(Above, on 18 September 2013. Below, on 8 August 2013)
|Manufacturer:||Bell Helicopter (Textron), Ft. Worth, TX|
|Nickname:||Iroquois (official), Huey (unofficial)|
|Type:||Helicopter (Utility / General purpose)|
|Length:||41' 6"||12.62 M|
|Height:||12' 8"||3.81 M|
|Rotor Span:||48'||14.63 M|
|Empty Weight:||4430.00 lbs||2009.00 Kg|
|Gross Weight:||9000.00 lbs||4081.00 Kg|
|Max Weight:||9500.00lbs||4308.00 Kg|
|No. of Engines:||1|
|Powerplant:||General Electric T58-GE-3|
|Horsepower (each):||1272, 1325 shp, 820kw|
|Range:||347 miles||558.00 Km|
|Cruise Speed:||123.00 mph||198.00 Km/H||107.03 Kt|
|Max Speed:||138.00 Mph||222.00 Km/H||120.00 Kt|
|Climb:||2123.00 Ft/min||647.06 M/min|
|Ceiling:||22000.0 Ft||6705.30 M|
UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" Helicopter
The iconic aircraft of the Vietnam War the distinctive wop-wop of the Huey's rotor blades stir the memories of the generation that came to age during the turbulent 1960s. Uniquely versatile, the multi-purpose UH-1 brought tactical flexibility to modern ground warfare. With the Huey's innovative design and rugged reliability, American commanders were able to strike whenever and wherever they wished. The UH-1 provided speed and surprise while retaining strong logistical support and the ability to adjust to the changing conditions of the battlefield.
One of the most successful aircraft designs ever built, the UH-1 grew out of the need to replace the cumbersome, mechanically complex helicopters brought into service after the end of the Second World War. Known as the "Huey" after the phonetic pronunciation of its initial model designation "HU-1", the aircraft was created by modifying a Bell Model 47 Sioux to provide enough room for seven soldiers or three stretchers. By 1962 the HU-1 had been re-designated the Utility Helicopter UH-1. The first helicopter produced in large numbers, the Huey was equipped with a turbine power plant driving a two-bladed semi-rigid main rotor and a two-bladed semi-rigid tail rotor taking the aircraft to speeds of over 100 mph.
In its first fifteen years, over 11 thousand UH-1's saw service in Vietnam. From the unarmed medical evacuation "Dust Offs" named for the clouds of grit kicked-up whenever they landed to lightly armed "Slicks", nicknamed for their unencumbered external appearance, and the heavily armed "Gunships" with its combinations of offensively oriented machine guns and rockets the UH-1 was the backbone of Army operations in Southeast Asia.
During its 50- year career, the UH-1 has served under some of the most adverse conditions imaginable, from the Arctic Circle to the most remote sun-baked deserts. Although all UH-1's have been retired from active military service in the United States, there are still hundreds in civilian use and serving in the armed forces of foreign nations.
The Museum's UH-1B
Although we were initially unable to determine UH-1B 62-12537's whereabouts from its 1962 manufacture until it was re-conditioned at Corpus Christi, TX in 1968, during the restoration process museum employees and volunteers uncovered important clues. Stripping away decades of paint revealed the Crossed Sabers of the 1st Squadron 4th Cavalry and several battle damage repairs (i.e. bullet holes). Along with a curved nose panel denoting the probable installation of an M75 40mm Grenade Launcher turret it became clear 62-12537 is in fact, a long forgotten war-weary, combat veteran of the famous Quarterhorse" Cavalry. Most likely a member of the 1st Squadron 4th Cavalry's D Troop Gunship Section the "Mustangs," a part of 62-12537's missing years, specifically from the units overseas deployment in 1965 until the 1968 re-conditioning, were spent in Vietnam participating in some of the most intense fighting of the war.
With this exciting new information, and in keeping with our commitment to preserving the heritage of the aircraft entrusted to our care, the March Field Air Museum will restore 62-12537 to its original configuration as a "First of the Fourth" Gunship. This aircraft is currently owned by the museum.