The Bell OH-58 Kiowa Warrior was initially designed to be an unarmed scouting platform but evolved through its development into an armed scout (hence the Kiowa "Warrior" designation) with the addition of Hellfire and Stinger missile support.

The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior is fitted with a four-bladed main rotor (the base Kiowa was fielded with a two-blade rotor) and the identifiable mast-mounted sight which provides the Warrior with the "eyes" to see the battlefield.

Armament of this armed scout consists of mission-specific munitions in the form of Hellfire anti-tank missiles, Stinger air-to-air missiles, gun pods in 7.62mm (.30 caliber) or 12.7mm (.50 caliber) flavors, and seven-shot rocket pods on two wingstubs mounted on either side of the fuselage.

The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior system was to be replaced by the up-and-coming stealthy RAH-66 Comanche light attack helicopter. But since that project's cancellation in 2004, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior system remains an active participant until further notice.

About the model

I was asked by a few friends to look into the possibility of modifying a Vario Jet Ranger kit into a Kiowa. In doing so I decided to make the radar an impressive feature in that it would turn from side-to-side, independent of the rotor shaft through which it passes. The model was completed in 2003 and has been flown a number of times in US shows such as the Heli Heatwave event in Fort Worth, Texas.

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