US Bell UH-1 ''Iroquois'' Helcopter

  • Military Aircraft Of The World
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

The iconic Bell Utility Helicopter (UH-1), named The “Iroquois” – was one of the most successful of Bell Aircraft Companies Productions. The first such Utility Helicopter fielded in The Vietnam War of 1965-1975, The UH-1 was developed from earlier prototypes used during The Korean War. The US Army needed a practical Medical Evacuation Helicopter for Front Line Duty. The first Bell Prototype (The Bell 47) was deployed in 1952. It’s iconic nickname of “Huey” came from the original Bell designator of “HU-1” (for The Army), which stood for “Helicopter, Utility 1”. The Production name wanted by The US Government was “Iroquois” (in honor of The Native American Tribe). US Servicemen and Pilots adopted “Huey”. Officially, “Huey” was never used. A single Rotating Main Blade (48-feet in diameter), supported by a Tail Rotor – The UH-1 was quickly seen as a means of inserting Squads of Infantry in “fast deployment” tactics. Redesigned to support this, The UH-1 was first used as a Combat Vehicle in 1965, when The 7th US (Air) Cavalry was deployed to engage The North Vietnamese Army at The Battle of The Ia Drang Valley. Over 100,000 were deployed with the various Services during The War in Southeast Asia. The UH-1 could ferry up to 14 Soldiers or a variety of cargo. At 57-feet long, The UH-1 was 14-feet tall. It was powered by a Lycoming T53 Turboshaft Engine, capable of airspeeds of 135-mph. The operational ceiling was 20,000-feet. The “Huey” could also achieve over 1,700-feet of climb per minute. For defense, The UH-1 could be fitted with a variety of weapons systems. Primarily, multiple 7.62mm Machine Guns could be fixed for automatic (electric) fire, or could be fired manually by a Gunner. 2.75-inch Rockets could be mounted as well. With over (20) variations today, The UH-1 is one of the most robust Aerial Platforms still in operation throughout The World. In addition to it’s Military applications, The “Huey” was adapted to serve in it’s original capacity of Air Ambulance (of which it is still used as today). It also was adapted for use by Coast Guard Services, Fire and Police Agencies for other specialized duties.