In 1961, Hughes was one of the twelve companies that submitted proposals to meet U.S. Army TS-153
requirement for a four-seat turbine-powered light observation helicopter. Model 369 was developed
and flew first on 27 February 1963. Five machines of this type were ordered as OH-6A for the
evaluation programme. The OH-6A Cayuse powered by an Allison T63-A-5A turboshaft was the winner of
the U.S. Army's contest in May 1965. Deliveries commenced in September 1966 to meet an initial
three-year commitment for 1071 machines. Next to the military OH-6A Hughes developed a larger,
five-passenger civilian version. Initially designated as the 369H and 369A during the development stage,
it emerged on the market as the Hughes 500. In 1968, the 500C with the more powerful Allison 250-C20
engine was introduced. In 1977, the 500D entered the market with a new five-bladed rotor system and the
Allison 250-C20B engine. In 1982, Hughes introduced both the 500E with the Allison 250-C20B and the 530F
with the more powerful Allison 250-C30 engine. On 6 January 1984, Hughes Helicopters became a subsidiary
of McDonnell Douglas, and subsequently re-designated the McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company.
The Hughes 500 thus became the MD500.
McDonnell Douglas Helicopters Systems, Mesa (AZ), used test-registration N1603K for the 1987-built
MDHI MD-369E c/n 0259E. On 29 March 1988, the MD-369E was registered N535JP with Los Angeles County Sheriffs
Dept. On 1 July 1996, registration N535JP was cancelled and the helicopter was registered C-FYTZ with Heli-Max on 17 July 1996.
Registration C-FYTZ was cancelled on 19 April 1999, and the MD-500E was registered F-GOTM in France on 21 September 1999.
On 13 July 2000, the registration F-GOTM was cancelled and the MD-369E was registered D-HDHF with Deutscher Helikopter Dienst
in Germany. In December 2000, the helicopter was registered OK-LES with Letecka Lesni. In service with Letecka Lesni, the MD-369E
is mainly used for forest related work like spraying. The OK-LES was photographed when inbound at Rotterdam The Hague Airport in the Netherlands.