Happy Birthday to the Huey series! The Huey turns 63 today. First beginning it’s flying career of October 1956 the Huey would start an incredible line of helicopters, expanding to the Bell 412, UH1Y and AH1Z Viper.
The Huey originally was designed to meet the US Army’s medical evacuation program in 1952. The Huey also would go on becoming the first Turbine Helicopter that the US would build. With the of the Vietnam war taking place. The US Army asked LT Col Hal Moore to engage the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN). On November 14th 1965, 1st Battalion, 7th Calvary Regiment rode their “horses” or the UH1 into history. The Battle of Ia Drang began. This was the first time US Helicopters would be involved in a major battle, it also was the first time the B-52 was used for major Battles. During its time serving with the US Military the Huey was awarded 11 Medal of Honors which only two are surviving
As the US continued into the Vietnam the UH1 series became a multi roll aircraft. Everything from Transporting Citizens to Gunships.
More then 16,000 UH1 Hueys were built during its life time.
April1975 with the PAVN on the edge of Saigon, the evacuation of Saigon took place. The Huey support moving thousands of people to Navy ships to help them escape communism. The very last helicopter that left Vietnam was an Air America UH1. With the sound of the UH1 leaving Saigon this ended the US involvement of Vietnam.
As years continued on the Huey would see an upgrade and a new roll in NASA, Government work and civilian work along with the Military. The Huey continues to serve with many nations in military rolls. NASA continues to use Hueys to protect its property.
CalFire and many civilian operation uses the UH1 for Heliattack, and fighting fires all over the world.
The Huey series just doesn’t stop there. As the years continues so does upgrades. With the production of the Bell 204/205, the Bell 210 was produced though a failure there’s a few flying. In 1968 the Twin engine Huey, the Bell 212 came on the market. Having a Twin Pac PT6 a much larger airframe and longer machine the Bell 212 still serves many operations to this day.
Bell would continue the Huey series into the Bell 412, same as a Bell 212 with four blades. The 412 also turned into the UH1Y, the Marines Super Huey which still serves with the Marine Corp.
Happy Birthday to the Huey series!