UH-1 B Huey Helicopter
First flying on October 20, 1956 the Bell UH-1 Iroquois (better known as the Huey) was the first turbine powered helicopter to enter US service. In March 1960 the Army awarded Bell a production contract for 100 aircraft designated HU-1A. The nickname Huey came from the helicopters original HU-1 designation. In September 1962 the designation was changed to UH-1 but the nickname stuck. The UH-1A first entered service with the 101st Airborne Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the 57th Medical Detachment. Although intended for evaluation only the Army quickly pressed the helicopter into operational service and Hueys with the 57th Medical Detachment arrived in Vietnam in March 1962. While the UH-1 was a big advance over the earlier piston engined helicopters, the Army wanted better performance. The UH-1 B featured a more powerful Lycoming engine and a longer cabin that could accommodate seven passengers or four stretchers and a medical attendant. The First UH-1 B was delivered in March 1961. The first combat missions of the UH-1 were during the Vietnam War. During the 1960s the Huey became one of the iconic symbols of the Vietnam War and became the world's most recognized helicopter. In Vietnam the Hueys main missions were general support, air assault, cargo transport, Aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, electronic warfare and ground attack. Even though many pilots preferred the UH-1 gunship because of its ability to act as a dustoff plane if needed and better view out of the larger Huey cockpit (which allowed return fire from door gunners to the rear and sides of the aircraft) the increasing intensity of NVA anti aircraft defenses forced their replacement by the AH-1 Cobra helicopter from during 1967 to late 1968. During the war 7,013 UH-1s served in Vietnam and 3,305 were destroyed. Although the Army phased out the UH-1 with the introduction of the UH-60 Black Hawk, the Army Residual Fleet has around 700 UH-1s that are to be retained until 2015. The Huey has been continually upgraded over the years and remains in production today with at least 75 countries having flown the Huey. This model shows a UH-1 B Huey flying with US Army Aviation at Vo Dat, Vietnam in 1965. The UH-1 B was armed with a huge variety of weapons over the years. This model shows a UH-1 B armed with the XM-3/M-3 Armament Subsystem mounted on a M-156 Helicopter Multi-armament Mount. The M-3 carried 48 tube launched 2.75 inch FFARs. It also carries the M-5 Armament Subsystem. The M-5 was a belt fed M-75 40 mm grenade launcher in a flexible chin mounted turret with a capacity of 150 to 300 rounds.