The Bell UH-1 Iroquois, widely known as the "Huey," revolutionized military helicopter design. Developed in the 1950s, it became the first turbine-powered helicopter in the US military. Starting as a medical evacuation and utility helicopter, it quickly evolved to meet diverse military needs. The Bell 204, its prototype, gained acclaim for its single turboshaft engine's performance. The initial order for 100 HU-1As in 1960 marked its official entry into service. Facing critiques about power, Bell responded with powerful engine upgrades, exemplified by the Lycoming T53-L-13. Combat use commenced during the Vietnam War in 1962, where the Huey played pivotal roles in air assault, cargo transport, evacuation, and more. Armed gunships were adapted for specific missions, using rockets, grenade launchers, and machine guns. Over 7,000 Iroquois served in Vietnam, with extensive use by the US Air Force and other nations. The Iroquois's success led to various models and derivatives, including the iconic Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter and civilian versions like the Bell 204 and 205. The UH-1N Twin Huey and the modern UH-1Y Venom showcased continued innovation. As the UH-60 Black Hawk and UH-72 Lakota phased out the UH-1 in the US Army, over 16,000 Iroquois helicopters have been built since 1960. The "Huey" remains an enduring symbol of helicopter technology, adapting to evolving military needs for over 50 years, serving in conflicts like the Falklands War, Rhodesian Bush War, War in Afghanistan, and more. Despite its official redesignation to UH-1 in 1962, the "Huey" nickname persists, highlighting its lasting impact on aviation history.


Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Company

Primary Use: Multi-role utility - general support, air assault, utility, air ambulance

Crew: Pilot, co-pilot and 12 to 15 troops or six stretchers

Power Plant: One 1,400 shp (1,044 kW) Lycoming T53-L-13 turboshaft engine

Performance: Max speed: 148 mph (238 km/h) Cruising speed: 127 mph (204 km/h)

Service ceiling: 12,600 ft (3,840m)

Range: 318 miles (511km)

Climb: 1,600ft/min (488m/min)

Main Rotor: Diameter of main rotor 48ft (14.6m)

Fuselage Length: 41 ft 10.75 in (12.8m)

Length overall: 57 ft 1 in (17.4m)

Height: 14 ft 6 in (4.4m)

Rotor disc area: 1,809 sq ft (168.1 sq m)

Weights: Empty: 4,793 lbs (2,255kg) Max takeoff: 9,500 lbs (4,309kg)

Armament: Two 7.62mm M60 machine guns in doorways

Specifications from Combat Air Museum https://www.combatairmuseum.org/aircraft/bellhueyuh1h.html

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