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  • Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey) Multi-Role / Utility / Attack / Transport Helicopter

    The UH-1 Huey became the symbol of American involvement in the Vietnam War.

     Updated: 6/23/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" became an important part of American military actions beginning in 1960 and expanding throughout the latter part of the Cold War years. The ubiquitous system became synonymous with the American effort in Vietnam, no doubt due to her inherent capabilities to take on just about any needed role. Despite her consistent association with that war, her legacy has rightfully developed into so much more thanks to her use throughout the modern world in both military and civilian roles encompassing search and rescue, assault, transport and humanitarian efforts. Despite her official "Iroquois" name, the nickname of "Huey" stuck thanks to her early "HU-1" designation (later redesignated to UH-1 in 1962. Hence the Iroquois name was - and is - seldom used to this day when referencing the UH-1 series of helicopters.

    The Huey developed from advances made in turbine technology throughout the 1950's. Bell produced the turbine-powered Model 47 (XH-13F) in 1954 to which the United States Army took special interest in. The need for a MedEvac helicopter was on the US Army wish list and, as such, Bell was tagged with developing a solution - and the prototype XH-40 (Bell Model 204) was born. First flight of XH-40 occurred on October 22nd, 1956 and were followed by two additional XH-40 prototypes, fitting the Lycoming 700 horsepower XT-53-L-1 engine. A further six developmental models were then ordered as YH-40 evaluation aircraft. These were essentially the same as the XH-40 prototypes but had their cabin space extended a full 12-inches. One of these YH-40's was set aside as a test bed featuring turbofan engines and wing assemblies becoming Bell Model 533. The Model 204 entered production for the US Army as the HU-1A, becoming the first turbine-powered helicopter in service with any US military branch. First deliveries would fall to the 101st Airborne Division, the 57th Medical Detachment and the 82nd Airborne Division. The 57th Medical Detachment would be the first to field the system in Vietnam beginning in March 1962.

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    Bell UH-1D Iroquois (Huey) Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1959
    Type: Multi-Role / Utility / Attack / Transport Helicopter
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): Bell Helicopter Company - USA / Agusta-Bell - Italy / Fuji-Bell - Japan / AIDC - Taiwan / Dornier - Germany
    Production Total: 16,500

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 57.09 feet (17.4 meters)
    Width: 47.90 feet (14.60 meters)
    Height: 14.44 feet (4.40 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 5,214 lb (2,365 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 9,039 lb (4,100 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Lycoming T53-L-11 turboshaft engine delivering 1,100shp driving a two-blade main rotor and two-blade tail rotor.

    Maximum Speed: 137 mph (220 kph; 119 knots)
    Maximum Range: 317 miles (510 km)
    Service Ceiling: 19,390 feet (5,910 meters; 3.67 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 1,755 feet-per-minute (535 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    Highly variable depending on role and operator. Can consist of the following or combinations thereof:

    2 x 7.62mm General Purpose machine guns (pintle-mounted in doorway - M60, MG3).
    2 x 7.62mm GUA-17/A miniguns (pintle-mounted in doorway or external forward-facing).
    2 x Mark Mk 44 Torpedoes
    2 x Mark Mk 46 Torpedoes
    2 x MQ 44 Torpedoes
    2 x AS 12 air-to-surface missiles
    2 x Sea Killer air-to-surface missiles
    2 x 7-tube 2.75" rocket pods
    2 x 19-tube 2.75" rocket pods
    Conventional Drop Bombs (Lebanon and El Salvador)

    M60C 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns
    M60D 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns
    BGM-71 TOW Anti-Tank Missiles
    AGM-22/B Air-to-Surface Missiles
    M24A1 20mm cannons
    XM140 30mm cannons
    M2BH 12.7mm heavy machine guns
    XM213/M213 12.7mm machine guns
    SUU-13D/A mine dispensers
    M129 40mm automatic grenade launchers
    XM159 2.75" rocket launchers
    MA-2/A 2-shot - 2.75" rocket launchers
    M157 7-shot 2.75" rocket launchers
    M158 7-shot 2.75" rocket launchers
    XM3 24-shot 2.75" rocket launchers
    GAU-15/A 12.7mm Minigun
    GAU-16/A 12.7mm Minigun
    GAU-17/A 7.62x51mm Minigun
    XM18/M18 Minigun Pods
    Smoke Grenade Dispenser (M6, M7 and M8 grenade types tested).

    Global Operators / Customers

    Afghanistan; Albania; Argentina; Australia; Austria; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Belize; Bolivia; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Brazil; Brunei; Burma; Cambodia; Canada; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Domican Republic; El Salvador; Ecuador; Ethiopia; Germany; Greece; Georgia; Guatemala; Honduras; Indonesia; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Jamaica; Japan; Jordan; Kuwait; Lebanon; Macedonia; Mexico; Morroco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Panama; Paraguay; Papua New Guinea; Peru; Philippines; Taiwan; Rhodesia; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Singapore; Serbia; Somalia; South Korea; South Vietnam; Spain; Sweden; Tanzania; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; Uganda; United Arab Emirates; United States; Uruguay; Venezuela; Vietnam; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Bell Model 204 - Company Prototype Designation; covers XH-40, YH-40, UH-1A, B, C, E, F, HH-1K, UH-1L, P and M production models.

    Bell Model 533 - Single Developmental Model based on YH-40BF evaluation model fitted with turbofan engine and wings.

    Bell Model 205 - Company Designation covering UH-1D and UH-1H models; long-fuselage version based on Model 204.

    Bell Model 212 - Becoming UH-1N production models; twin-engine version; also known as "Twin Pac".

    XH-40 - Prototype Designation; fitted with Lycoming XT-53-L-1 engine of 700 shaft horsepower; three examples produced.

    YH-40 - Modified XH-40 prototypes for evaluation purposes; increased cabin space; six examples produced.

    HU-1A - Initial Production model; redesignated to UH-1A after 1962; 182 examples produced.

    TH-1A - Conversion dual-control trainers based on HU-1A/UH-1A production models; 14 examples converted in this fashion.

    XH-1A - Single developmental UH-1A for use in grenade launcher tests.

    YUH-1B - Four Prototype B-model examples.

    HU-1B - Improved UH-1A model; 1,014 examples produced.

    NUH-1B - Single Test Variant

    UH-1C - UH-1B model with improved powerplant, revised blades and rotor-head; 767 examples produced.

    YUH-1D - Pre-production UH-1D models; 7 examples produced.

    UH-1D - Troop Transport (seating for 13); long fuselage cabin; based on Bell Model 205; 2,008 examples produced.

    HH-1D - US Army rescue model based on UH-1D.

    UH-1E - USMC models based on UH-1B and UH-1C production models; varying systems; 192 examples produced.

    NUH-1E - Single UH-1E example for testing.

    TH-1E - USMC trainer model converted from UH-1C production models; 20 examples produced.

    UH-1F - USAF UH-1B and UH-1C production models; fitted with General Electric T-58-GE-3 engine of 1,325 shaft horsepower; 120 examples produced.

    TH-1F - USAF trainer based on UH-1F production models; 26 examples produced.

    UH-1H - Improved UH-1D models; semi-rigid all-metal main rotor and rigid delta hinged tail rotor; fitted with Lycoming T-53-L-13 engine of 1,400 shaft horserpower; seating for 13 troops; 5,435 examples produced.

    UH-1H "Nighthawk" - Special night operations interdiction model; fitted with Zenon searchlight, M134 7.62mm minigun, 2 x M60D 7.62mm machine guns and 1 x M2HB 12.7mm machine gun; crew of two pilots and four gunners.

    CUH-1H - Canadian UH-1H utility production models; 10 examples produced; later redesignated to CH-118.

    EH-1H - Electronic Warfare conversion aircraft for Project Quick Fix; fitted with AN/ARQ-33 interception and jamming system; 22 examples modified in this fashion.

    HH-1H - USAF Search and Rescue (SAR) variant; 30 examples produced.

    JUH-1 - Battlefield Surveillance Aircraft; fitted with under-fuselage radar system.

    TH-1H - USAF flight trainers modified from UH-1H production models.

    UH-1G - Cambodian armed UH-1H; unofficial designation.

    UH-1J - Japanese license-production (Fuji) of an improved UH-1H variant; fitted with Allison T53-L-703 turboshaft engine of 1,800 shaft horsepower; updates include night vision capability and countermeasures.

    HH-1K - USN Search and Rescue Variant; 27 examples produced.

    TH-1L - USN Flight Trainer based on the HH-1K; 45 examples produced.

    UH-1L - Utility Model based on TH-1L trainer; 8 examples produced.

    UH-1M - Gunship model based on UH-1C; fitted with Lycoming T-53-L-13 engine of 1,400 shaft horsepower.

    UH-1N - Twin Engine Variant based on Bell Model 212.

    UH-1P - USAF Special Operations and Attack models.

    EH-1U - Multiple Target Electronic Warfare System (MULTEWS).

    UH-1V - US Army MedEvac Variant.

    EH-1X - Electronic Warfare Platforms based on modified UH-1H models; 10 examples converted in this fashion.

    UH-1Y - Upgraded UH-1N late production models.

    UH-1Y "Venom" - Modern USMC productiom models developed from UH-1N Twin Huey; four-badem all-composite rotor system; upgraded transmission and engines; increased MTOW, range and speed; digital cockpit with MFDs; increased parts commonality with AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopters; a total of 123 on order.

    Agusta-Bell AB 204 - Augusta-Bell license-production military transports for Italy.

    Agusta-Bell AB 204AS - Augusta-Bell license-production Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopters for Italy.

    Fuji-Bell 204B-2 "Hiyodori" - Fuji Heavy Industries license-production military transports for use by Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force.

    Bell 205A-1 - Military Utility Transport based on UH-1H models.

    Bell 205A-1A - Israeli export gunship/transport models based on 205A-1 transports; hardpoints for external armament.

    Agusta-Bell AB 205 - Augusta-Bell license-production military utility transports for Italy.

    AIDC UH-1H - Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation license-production military utility transport models for Taiwan.

    Dornier UH-1D - Dornier Flugzeugwerke license-production military utility transport models for Germany.

    Fuji-Bell 205A-1 (HU-1H) - Fuji license-production military utility transport models for use by Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force.

    "Huey II" - Improved and Updated model for military market; based on UH-1H production models.

    UH-1/T700 "Ultra Huey" - Improved and Updated model for commercial market; fitted with General Electric T700-GE-701C turboshaft engine.