Bell UH-1D Iroquois

The Bell UH-1 Iroquois (nicknamed "Huey") is a military helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine, with two-blade main and tail rotors. The first member of the prolific Huey family, it was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet a United States Army's 1952 requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter, and first flew in 1956. The UH-1 was the first turbine-powered helicopter to enter production in 1960 for the United States military, and more than 16,000 have been built since.The Iroquois was originally designated HU-1, hence the Huey nickname, which has remained in common use, despite the official redesignation to UH-1 in 1962. The UH-1 first saw service in combat operations during the Vietnam War, with around 7,000 helicopters deployed.

 



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Specifications

Manufacturer: Bell
Year/Model: 1965 UH-1D Iroquois "Huey"
S/N: 65-10054 *See note below
Tail Number: 65-1054
Power Plant: 1x Lycoming T53-L-11 turboshaft, 1,100 shp (820 (kW)
Main Rotor Diameter: 48 ft 0 in
Length: 57 feet 1 inch
Height: 14 feet 5 inches
Empty Weight: 5,215 pounds (MTOW)
Gross Weight: 9,040 pounds (MTOW)
Max. Takeoff Weight: 9,500 lb
Maximum Speed: 135 mph
Cruise Speed: 125 mph
Range: 315 miles
Service Ceiling: 19,390 ft (dependent on factors such as weight, air temp, etc.
Rate of Climb: 1,755 ft/min
Armament: various including 7.62mm machine guns, 2.75 inch rocket pods
Crew: 1 - 4
Status: Static Display (currently under restoration)
Owner: Estrella Warbird Museum
*Note: This helicoter was previously painted showing serial/tail # 65-26997 which was found to be incorrect. It is currently identified with the correct serial/tail number.

There is an excellent first party description of the role the Huey during the Viet Nam conflict at this link. It also shows the incredible number of sorties flown during Viet Nam.

UH-1D in Flight

History

View the complete military history of this UH-1D, Serial: 65-10054, go here.

Upon arrival at Estrella Warbirds Museum, this particular Huey was originally painted in the exterior scheme as it was used when filming the movie "We Were Soldiers Once." In early 2019, the Huey was restored to it's original unit colors during combat action in Viet Nam.

The Huey has several distinctive characteristics, including its rounded nose, its twin-bladed rotor, and the loud "whomp whomp" sound it makes in flight. It is a particularly noisy helicopter because, when in forward flight, the tip of the advancing rotor blade breaks the speed of sound, creating a small sonic boom. Anyone who has spent a sufficient amount of time working on, around or within the sound of a "Huey" develop a sense when one is coming, long before most people hear the initial distinctive sound which the rotor blades make.

This model had its first flight on August 16, 1961, and went on to become the popular "Huey" that saw so much service in the Vietnam War. Capacity was up to 12 fully-equipped troops plus its crew of two. As an aerial ambulance, it could carry four litters and the attendant medical technicians.

In 1968 it was modified with an improved T-53 and new electronics and re-designated as UH-1H. More than 6,000 were built during its lifetime of 30 years.

The prototype Bell Model 204 first flew in 1956 and was the first turbine powered aircraft ordered by the U.S. Army. Initially designated the H-40 following the U.S.A.F. designating system, this aircraft was re-designated the HU-1 when it entered service in 1959. Although officially named "Iroquois", it was better known as the "Huey" based on this designation.

In 1962, the U.S. Military changed its designating system and again changed the designation for this Huey to UH-1. At the same time a lengthened version, the Model 205 was introduced. This went into service as the UH-1D.