (3 seats).

The Hughes Model 269 first flew in October 1956, and the improved Model 269A was introduced in 1960, the basis of the design of the Army TH-55A Osage. The Hughes Model 269A-1 was procured by the Army as the TH-55A Osage, becoming the Army's primary training helicopter in 1965, replacing the Hiller H-23B trainer. About 800 TH-55A Osage trainers were delivered by 1969. It was retired from Army service in 1988 when the UH-1H Huey became the Army's interim trainer until the TH-67 Creek came into service.

One of the most popular helicopters ever built, the TH-55A Osage has been credited for training tens of thousands of U.S. military pilots as well as wide ranging use of the civilian version by TV news, law enforcement and others.

TH-55A Osage Training Helicopter Specifications and Performance

Rotor diameter 25 ft.
Length 23 ft. 2 in.
Height 7 ft. 11 in.
Weight 2,040 lbs. max
Armament None
Engine 180 hp Avco Lycoming HIO-360-B1A
Maximum speed 105 mph
Cruising speed 75 mph
Range 204 mi.
Service ceiling 9,950 ft.

TH-55A Osage Training Helicopter.  Photo:  Courtesy Boeing
TH-55A Osage Training Helicopter. Photo: Courtesy Boeing.

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