Boeing Aircraft

The Boeing AH-6 is a series of light helicopter gunships based on the MH-6 Little Bird and MD 500 family.


Boeing AH-6 Little Bird

The Unmanned Little Bird demonstrator, which Boeing built from a civilian MD 530F, first flew on September 8, 2004, and made its first autonomous flight (with safety pilot) on October 16, 2004.


In April 2006, Boeing used the ULB to demonstrate the ability of another helicopter, in this case an AH-64 Apache to remotely control the ULB's weapons payload as a part of Boeing's Airborne Manned/Unmanned System Technology Demonstration (AMUST-D) program. For the initial test, the Apache Longbow was on the ground, while the ULB was airborne several miles away and Hellfire missiles were fired from the ULB by a tester sitting at the co-pilot's station in the Apache. Both aircraft are equipped with tactical common data link equipment and technologies manufactured by L-3 Communications.


The ULB Demonstrator first flew in the unmanned mode on June 30, 2006 from the United States Army's Yuma Proving Ground, flying a pre-programmed 20-minute armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission around the facility. All previous flights during the 450 flight hour engineering development phase had a safety pilot on board, although the aircraft was typically flown remotely from the ground


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In September 2013, Aurora Flight Sciences and Boeing offered the H-6U Little Bird for the U.S. Marine Corps unmanned lift/ISR capability competition. Boeing, working as a subcontractor, was flying the Little Bird without human input, but with a pilot on board to comply with Federal Aviation Administration regulations during testing near Manassas, Virginia. The H-6U is competing against the unmanned Kaman K-MAX, which has a usable external payload of 6,000 lb (2,720 kg) and has been used in theater to resupply Marines. Evaluations were to begin in February 2014 at Marine Corps Base Quantico

Boeing AH-6 Little Bird

The Boeing AH-6 is a series of light helicopter gunships based on the MH-6 Little Bird and MD 500 family. Developed by Boeing Rotorcraft Systems, these include the Unmanned Little Bird (ULB) demonstrator, the A/MH-6X Mission Enhanced Little Bird (MELB), and the proposed AH-6I and AH-6S.


Boeing AH-6 Little Bird: Specifications

  • History

    Role  Light attack/reconnaissance helicopter

    Manufacturer  Boeing Rotorcraft Systems
    First flight  ULB: September 8, 2004 MELB: September 20, 2006

    Status  Under development

    Developed from  MD Helicopters MD 500

    MD Helicopters MH-6 Little Bird

  • General Info

        Crew: 1-2     Capacity: 5 total

        Length: 32 ft 7 in (9.94 m)

        Rotor diameter: 27 ft 4 in (8.33 m)

        Height: 8 ft 9 in (2.48 m)

        Empty weight: 1,591 lb (722 kg)

        Max. takeoff weight: 3,100 lb (1,610 kg)

        Powerplant: 1 × One Allison 250-C30 turboshaft, 425 shp (317 kW)  takeoff power (derated)

  • General Info

       Maximum speed: 152 knots (175 mph, 282 km/h)

        Cruise speed: 135 kn (155 mph, 250 km/h)

        Range: 232 nmi (267 mi, 430 km)

        Service ceiling: 18,700 ft (5,700 m)

        Rate of climb: 2,070 ft/min (10.5 m/s)
        1× 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 Chain Gun; or

        2× 12.7 mm (.50 cal) GAU-19; or

        2× 7.62 mm (0.30 in) M134 Minigun



Boeing AH-6 Little Bird


The Boeing CH-47 Chinook is an American twin-engine, tandem-rotor, heavy-lift helicopter developed by American rotorcraft company Vertol.


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