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Bell UH-1 Iroquois

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere


The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor. The helicopter was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet the United States Army's requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter in 1952, and first flew on 20 October 1956. Ordered into production in March 1960, the UH-1 was the first turbine-powered helicopter to enter production for the United States military, and more than 16,000 have been produced worldwide.[1]

The first combat operation of the UH-1 was in the service of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. The original designation of HU-1 led to the helicopter's nickname of Huey.[2] In September 1962, the designation was changed to UH-1, but Huey remained in common use. Approximately 7,000 UH-1 aircraft saw service in Vietnam.


A Bell XH-40, a prototype of the UH-1

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.[3] Twenty 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.[4]

Model 204

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,[5] at Fort 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.[3][6] In March 1960, the Army awarded Bell a production contract for 100 aircraft, which was designated as the HU-1A and officially named Iroquois, after the native American nations.[7]

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.[2] The official U.S. Army name was almost never used in practice.[8] 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.

While glowing in praise for the helicopter's advances over piston-engined helicopters, the Army reports from the service tests of the YH-40 found it to be under-powered with the production T53-L-1A powerplant producing a maximum continuous 770 shaft horsepower (570 kilowatts).[N 1] The Army indicated the need for improved, follow-on models even as the first UH-1As were being delivered. In response, Bell proposed the UH-1B, equipped with the Lycoming T53-L-5 engine producing 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 delivered in March 1961.[3][9]

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 all weapons systems in use or under development. The Army would eventually refit all UH-1B aircraft with the same engine. A new rotor system was developed for the UH-1C to allow higher airspeeds and reduce the incidence of retreating blade stall during diving engagements. The improved rotor resulted in better maneuverability and a slight speed increase.[6] The increased power and a larger diameter rotor required Bell's engineers to design a new tailboom for the UH-1C. The longer tailboom incorporated a wider chord vertical fin on the tail rotor pylon and larger synchronized elevators.

Bell also introduced a dual hydraulic control system for redundancy, 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 Template:Convert, giving a nominal useful load of Template:Convert. UH-1C production started in June 1966, with a total of 766 aircraft produced, including five for the Royal Australian Navy, designated "N9", and five for Norway.

Model 205

While earlier "short-body" Hueys were a success, the Army wanted a version that could carry more troops. Bell's solution was to stretch the HU-1B fuselage by Template:Convert and use the extra space to fit four seats next to the transmission, facing out. Seating capacity increased to 15, including crew.[10] The enlarged cabin could also accommodate six stretchers and a medic, two more than the earlier models.[10] 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.[11] 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 m) 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 Template:Convert. The tailboom was also lengthened, in order to accommodate the longer rotor blades. Altogether, the modifications resulted in a gross weight capacity of Template:Convert. The Army ordered production of the 205 in 1963, produced with a T53-L-11 engine for its multi-fuel capability.[N 2][12] The prototypes were designated as YUH-1D and the production aircraft was designated as the UH-1D.

In 1966, Bell installed the Template:Convert Lycoming T53-L-13 engine to provide more power for the aircraft. The pitot tube was relocated from the nose to the roof of the cockpit, to prevent damage during landing. Production models in this configuration were designated as the UH-1H.[8][13]

Marine Corps

In 1962, the United States Marines Corps 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,[N 3] 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.

Air Force

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, Austria, Sweden and Switzerland.Template:Citation needed

Twin engine variants

The single engine UH-1 variants were followed by the twin-engine UH-1N Twin Huey and later the UH-1Y Venom. Bell began development of the UH-1N for Canada in 1968. It changed to the more powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T twin-engine set. The U.S. also ordered the helicopter with the U.S. Air Force receiving it in 1970. Canada's military, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Navy first received the model in 1971.[6]

In 1996, the USMC began the H-1 upgrade program by awarding a contract to Bell Helicopter for developing the improved UH-1Y and AH-1Zs variants.[14] The UH-1Y includes a lengthened cabin, four-blade rotor and two more powerful GE T700 engines.[1] The UH-1Y entered service with the USMC in 2008.[15]


The UH-1 has a metal fuselage of semi-monocoque construction with tubular landing skids and two rotor blades on the main rotor.[16] Early UH-1 models featured a single Lycoming T53 turboshaft engine in versions with power ratings from Template:Convert to Template:Convert.[6] 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 UH-1H is the most-produced version, and is representative of all types. 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, 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. The semi-monocoque tail boom attaches to the fuselage with four bolts.[17]

The UH-1H's dynamic components include the engine, transmission, rotor mast, main rotor blades, tail rotor driveshaft, and the 42-degree and 90-degree gearboxes. The transmission is of a planetary type and reduces the 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 is also 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.[17]

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.[17]

Internal seating is made up of two pilot seats and additional 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, with two, two-man bench seats facing outwards from the transmission structure on either side of the aircraft. All passenger seats are constructed of aluminium tube frames with canvas material seats, and are quickly removable and reconfigurable. The cabin may also be configured with 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.[17]

While the five main fuel tanks are self-sealing, the UH-1H was not equipped with factory armour, although armoured pilot seats were available.[17]

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.[17]

Aircraft markings

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.[18]

Operational history

The UH-1 has been widely exported and remains in front line service in a number of countries.

U.S. Army

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.[13]

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.

Helicopters played an integral part in the U.S military's land and air operations. Here UH-1Ds airlift members of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment from the Filhol Rubber Plantation area to a new staging area, in 1966

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. As early as 1962, UH-1s were modified locally by the companies themselves, who fabricated their own mounting systems.[19] 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.[20][21][N 4][22] 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.[8][13]

File:Garrett County AGP-786.jpg
Template:USS at anchor in the Mekong Delta, South Vietnam, date unknown. On her deck are two Navy Helicopter Attack (Light) Squadron Three (HAL-3) "Seawolf" UH-1B Huey gunships from the squadrons Det Four or Det Six assigned to the ship.

UH-1s also flew hunter-killer teams with observation helicopters, namely the Bell OH-58A Kiowa and the Hughes OH-6 Cayuse (Loach).[8][13]

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.[23] 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.[8]

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 in the early years of the Vietnam War. UH-1B/C gunships were replaced by the new AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter from 1967 to late 1968. The increasing intensity and sophistication of NVA anti-aircraft defenses made continued use of UH-1 gunships 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.[8][13]

During the war 7,013 UH-1s served in Vietnam and of these 3,305 were destroyed. In total 1,074 Huey pilots were killed, along with 1,103 other crew members.[24]

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, primarily in support of Army Aviation training at Fort Rucker and in selected Army National Guard units. Army support for the craft was intended to end in 2004. In 2009, Army National Guard retirements of the UH-1 accelerated with the introduction of the UH-72 Lakota.[25][26][27]

U.S. Air Force

File:USAF UH-1.jpg
VNAF UH-1H lands during a combat mission in Southeast Asia in 1970

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 SOS'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.[28]

US Navy

The United States Navy began acquiring UH-1B helicopters from the Army and these aircraft were modified into gunships with special gun mounts and radar altimeters and were known as Seawolves in service with Navy Helicopter Attack (Light) (HA(L)-3). UH-1C helicopters were also acquired in the 1970s.[29][30] The Seawolves worked as a team with Navy river patrol operations.[31]


The Royal Australian Air Force also employed the UH-1H until 1989. 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 single M60 doorguns. In 1969 four of No. 9 Squadron's helicopters were converted to gunships (known as 'Bushrangers'), armed with two fixed forward firing M134 7.62 mm minigun (one each side) and a 7 round rocket pod on each side. Aircrew were armed with twin M60 flexible mounts in each door. UH-1 helicopters were used in many roles including troop transport, medevac and Bushranger gunships for armed support.[32]

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.[32]

El Salvador

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.Template:Citation needed

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.[33]

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 Template:Convert 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. (See Helicopter bombing.)[34]


Very late in the Rhodesian Bush War the Rhodesian Air Force was able to obtain and use eleven former Israeli Agusta-Bell 205As, known in service as Cheetahs. 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.[35]


File:Argentine Hueys.jpg
UH-1Hs at Port Stanley Airport. These were transported to the islands by C-130H Hercules and did not have their rotors reattached yet

Nine Argentine Army Aviation UH-1Hs and two Argentine Air Force Bell 212 were included with the aircraft deployed during the Falklands War (Template:Lang-es). 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.[36] 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.Template:Citation needed

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 AAC 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.Template:Citation needed


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 UH-1s made by Augusta under license. In total, Israel acquired 64 UH-1s of different models.Template:Citation needed

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.Template:Citation needed

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.[37]

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 to the arrest of an Afghan Border Police commander.[38]

Variant overview

U.S. Military variants

File:Bell UH-1A Iroquois in flight.jpg
UH-1A Iroquois in flight.
  • XH-40: The initial Bell 204 prototype. Three prototypes were built, equipped with the Lycoming XT-53-L-1 engine of Template:Convert.[13]
  • YH-40: Six aircraft for evaluation, as XH-40 with Template:Convert 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.[13] 182 built.[39]
    • TH-1A: UH-1A with dual controls and blind-flying instruments, 14 conversions.[39]
    • XH-1A: A single UH-1A was redesignated for grenade launcher testing in 1960.[13]
  • HU-1B: Upgraded HU-1A, various external and rotor improvements. Redesignated UH-1B in 1962.[13] 1014 built plus four prototypes designated YUH-1B.[39]
    • NUH-1B: a single test aircraft, serial number 64-18261.[13]
  • UH-1C: UH-1B with improved engine, modified blades and rotor-head for better performance in the gunship role.[13] 767 built.[39]
  • 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.[13] 2008 built many later converted to UH-1H standard.[39]
    • HH-1D: Army crash rescue variant of UH-1D.[13]
  • UH-1E: UH-1B/C for USMC with different avionics and equipment.[13] 192 built.[39]
    • NUH-1E: UH-1E configured for testing.
    • TH-1E: UH-1C configured for Marine Corps training. Twenty were built in 1965.[13]
  • UH-1F: UH-1B/C for USAF with General Electric T-58-GE-3 engine of Template:Convert.[13] 120 built.[39] Originally designated H-48.Template:Citation needed
    • TH-1F: Instrument and Rescue Trainer based on the UH-1F for the USAF.[13] 26 built.[39]
Base Rescue Moose Jaw CH-118 Iroquois helicopters at CFB Moose Jaw, 1982
  • UH-1H: Improved UH-1D with a Lycoming T-53-L-13 engine of Template:Convert.[13] 5435 built.[39]
    • CUH-1H: Canadian Forces designation for the UH-1H utility transport helicopter. Redesignated CH-118.[13][40] 10 built.[39]
    • 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.[13] 30 built.[39]
    • JUH-1: Five UH-1Hs converted to SOTAS battlefield surveillance configuration with belly-mounted airborne radar.[13]
    • 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.[41]
File:UH-1J & rapeling infantry.JPG
JGSDF UH-1J in Okadama STA, 2007
  • UH-1J: An improved Japanese version of the UH-1H built under license in Japan by Fuji was locally given the designation UH-1J.[42] 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.[43]
  • HH-1K: Purpose built SAR variant of the Model 204 for the US Navy with USN avionics and equipment.[13] 27 built.[39]
  • TH-1L: Helicopter flight trainer based on the HH-1K for the USN. A total of 45 were built.[13]
    • UH-1L: Utility variant of the TH-1L. Eight were built.[13]
  • UH-1M: Gunship specific UH-1C upgrade with Lycoming T-53-L-13 engine of Template:Convert.[13]
  • UH-1N: Initial Bell 212 production model, the Bell "Twin Pac" twin-engined Huey.[13]
  • 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".[13]
  • EH-1U: No more than 2 UH-1H aircraft modified for Multiple Target Electronic Warfare System (MULTEWS).[44][45]
  • UH-1V: Aeromedical evacuation, rescue version for the US Army.[13]
  • EH-1X: Ten Electronic warfare UH-1Hs converted under "Quick Fix IIA".[13]
  • 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.[46]
  • Dornier UH-1D: Military utility transport helicopter. Built under license in Germany by Dornier Flugzeugwerke.[46]
    • Fuji-Bell 205A-1: Military utility transport helicopter. Built under licence in Japan by Fuji. Used by the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force under the designation HU-1H.[47]
  • 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.[48]


Aircraft on display

A UH-1P on display
A UH-1H on display at Sun 'n Fun 2006. The aircraft is owned by a Vietnam War veteran's association
File:UH1 Huey.JPG
A UH-1 Huey of the Philippine Air Force on display at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Museum in Camp Aguinaldo

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:

New Zealand
South Korea
United Kingdom
  • A Huey forms part of the collection in the American Air Force Hangar of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford near Cambridge.
United States

Specifications (UH-1D)

Bell UH-1 IROQUOIS.png

Template:Aircraft specs

Notable appearances in media

The image of American troops disembarking from a Huey has become an iconic image 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.[59]

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists

See also


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  11. Weinert 1991, p. 204.
  12. Dobson, G. "Helicopter powerplants: The world scene". Flight, 7 January 1965. Retrieved: 10 August 2009.
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  • Specifications for 204, 205 and 214 Huey Plus

External links

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