Officially known as the Bell UH-1 Iroquois, this helicopter is far better known by its nickname – the “Huey.” This particular Huey was used extensively by the 46th Special Forces Company during the Vietnam War, based out of Korat in Thailand.
The Huey would become one of the most prolific helicopters ever produced, with over 16,000 made since it was introduced in 1959, with production running until 1987. Many militaries around the world still use the Huey in operational roles as of 2022.
Fast Facts – The Bell Huey UH-1 Iroquois
- The Bell UH-1 Iroquois was developed in the mid-1950s to meet a U.S. Army tender for a new helicopter design that could be used for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and as a general utility aircraft.
- The first Huey was the Bell Model 204, it was powered by a Lycoming YT53-L-1 gas turbine engine producing 700 shp, as the model was developed far more powerful engines would be fitted, with some variants getting twin engines.
- The helicopter you see here is a 1966 Bell UH-1H variant that was assigned to the 7th Aviation Platoon. The 46th Special Forces Company did not have its own choppers and so aviation support was provided to them by the 7th.
- This Huey was deployed to Vietnam with just 54 hours on the airframe, it would fly over 2,000 hours in combat missions before being transferred to the Singapore Air Force where it served until 2005. Since 2005 it was given a complete overhaul by Northwest Helicopters and it’s now airworthy with FAA certification.
The Huey developed a reputation among those who served in Vietnam for being their ticket out, it was used for insertion, extraction, and medical evacuations – as well as general emergency evacuations when things weren’t going well on the ground.
Hueys were used extensively throughout the Vietnam War, to the point that they’re now closely associated with the conflict despite the fact that they were designed long before the war began and would remain in service until long after it had ended.
Though it had originally been developed as a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and general utility aircraft the Huey would fulfill a vast array of roles, including as a heavily armed gunship with heavy machine guns mounted to the sides.
Outside of its military uses the Huey was used by everyone from live local news traffic reporters to search and rescue teams, and many of its civilian pilots had learned their trade in the military flying the same model.
Of the 16,000 that were made it’s not known how many remain operational. A number of militaries around the world still have the Huey in service – a remarkable 63 years after it was first introduced.
The 1966 Bell UH-1H Huey Shown Here
This helicopter is one of relatively few Vietnam veteran Hueys that are still in airworthy condition. After racking up over 2,000 hours in combat missions during the Vietnam War this helicopter was transferred to the Singapore Air Force where it would remain in service until 2005.
After this time it was transferred back to the United States where it was bought by Northwest Helicopters LLC.
The team at Northwest then gave it a complete disassembly, inspection, full reassembly, new paint in its original Vietnam livery, and FAA certification to Airworthy status in Experimental Exhibition category.
It’s now being offered for sale with Platinum Fighters and the asking price is $925,000 USD. If you’d like to read more about it or enquire about buying it you can click here to visit the listing.
Images courtesy of Platinum Fighters
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