UH-1 Iroquois
U.S. Army Bell UH-1D Iroquois
Role Utility helicopter
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
First flight 20 October 1956 (XH-40)
Introduction 1959
Status Production completed, in service
Primary users United States Army
Australian Army
Produced 1956-1986
Number built >16,000
Variants UH-1N Twin Huey
Bell 204/205
Bell 212
Developed into AH-1 Cobra
Bell 214


The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

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. 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. 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.

Development[edit | edit source]

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.

Usage[edit | edit source]

Variants[edit | edit source]

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 700 shp (520 kW)..
  • YH-40: Six aircraft for evaluation, as XH-40 with 12-inch (300 mm) 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. 182 built.[1]
    • TH-1A: UH-1A with dual controls and blind-flying instruments, 14 conversions.[1]
    • XH-1A: A single UH-1A was redesignated for grenade launcher testing in 1960.
  • HU-1B: Upgraded HU-1A, various external and rotor improvements. Redesignated UH-1B in 1962. 1014 built plus four prototypes designated YUH-1B.[1]
    • NUH-1B: a single test aircraft, serial number 64-18261.
  • UH-1C: The UH-1B gunship lacked the power necessary to carry weapons and ammunition and keep up with transport Hueys, and so Bell designed yet another Huey variant, the "UH-1C", intended strictly for the gunship role. It is an UH-1B with improved engine, modified blades and rotor-head for better performance in the gunship role. 767 built.[1]
  • 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. 2008 built many later converted to UH-1H standard.[1]
    • HH-1D: Army crash rescue variant of UH-1D.
  • UH-1E: UH-1B/C for USMC with different avionics and equipment. 192 built.[1]
    • NUH-1E: UH-1E configured for testing.
    • TH-1E: UH-1C configured for Marine Corps training. Twenty were built in 1965.
  • UH-1F: UH-1B/C for USAF with General Electric T58-GE-3 engine of 1,325 shp (988 kW). 120 built.[1] Originally designated H-48.
    • TH-1F: Instrument and Rescue Trainer based on the UH-1F for the USAF. 26 built.[1]
  • UH-1H: Improved UH-1D with a Lycoming T53-L-13 engine of 1,400 shp (1,000 kW). 5435 built.[1]
    • CUH-1H: Canadian Forces designation for the UH-1H utility transport helicopter. Redesignated CH-118.[2] A total of 10 built.[1]
    • 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. A total of 30 built.[1]
    • JUH-1: Five UH-1Hs converted to SOTAS battlefield surveillance configuration with belly-mounted airborne radar.
    • 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.[3]

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.[4] Among improvements were an Allison T53-L-703 turboshaft engine providing 1,343kW (1,800 shp), a vibration-reduction system, infrared countermeasures, and a night-vision-goggle (NVG) compatible cockpit.[5]
  • HH-1K: Purpose built SAR variant of the Model 204 for the US Navy with USN avionics and equipment. 27 built.[1]
  • TH-1L: Helicopter flight trainer based on the HH-1K for the USN. A total of 45 were built.
    • UH-1L: Utility variant of the TH-1L. Eight were built.
  • UH-1M: Gunship specific UH-1C upgrade with Lycoming T53-L-13 engine of 1,400 shp (1,000 kW).
  • UH-1N: Initial Bell 212 production model, the Bell "Twin Pac" twin-engined Huey.
  • 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".
  • EH-1U: No more than 2 UH-1H aircraft modified for Multiple Target Electronic Warfare System (MULTEWS).[6][7]
  • UH-1V: Aeromedical evacuation, rescue version for the US Army.
  • EH-1X: Ten Electronic warfare UH-1Hs converted under "Quick Fix IIA".
  • 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.


References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Andrade 1987, p. 125. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Andrade p 125" defined multiple times with different content
  2. "Bell CH-118 Iroquois." Canadian DND webpage. Retrieved: 30 August 2007.
  3. Forsgren, Jan. "Aviation Royale Khmere/Khmer Air Force Aircraft." Aeroflight, 22 April 2007. Retrieved: 28 October 2008.
  4. UH-1J 多用途ヘリコプター. Retrieved: 11 December 2007.
  5. Goebel, Greg. "[7] Foreign-Build Hueys." The Bell UH-1 Huey. vectorsite.net, 1 December 2007. Retrieved: 16 August 2009.
  6. Buley, Dennis. Aeroflight. 29 December 1999. US Army's Fleet of Special Electronic Mission Aircraft. Retrieved: 28 October 2008
  7. "Special Electronic Mission Aircraft." Globalsecurity.org, 4 April 2005. Retrieved: 28 October 2008
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