MD Helicopters MH-6 Little Bird is an American-made lightweight military helicopter developed by MD Helicopters and manufactured since 1980 for use in special operations.
The first development of the light military helicopter MD Helicopters MH-6 Little Bird began by American aircraft engineers in 1959, while over four years the project was revised several times until the first original design of this aircraft was finally presented in 1963. Nevertheless, the primary prototype did not satisfy several of the requirements, in particular, the design of the aircraft was rather cumbersome and did not allow moving at high speeds, which in turn did not allow for the proper use of the helicopter in special operations.
Depending on the modification of the MD Helicopters MH-6 Little Bird helicopter, it can accommodate up to 8 people – 2 crew members and 6 paratroopers armed with small arms. In some cases, a helicopter of this model can also be operated as a search and rescue aircraft, or as a medical helicopter.
The aircraft of this model has proven itself in many special operations conducted by the US armed forces. Due to the lightness and compactness of the design, the aircraft is very maneuverable, which, in turn, allows for the fastest possible landing on the ground and to leave the site of a fire in case of such a need. Several modifications of the MD Helicopters MH-6 Little Bird helicopter are equipped with sufficiently powerful weapons, which allow combating the ground forces of the alleged enemy, in particular, weapons may include 30 mm. aviation automatic cannon, 2 machine guns of 7.62 mm caliber., 2 heavy 12.7 mm. machine gun, 2 sets of unguided missiles, 2 anti-tank missiles to combat armored vehicles, etc. As a rule, the MD Helicopters MH-6 Little Bird lightly armored helicopter is not suitable for open combat but can be used as an air defense fire cover.
The power plant of the MD Helicopters MH-6 Little Bird helicopter is represented by one Allison T63-A-5A turboshaft engine capable of developing thrust up to 425 hp, which, in turn, provides the helicopter with good lifting capacity and the ability to fly at a maximum speed of up to 282 km \ hours
- MD Helicopters AH-6C Little Bird – a multi-purpose version of a military helicopter, suitable for transporting on its board an armed group of soldiers, and providing fire cover from the air;
- MD Helicopters EH-6E Little Bird – a special version of the helicopter for electronic warfare and reconnaissance, as well as the organization of military operations (air command post);
- MD Helicopters MH-6E Little Bird – an improved version of the helicopter, providing subtle movement in the air, and used as a rule for special operations related to the evacuation of a soldier or throwing them into a given area;
- MD Helicopters AH-6F Little Bird – an armored version for warfare against ground forces of the enemy;
- MD Helicopters AH-6G Little Bird – an armored version of the helicopter, similar to the version of MD Helicopters AH-6F Little Bird, but with a modified type of weapon;
- MD Helicopters AH-6H Little Bird – modification for providing fire cover from the air;
- MD Helicopters AH / MH-6J Little Bird – a modified version of the helicopter, which is a transport-combat version, with an improved power plant and increased flight performance;
- MD Helicopters AH / MH-6M Little Bird – a special version of the helicopter;
- MD Helicopters A / MH-6X Little Bird – a special version of the helicopter;
- MD Helicopters KUS-VH Little Bird is a special modification developed for the armed forces of South Korea.
- Crew: 2 people;
- Passenger capacity: 6 people (depending on version);
- Length: 9.8 m. (Depending on version);
- Height: 3 m. (Depending on version);
- The diameter of the rotor: 8.3 m. (Depending on version);
- The mass of the empty helicopter: 722 kg. (Depending on version);
- Maximum take-off weight: 1406 kg. (Depending on version);
- Cruising speed: 250 km \ h. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight speed: 282 km \ h. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight range: 430 km. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight height: 5700 m.;
- Powerplant: Allison T63-A-5A (Depending on version);
- Power: 425 hp (Depending on version).