|1964 Bell UH-1H
N614BV (sn 6413639)
Mesa Verde Aviation Inc.
Photo taken Aug. 2009
Omak, WA USA
The UH-1 Iroquois is a multipurpose military helicopter, famous for its use in the Vietnam War. It is commonly known as (or officially in the U.S. Marine Corps) the "Huey".
The UH-1 was developed by Bell Helicopter from 1955 US Army trials with the Bell Model 204. The initial designation of HU-1 (helicopter utility) led to its nickname, Huey.
The aircraft was first used by the military in 1959 and went into tri-service production in 1962 as the UH-1. The last were produced in 1976 with more than 16,000 made in total, of which about 7,000 saw use during the Vietnam War.
In 1952, the Army identified a requirement for a new helicopter to serve as medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), instrument trainer and general utility aircraft. The Army determined that current helicopters were too large, underpowered, or were too complex to maintain easily. In November 1953, revised military requirements were submitted to the Department of the Army. 20 companies submitted designs in their bid for the contract, including Bell Helicopter with the Model 204 and Kaman Aircraft with a turbine-powered version of the H-43. On 23 February 1955, the Army announced its decision, selecting Bell to build three copies of the Model 204 for evaluation, designated as the XH-40.
Powered by a prototype Lycoming YT53-L-1 (LTC1B-1) engine producing 700 shp (520 kW), the XH-40 first flew on 20 October 1956, at Forth Worth, Texas, with Bell's chief test pilot, Floyd Carlson, at the controls. Two more prototypes were built in 1957, and the Army had previously ordered six YH-40 service test aircraft, even before the first prototype had flown. In March 1960, the Army awarded Bell a production contract for 100 aircaft, which was designated as the HU-1A and officially named Iroquois, after the native American nations.
The helicopter quickly developed a nickname derived from its designation of HU-1, which came to be pronounced as "Huey". The reference became so popular that Bell began casting the name on the helicopter's anti-torque pedals. The official U.S. Army name was almost never used in practice. After September 1962, the designation for all models was changed to UH-1 under a unified Department of Defense (DOD) designation system, but the nickname remained.
The service tests of the YH-40, while glowing in praise for the helicopter's advances over piston-engined helicopters, had proven it to be under-powered with a production T53-L-1A powerplant producing a maximum continuous 770 shaft horsepower (570 kilowatts), and indicated the need for improved, follow-on models even as the first UH-1As were being delivered. Subsequently, Bell proposed the UH-1B, an improved model equipped with the Lycoming T53-L-5 engine, with 960 shp (720 kW) and a longer cabin that could accommodate seven passengers, or four stretchers and a medical attendant. Army testing of the UH-1B started in November 1960, with the first production aircraft arriving in March 1961.
Bell commenced development of the UH-1C in 1960, to correct aerodynamic deficiencies of the armed UH-1B. Bell fitted the UH-1C with a 1,100 shp (820 kW) T53-L-11 engine to provide the power needed to lift the weapons systems, either in use or under development at the time. The UH-1B aircraft would later be retrofitted with the same engine. A new rotor system was developed to allow higher airspeeds and reduce the incidence of retreating blade stall during diving engagements. The UH-1C's improved rotor resulted in better maneuverability and a slight speed increase. The increased power and a larger diameter rotor required Bell's engineers to design a new tailboom for the UH-1C, which incorporated a wider chord fin on a longer boom and larger synchronized elevators.
Bell also introduced a dual hydraulic control system for redundancy in battle and an improved inlet filter system for the dusty conditions found in southeast Asia. The UH-1C fuel capacity was increased to 242 US gallons (920 liters) and gross weight was raised to 9,500 lb (4,300 kg), giving a nominal useful load of 4,673 lb (2,120 kg). UH-1C production started in June 1966, and total of 766 aircraft were completed, including five for the Royal Australian Navy, designated "N9" and five for Norway.
While earlier "short-body" Hueys were a success, the Army wanted a version that could carry a crew of four (two pilots and two door gunners) and also deliver an infantry section of 8-10 soldiers. Bell's solution was to stretch the HU-1B fuselage by 41 inches (105 cm) and use the extra space to fit four seats next to the transmission, facing out. This brought the total seating capacity to 15, including the crew. The enlarged cabin could also accommodate six stretchers, double that of the earlier models, making it a more capable MEDEVAC aircraft. In place of the earlier model's sliding side doors with a single window, larger doors were fitted which had two windows, plus a small hinged panel with an optional window, providing access to the cabin. The doors and hinged panels were quickly removable, allowing the Huey to be flown in a "doors off" configuration.
The Model 205 prototype flew on 16 August 1960. Seven pre-production/prototype aircraft were delivered and tested at Edwards AFB starting in March 1961. The 205 was initially equipped with a 44-foot (13.4-meter) main rotor and a Lycoming T53-L-9 engine with 1,100 shp (820 kW). The rotor was lengthened to 48 feet (14.6 m) with a chord of 21 inches (53 cm). The tailboom was also lengthened, in order to accommodate the longer rotor blades. Altogether, the modifications resulted in a gross weight capacity of 9,500 lb (4,300 kg). The Army ordered production of the 205 in 1963, produced with a T53-L-11 engine for its multi-fuel capability. The prototypes were designated as YUH-1D and the production aircraft was designated as the UH-1D.
In 1962, the Marines held a competition to choose an assault support helicopter to replace the Cessna O-1 fixed-wing aircraft and the Kaman OH-43D helicopter. The winner was the UH-1B, which was already in service with the Army. The helicopter was designated the UH-1E and modified to meet Marine requirements. The major changes included the use of all-aluminum construction for corrosion resistance, radios compatible with Marine Corps ground frequencies, a rotor brake for shipboard use–to stop the rotor quickly on shutdown–and a roof-mounted rescue hoist.
The UH-1E was first flown on 7 October 1963, and deliveries commenced 21 February 1964, with 192 aircraft completed. Due to production line realities at Bell, the UH-1E was produced in two different versions, both with the same UH-1E designation. The first 34 built were essentially UH-1B airframes with the Lycoming T53-L-11 engine producing 1,100 shp (820 kW). When Bell switched production to the UH-1C, the UH-1E production benefited from the same changes. The Marine Corps later upgraded UH-1E engines to the Lycoming T53-L-13, which produced 1,400 shp (1,000 kW), after the Army introduced the UH-1M and upgraded their UH-1C helicopters to the same engine.
The United States Air Force's (USAF) competition for a helicopter to be used for support on missile bases included a specific requirement to mandate the use of the General Electric T58 turboshaft as a powerplant. The Air Force had a large inventory of these engines on hand for its fleet of HH-3 Jolly Green Giant rescue helicopters and using the same engine for both helicopters would save costs. In response, Bell proposed an upgraded version of the 204B with the T58 engine. Because the T58 was mounted in front of the transmission on the S-61R, it had to be mounted "backwards" with its exhaust rerouted to the back of the aircraft.
On 7 June 1963, the Air Force named Bell Helicopter as the winner. Originally designated the H-48, it was later designated as the UH-1F. A TH-1F trainer was also built for the USAF, with the first TH-1F flown in January 1967, followed by delivery of 27 aircraft from April to July of that year. In Italy, Agusta produced a model similar to the UH-1F by re-engining the 204B with the 1,225 shp (914 kW) Rolls-Royce Gnome turboshaft and later the UH-1F's General Electric engine. The Italian version was exported to the military of the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, and Switzerland.
The UH-1 is a general utility helicopter. It has a metal fuselage of semi-monocoque construction with tubular landing skids and two rotor blades on the main rotor. Early UH-1 models featured a single Lycoming T53 turboshaft engine in versions with power ratings from 700 shp (522 kW) to 1,400 shp (1,040 kW). Later UH-1 and related models would feature twin engines and four-blade rotors.
All aircraft in the UH-1 family have similar construction. The most-produced version, the UH-1H, is representative of all types, particularly the long-body versions. The main structure consists of two longitudinal main beams that run under the passenger cabin to the nose and back to the tail boom attachment point. The main beams are separated by transverse bulkheads and provide the supporting structure for the cabin, landing gear, under-floor fuel tanks, the transmission, engine and tail boom. The main beams are joined at the lift beam, a short aluminum girder structure that is attached to the transmission via a lift link on the top and the cargo hook on the bottom and is located at the aircraft's centre of gravity. The lift beams were changed to steel later in the UH-1H's life, due to cracking on high-time airframes. Both the fuselage and the tail boom are of a semi-monocoque design. The tail boom attaches to the fuselage with four bolts.
The UH-1H's dynamic components include the engine, transmission, rotor mast, main rotor blades, tail rotor driveshaft, 42 degree and 90 degree gearboxes. The transmission is of a planetary type and reduces the T53-L13B engine's output to 324 rpm at the main rotor. The two-bladed, semi-rigid rotor design, with pre-coned and under-slung blades, is a development of early Bell model designs, such as the Bell 47 with which it shares common design features, including a dampened stabilizer bar. The two-bladed system reduces storage space required for the aircraft, but at a cost of higher vibration levels. The two-bladed design also is responsible for the characteristic 'Huey thump' when the aircraft is in flight, which is particularly evident during descent and in turning flight. The tail rotor is driven from the main transmission, via the two directional gearboxes which provide a tail rotor speed approximately six times that of the main rotor to increase tail rotor effectiveness.
The UH-1H also features a synchronized elevator on the tail boom, which is linked to the cyclic control and allows a wider center of gravity range. The standard fuel system consists of five interconnected fuel tanks, three of which are mounted behind the transmission and two of which are under the cabin floor. The landing gear consists of two arched cross tubes joining the skid tubes. The skids have replaceable sacrificial skid shoes to prevent wear of the skid tubes themselves. Skis and inflatable floats may be fitted.
Internal seating is made up of two pilot seats and seating for up to 13 passengers or crew in the cabin. The maximum seating arrangement consists of a four man bench seat facing rearwards behind the pilot seats facing a five man bench seat in front of the transmission structure. Beside the transmission structure on either side of the aircraft are two two-man bench seats, facing outwards. All passenger seats are aluminium tube with canvas seat material and are quickly removable and reconfigurable. The UH-1H is rarely capable of lifting 15 people, except at very low density altitudes, fuels loads, and hovering heights and so fewer seats are usually fitted. The cabin may also be configured for up to six stretchers, an internal rescue hoist, auxiliary fuel tanks, spotlights or many other mission kits. Access to the cabin is via two aft-sliding doors and two small forward hinged panels. The doors and hinged panels may be removed for flight or the doors may be pinned open. Pilot access is via individual hinged doors.
While the five main fuel tanks are self-sealing, the UH-1H was not equipped with factory armour, although armoured pilot seats were available.
The UH-1H's dual controls are conventional for a helicopter and consist of a single hydraulic system boosting the cyclic stick, collective lever and anti-torque pedals. The collective levers have integral throttles, although these are not used to control rotor rpm, which is automatically governed, but are used for starting and shutting down the engine. The cyclic and collective control the main rotor pitch through torque tube linkages to the swash plate, while the anti-torque pedals change the pitch of the tail rotor via a tensioned cable arrangement. Some UH-1Hs have been modified to replace the tail rotor control cables with torque tubes similar to the UH-1N Twin Huey.
UH-1Hs used for ferrying VIPs into Panmunjom in the DMZ area between North and South Korea used three 12" wide Yellow stripes vertically over the fuselage. It signified unarmed aircraft carrying UNCMAC members.
The UH-1 has been widely exported and remains in front line service in a number of countries.
The HU-1A (later redesignated UH-1A) first entered service with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the 82nd Airborne Division, and the 57th Medical Detachment. Although intended for evaluation only, the Army quickly pressed the new helicopter into operational service and Hueys with the 57th Medical Detachment arrived in Vietnam in March 1962.
The UH-1 has long been a symbol of US involvement in Southeast Asia in general and Vietnam in particular, and as a result of that conflict, has become one of the world's most recognized helicopters. In Vietnam primary missions included general support, air assault, cargo transport, aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, electronic warfare, and later, ground attack. During the conflict, the craft was upgraded, notably to a larger version based on the Model 205. This version was initially designated the UH-1D and flew operationally from 1963.
During service in the Vietnam War, the UH-1 was used for various purposes and various terms for each task abounded. UH-1s tasked with a ground attack or armed escort role were outfitted with rocket launchers, grenade launchers, and machine guns. These gunship UH-1s were commonly referred to as Frogs or Hogs if they carried rockets, and Cobras or simply Guns if they had guns. UH-1s tasked and configured for troop transport were often called Slicks due to an absence of weapons pods. Slicks did have door gunners, but were generally employed in the troop transport and medevac roles. In the US Navy and USMC the gunships were referred to as Sharks and troop transport aircraft as Dolphins.
UH-1s also flew hunter-killer teams with observation helicopters, namely the Bell OH-58A Kiowa and the Hughes OH-6 Cayuse (Loach).
Towards the end of the conflict, the UH-1 was tested with TOW missiles, and two UH-1B helicopters equipped with the XM26 Armament Subsystem were deployed to help counter the 1972 Easter Invasion. USAF Lieutenant James P. Fleming piloted a UH-1F on a 26 November 1968 mission that earned him the Medal of Honor.
UH-1 troop transports were designated by Blue teams, hence the nickname for troops carried in by these Hueys as the Blues. The reconnaissance or observation teams were White teams. The attack ships were called Red teams. Over the duration of the conflict the tactics used by the military evolved and teams were mixed for more effective results. Purple teams with one or two Blue slicks dropping off the troops, while a Red attack team provided protection until the troops could defend themselves. Another highly effective team was the Pink Recon/Attack team, which offered the capability of carrying out assaults upon areas where the enemy was known to be present but could not be pinpointed.
During the course of the war, the UH-1 went through several upgrades. The UH-1A, B, and C models (short fuselage, Bell 204) and the UH-1D and H models (stretched-fuselage, Bell 205) each had improved performance and load-carrying capabilities. The UH-1B and C performed the gunship and some of the transport duties until 1967, when the new AH-1 Cobra arrived on the scene. The newer Cobra, a purpose-built attack helicopter based on the UH-1 was faster, sleeker, harder to hit, and could carry more ordnance. The increasing intensity and sophistication of NVA anti-aircraft defenses made continued use of gunships based on the UH-1 impractical, and after Vietnam the Cobra was adopted as the Army's main attack helicopter. Devotees of the UH-1 in the gunship role cite its ability to act as an impromptu dustoff if the need arose, as well as the superior observational capabilities of the larger Huey cockpit, which allowed return fire from door gunners to the rear and sides of the aircraft.
During the war 3,305 UH-1 were destroyed. Overall 5,086 helicopters were destroyed out of 11,827 documented in service. In total 2,202 Huey pilots were killed and approximately 2,500 aircraft were lost, roughly half to combat and the rest to operational accidents.
The US Army phased out the UH-1 with the introduction of the UH-60 Black Hawk, although the Army UH-1 Residual Fleet has around 700 UH-1s that were to be retained until 2015. Army support for the craft was intended to end in 2004.
U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps
In October 1965, the USAF 20th Helicopter Squadron was formed at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in South Vietnam, equipped initially with CH-3C helicopters. By June 1967 the UH-1F and UH-1P were also added to the unit's inventory, and by the end of the year the entire unit had shifted from Tan Son Nhut to Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, with the CH-3s transferring to the 21st Helicopter Squadron. On 1 August 1968, the unit was redesignated the 20th Special Operations Squadron. The 20th's UH-1s were known as the "Green Hornets", stemming from their color, a primarily green two-tone camouflage (green and tan) was carried, and radio call-sign "hornet". The main role of these helicopters were to insert and extract reconnaissance teams, provide cover for such operations, conduct psychological warfare, and other support roles for covert operations especially in Laos and Cambodia during the so-called Secret War.
The United States Air Force employs UH-1N Hueys to fulfill its ICBM mission, providing a utility helicopter for transport between bases such as Francis E. Warren AFB and Malmstrom AFB to missile launch sites in Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado. Additionally, the UH-1N is used by the 36th Rescue Flight (36 RQF) at Fairchild AFB, near Spokane, WA for conducting Search-and-Rescue (SAR) and medical evacuation missions.
The US Marine Corps still relies on the UH-1N variant and is beginning to introduce the latest variant, the UH-1Y Venom.
The Australian Army also employed the UH-1H. Iroquois helicopters of RAAF No. 9 Squadron were deployed to South Vietnam in mid 1966 as part of the 1st Australian Task Force. In this role they were armed with M60 doorguns. In 1969 four of No. 9 Squadron's helicopters were converted to gunships (known as 'Bushrangers'), armed with an M134 7.62 mm minigun mounted on each side and a 7 round rocket pod on each side. UH-1 helicopters were used in many roles including troop transport, medevac and Bushranger gunships for armed support.
Between 1982 and 1986 the Squadron contributed aircraft and aircrew to the Australian helicopter detachment which formed part of the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping force in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.
During its civil war El Salvador received about 80 UH-1H and 24 UH-1M from the US, as part of the aid to fight the guerrillas between 1979 and 1992. These helicopters were heavily engaged in combat, supporting the army in fighting guerrillas throughout the country. As a result many were shot down. After the war only 20 UH-1H and 14 UH-1M survived, most of them scrapped a few years later.
These helicopters were operated by El Salvador Air Force, being at its time the biggest and most experienced combat helicopter force in Central and South America, fighting during 10 years and being trained by US Army in tactics developed during the Vietnam war. Gunship UH-1M helicopters used by El Salvador were modified to carry bombs instead of rocket pods. UH-1Hs were also used as improvised bombers.
Nahr el Bared battle in Lebanon
During the battle of Nahr el-Bared camp in North Lebanon, the Lebanese army, lacking fixed-wing aircraft, modified the UH-1H allowing it to carry 500 lb (227 kg) Mark 82 bombs to strike militant positions. Each Huey was equipped on each side with special mounts engineered by the Lebanese army, to carry the high explosive bombs.
Very late in the Rhodesian Civil War the Rhodesian Air Force was able to obtain and use eleven Bell UH-1 Iroquois, known in service as Cheetahs. The aircraft were ordered new from Augusta via Kuwait and then shipped to Lebanon, where a local Christian militia swapped them for worn-out ex-Israeli machines, prior to delivery. After much work these then formed No. 8 Sqn Rhodesian Air Force and took part as troop transports in the counter-insurgency fight. One was lost in combat in September 1979, when hit in Mozambique by a RPG. At least other three were lost. The survivors were put up for sale in 1990.
Nine Argentine Army UH-1Hs and two Argentine Air Force Bell 212 were included with the aircraft deployed during the Falklands War (Spanish: Guerra de las Malvinas). They performed general transport and SAR missions and were based at Port Stanley (BAM Puerto Argentino). Two of the Hueys were destroyed and, after the hostilities had ended, the balance were captured by the British. At least three of the aircraft were reused by the British ferrying supplies and troops but had to be painted with a distinct color to avoid misidentifications, until they were grounded.
656 Sqn, AAC and 820 NAS operated these captured UH-1s. The captured UH-1H AE-409 is now in the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop. UH-1H AE-422 is in the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton. One of these UH-1Hs was civil registered as G-HUEY in the UK and participated in a number of airshows and in the James Bond movie "The Living Daylights" (1987) as medevac.
The Israeli Air Force was another prominent operator of the UH-1, using it for over thirty years in various different conflicts against both the armies of Arab countries and Palestinian militants. Israel's first Hueys were UH-1Ds, delivered from the United States in October 1968 under arms shipments via the administration of Lyndon Johnson. Israel also acquired Italian UH1s license made by Augusta as well. In total, Israel acquired 64 UH-1s of different models.
The UH-1s were used throughout the 1970s and 1980s, first seeing action against Egypt during the War of Attrition. During the Yom Kippur War, UH-1s assisted in the transport of Israeli ground troops throughout the Sinai and Golan Heights against both Egyptian and Syrian troops. In an act of desperation, they were also used with other helicopters to spot Egyptian and Syrian surface to air missile batteries for fighter aircraft, a process that was quickly discontinued and never used again. Israeli UH-1s would go on to see their final combat in Lebanon, delivering Israeli troops and supplies in the fight against the PLO, Syria, and later Hezbollah.
Israel withdrew its UH-1s from service in 2002, after thirty three years of service. They were replaced by Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters given to Israel after complying with the United States and Britain for not retaliating against Iraqi Scud missile attacks. Some were passed on to pro Israeli militias in Lebanon, and others to logging companies in Singapore. Some Israeli UH-1s also arrived in the hands of the Rhodesian Air Force as well.
Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-present)
UH-1Hs have been used by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in counter-narcotics raids in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. Operated by contractors, these Hueys provide transportation, surveillance, and air support for DEA FAST teams. Four UH-1Hs and two Mi-17s were used in a raid in July 2009 which led the the arrest of an Afghan Border Police commander.
U.S. Military variants
XH-40: The initial Bell 204 prototype. Three prototypes were built, equipped with the Lycoming XT-53-L-1 engine of 700 shp.
YH-40: Six aircraft for evaluation, as XH-40 with 12-inch cabin stretch and other modifications.
Bell Model 533: One YH-40BF rebuilt as a flight test bed with turbofan engines and wings.
HU-1A: Initial Bell 204 production model, redesignated as the UH-1A in 1962. 182 built.
TH-1A: UH-1A with dual controls and blind-flying instruments, 14 conversions.
XH-1A: A single UH-1A was redesignated for grenade launcher testing in 1960.
HU-1B: Upgraded HU-1A, various external and rotor improvements. Redesignated UH-1B in 1962. 1014 built plus four prototypes designated YUH-1B.
NUH-1B: a single test aircraft, serial number 64-18261.
UH-1C: UH-1B with improved engine, modified blades and rotor-head for better performance in the gunship role. 767 built.
YUH-1D: Seven pre-production prototypes of the UH-1D.
UH-1D: Initial Bell 205 production model (long fuselage version of the 204). Designed as a troop carrier to replace the CH-34 then in US Army service. 2008 built many later converted to UH-1H standard.
HH-1D: Army crash rescue variant of UH-1D.
UH-1E: UH-1B/C for USMC with different avionics and equipment. 192 built.
NUH-1E: UH-1E configured for testing.
TH-1E: UH-1C configured for Marine Corps training. Twenty were built in 1965.
UH-1F: UH-1B/C for USAF with General Electric T-58-GE-3 engine of 1,325 shp. 120 built.
TH-1F: Instrument and Rescue Trainer based on the UH-1F for the USAF. 26 built.
UH-1H: Improved UH-1D with a Lycoming T-53-L-13 engine of 1,400 shp. 5435 built.
CUH-1H: Canadian Forces designation for the UH-1H utility transport helicopter. Redesignated CH-118. 10 built.
EH-1H: Twenty-two aircraft converted by installation of AN/ARQ-33 radio intercept and jamming equipment for Project Quick Fix.
HH-1H: SAR variant for the USAF with rescue hoist. 30 built.
JUH-1: Five UH-1Hs converted to SOTAS battlefield surveillance configuration with belly-mounted airborne radar.
TH-1H: Recently modified UH-1Hs for use as basic helicopter flight trainers by the USAF.
UH-1G: Unofficial name applied locally to at least one armed UH-1H by Cambodia.
UH-1J: An improved Japanese version of the UH-1H built under license in Japan by Fuji was locally given the designation UH-1J. Among improvements were an Allison T53-L-703 turboshaft engine providing 1,343 kW (1,800 shp), a vibration-reduction system, infrared countermeasures, and a night-vision-goggle (NVG) compatible cockpit.
HH-1K: Purpose built SAR variant of the Model 204 for the US Navy with USN avionics and equipment. 27 built.
TH-1L: Helicopter flight trainer based on the HH-1K for the USN. A total of 45 were built.
UH-1L: Utility variant of the TH-1L. Eight were built.
UH-1M: Gunship specific UH-1C upgrade with Lycoming T-53-L-13 engine of 1,400 shp.
UH-1N: Initial Bell 212 production model, the Bell "Twin Pac" twin-engined Huey.
UH-1P: UH-1F variant for USAF for special operations use and attack operations used solely by the USAF 20th Special Operations Squadron, "the Green Hornets".
EH-1U: No more than 2 UH-1H aircraft modified for Multiple Target Electronic Warfare System (MULTEWS).
UH-1V: Aeromedical evacuation, rescue version for the US Army.
EH-1X: Ten Electronic warfare UH-1Hs converted under "Quick Fix IIA".
UH-1Y: Upgraded variant developed from existing upgraded late model UH-1Ns, with additional emphasis on commonality with the AH-1Z.
Note: In U.S. service the G, J, Q, R, S, T, W and Z model designations are used by the AH-1. The UH-1 and AH-1 are considered members of the same H-1 series. The military does not use I (India) or O (Oscar) for aircraft designations to avoid confusion with "one" and "zero" respectively.
Other military variants
Bell 204: Bell Helicopters company designation, covering aircraft from the XH-40, YH-40 prototypes to the UH-1A, UH-1B, UH-1C, UH-1E, UH-1F, HH-1K, UH-1L, UH-1P and UH-1M production aircraft.
Agusta-Bell AB 204: Military utility transport helicopter. Built under license in Italy by Agusta.
Agusta-Bell AB 204AS: Anti-submarine warfare, anti-shipping version of the AB 204 helicopter.
Fuji-Bell 204B-2: Military utility transport helicopter. Built under license in Japan by Fuji Heavy Industries. Used by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force under the name Hiyodori.
Bell 205: Bell Helicopters company designation of the UH-1D and UH-1H helicopters.
Bell 205A-1: Military utility transport helicopter version, initial version based on the UH-1H.
Bell 205A-1A: As 205A-1, but with armament hardpoints and military avionics. Produced specifically for Israeli contract.
Agusta-Bell 205: Military utility transport helicopter. Built under license in Italy by Agusta.
AIDC UH-1H: Military utility transport helicopter. Built under license in Taiwan by Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation.
Dornier UH-1D: Military utility transport helicopter. Built under license in Germany by Dornier Flugzeugwerke.
Fuji-Bell 205A-1: Military utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Japan by Fuji. Used by the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force under the designation HU-1H.
Bell Huey II: A modified and re-engined UH-1H, significantly upgrading its performance, and its cost-effectiveness. Currently offered by Bell to all current military users of the type.
UH-1/T700 Ultra Huey: Upgraded commercial version, fitted with a 1,400-kW (1900-shp) General Electric T700-GE-701C turboshaft engine.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Papua New Guinea
Republic of China (Taiwan)
United Arab Emirates
Aircraft on display
The UH-1 experienced a production number in the thousands (both short and long-frame types), and invariably a large number exist in flyable condition in nations around the world. A large number of decommissioned and retired aircraft exist as "gate guards" to various military bases, in aviation museums, and other static-display sites. Examples include:
The Bell UH-1H "Smokey III" that resides in the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center served four tours and over 2,500 hours in Vietnam.
UH-1A located at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City
A Huey forms part of the collection in the American Air Force Hangar of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford near Cambridge, England.
A fully refurbished UH-1 "Huey" is located in the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
The UH-1A formerly used as Command and Control aircraft for Gen William C. Westmoreland while he was commander of the 101st Airborne Division and Ft. Campbell, Ky is located in front of 101st Airborne Division Headquarters.
UH-1B on static display at the Ft. Campbell, Kentucky museum. Also, an UH-1H is displayed at main entrance of 101st Airborne Division barracks.
UH-1H formerly assigned to the Illinois Army National Guard on static display at the Prairie Aviation Museum located at the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington, Illinois.
UH-1C/M on display on a stand at the entrance of the Tennessee National Guard Training Center at the Smyrna Airport (Tennessee) in Smyrna, Tennessee.
UH-1's of various models on stands at the entrances of Fort Rucker, Alabama as well as at the Ft Rucker museum.
Canadian CH-118 (UH-1H) 118101 at the National Air Force Museum of Canada, CFB Trenton, Ontario
The Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles near Lexington, Nebraska, has a UH-1 visible from Interstate 80 as it passes by the museum. The display includes a sculptural representation of the iconic 1975 rooftop evacuation of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, Vietnam.
The Cole Land Transportation Museum in Bangor, Maine, has a UH-1D on static display as part of the Vietnam Memorial. The display is visible from Interstate 395.
UH-1 on display, War Memorial Park, Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
UH-1 on display, Greenup County War Memorial, near Flatwoods, Kentucky.
Two UH-1s on display at the Mississippi Armed Forces Museum, Camp Shelby, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, One aircraft is a Medevac UH-1 in a jungle diorama.
Two UH-1s on display in the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
A UH-1(B?), Buno 60-3614, is on display on the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum aboard the USS Midway (CV-41) in San Diego, California
A UH-1H, 65-09889, is on display as "Rattler 26" at the Concho Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial next to Mathis Field in San Angelo, Texas
Capacity: 3,880 lb including 14 troops, or 6 stretchers, or equivalent cargo
Length: 57 ft 1 in with rotors (17.4 m)
Fuselage width: 8 ft 7 in (2.6 m)
Rotor diameter: 48 ft 0 in (14.6 m)
Height: 14 ft 5 in (4.4 m)
Empty weight: 5,215 lb (2,365 kg)
Loaded weight: 9,040 lb (4,100 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 9,500 lb (4,310 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Lycoming T53-L-11 turboshaft, 1,100 shp (820 kW)
Maximum speed: 135 mph (220 km/h)
Cruise speed: 125 mph (205 km/h)
Range: 315 mi (510 km)
Service ceiling: 19,390 ft (Dependent on environmental factors such as weight, outside temp., etc) (5,910 m)
Rate of climb: 1,755 ft/min (8.9 m/s)
Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (0.25 kW/kg)
Variable, but may include a combination of:
2x 7.62 mm M60 machine gun, or 2x 7.62 mm GAU-17/A machine gun
2x 7-round or 19-round 2.75 in (70 mm) rocket pods
2x 7.62 mm Rheinmetall MG3 (German Army and German Luftwaffe)
For information on US armament systems see:
Main article: U.S. Helicopter Armament Subsystems
The image of American troops disembarking from a Huey has become iconic of the Vietnam War, and can be seen in many films, video games and television shows on the subject, as well as more modern settings. The UH-1 is seen in many films about the Vietnam war, including The Green Berets, Platoon, Hamburger Hill, Apocalypse Now, Casualties of War, and Born on the Fourth of July. It is prominently featured in We Were Soldiers as the main helicopter used by the U.S. Cavalry in the Battle of Ia Drang. Author Robert Mason recounts his career as a UH-1 "Slick" pilot in his memoir, Chickenhawk.
The 2002 journey of "Huey 091," displayed in the Smithsonian American History Museum, is outlined in the documentary In The Shadow of The Blade.