Bell 204/205 Huey

H-1 Iroquois

The Bell Huey was the first mass-produced helicopter powered by a jet turbine. With its distinctive "whomp-whomp" sound that could be heard miles away, the UH/AH-1 aircraft have totaled more than 27 million flight hours since Oct. 20, 1956 when the "granddaddy" of all H-1's, the XH-40, made its first flight. Since then, more than 16,000 H-1 helicopters have been produced by Bell and its licensees -- making it the most successful military aircraft in aviation history.


Officially the UH-1 series is the Iroquois. But its unofficial name, Huey, became so commonly used that the AH-1 attack version was officially named the Huey Cobra.

The Huey story traces back some four decades. In 1955, with an interest in a utility helicopter designed around a turboshaft engine, the US Army had the US Air Force develop a new helicopter for its use. At that time the US Army did not have its own aircraft development capability. The design selected, Bell's Model 204, was to be powered by a new Lycoming T-53 engine of some 850 shaft horsepower and featured a typical Bell two-blade teetering rotor.

UH-1H Huey

In the original helicopter designation series, the first three aircraft received the XH-40 designation.
First flight of the new design was in October 1956, development and production following.

When the US Army adopted its own two-letter designation system, the H-40 became the HU-1 (Helicopter Utility). From this designation came Huey, the name by which it has remained known. The US Department of Defence ( DOD ) standard designation system reversed this to UH-1, the first designation in the new DOD helicopter series. With larger engines and increased capacity, the UH-1 was developed through successive models.

On October 20, 1956 Bell Aircraft Chief Pilot Floyd W. Carlson and Chief Experimental Test Pilot Elton J. Smith made the first flight of the Bell Model 204 ( US Army XH-40-BF #55-4459 ) in Hurst, Texas

These helicopters are widely used in a transport, airborne battlefield command and control, troop insertion/extraction, fire support coordination, medical evacuation, search and rescue, armed escort/visual reconnaissance or utility roles.

Huey views blue print

Bell Huey UH-1H take off and departure sound in Philippines

Bell model 204

The typical Bell main rotor design, created by Arthur Young, uses a notable feature in the form of two wide chord blades and, at right angles to them, the stabilizing bar with small weights at its tips

XH-40 : ( later redesigned XHU-1 ) The Bell Model 204 first flown in October 1956 with one 700 hp turbine engine. The 3 prototypes built were the first turbine engine aircraft of the US Army
YH-40 : ( later redesigned YHU-1 ) 6 test units with a fuselage 30 cm (1 feet) longer
HU-1 : ( with the normalization of 1962 became the UH-1 Iroquois ) 9 pre-productions units with one 770 hp T53-L-1A tested during 1959
HU-1A : ( later UH-1A ) 173 units produced up to March 1961. A crew of 2 plus 5 troops.
TH-1A : 14 UH-1A converted to dual control trainers
UH-1B : 1014 units built between 1961 and 1965 with a 960 hp T53-L-5 engine. 7 troops
UH-1C : 750 units with the same fuselage of the UH-1B but a larger engine (L11) and a newer rotor system that give them much greater manoeuvrability
UH-1E : 192 units built between 1964 and 1966. Was the UH-1B/C for the US Marines for assault support with salt-water corrosion protection and extra avionics. 8 troops.
TH-1E : 20 trainers of the UH-1E variant
UH-1F : ( also called UH-48 as missile site support helo ) The UH-1B variant for the USAF with a 1300 hp T58-GE-3 turbine engine. 119 units built from 1964 to 1967. 10 troops
The UH-1F had a General Electric engine rather than the Lycoming engine used on other models at the time. It was more powerful than the Lycoming engines until the Lycoming TH-53-L13 engine was introduced in mid 1967.
TH-1F : 26 UH-1F trainers for the USAF
HH-1K : The UH-1E for the US Navy for SAR duties with a 1400 hp engine. 27 units in 1970
TH-1L : 45 trainers for the US Navy based on the HH-1K but with a 1100 hp engine
UH-1L : Utility variant of TH-1L for the US Navy. 8 units in 1968
UH-1M : 3 UH-1C updated with a 1100 hp engine and 6 french AS.11 anti tank missiles for evaluation. They had a different rotor system and the tailboom had a sweeping vertical fin.
UH-1P : 20 UH-1F updated for psycological warfare
AB.204 : Model 204 built by Agusta in Italy
Fuji 204 : Model 204 built in Japan

Bell model 205

YUH-1D : 7 prototypes ordered in July 1960 with a larger main rotor and a bigger fuselage for a 12 / 14 troops capacity
UH-1D : 2000 units with a 1100 hp turbine engine. First unit enter service in August 1963
UH-1H : The most important variant of the Huey was an updated version of the UH-1D with a 1400 hp T53-L-13 engine. 4900 units built for the US Army and 50 countries
EH-1H : UH-1Hs modified for electronic warfare in variations EH-1H Phase A and B and the UH-1X Model. Were replaced with the Sikorsky EH-60A
HH-1H : 30 UH-1Hs for the USAF for combat / SAR duties
The modification included moving the tail rotor to the right hand side of the tailboom. This modification was picked up by the US army and later UH-1H type aircraft were configured with the tail rotor on the left side.
UH-1V : 200 UH-1Hs modified for medevac duties in the 80s
AB.205 : Model 205 built by Agusta in Italy
Fuji 205 : UH-1J = Model 205 built in Japan
Dornier UH-1D : Model 205 built in Germany
TH-1H : Refurbished UH-1H for the USAF

Bell model 208

"Twin Huey" 1965 prototype, an UH-1D powered by a Continental XT67-T-1 twin-pack engine, consisting of two power turbines driving a common gearbox.

Bell model 210

A refurbished UH-1H fuselage with Bell 212 components (main rotor hub and blades, tail rotor, main and tail rotor support structure, transmission, rotating controls, and tail boom) and a Honeywell T53-517B engine (1800 Shp). 15 seat. First flight 2004.

Bell model 212

UH-1N : After the successful of the Models 204 / 205, Bell joined Pratt & Whitney Canada for develop a twin engine variant of the UH-1H to achieve a specification came from the Canadian Armed Forces. The Twin Two Twelve was adopted by the USAF ( 79 units ) and the US Navy / Marines ( 205 units )
VH-1N : 6 (plus 2 conversions) units Marine One for the US president.
AB.212 : Model 212 built by Agusta in Italy, including the AB.212 ASW naval helicopter

Bell model 214

The Huey Plus was developed in 1970 for use by the Iranian Armed Forces. Similar to the 212 but with a more powerful Lycoming LTC4B-8 engine with a single large exhaust duct. An upgraded rotor system give the 214 a better performance at high temperatures and high altitudes.
214ST: A larger twin-engine derivative introduced in 1977.

Bell model 412

A 212 featuring a foldable 4-bladed rotor of composite construction.
CH-146 Griffon: Canada armed forces
AB.412 : Model 412 built by Agusta in Italy

Bell model 450

UH-1Y Venom : Originally to be remanufactured UH-1N. First delivered in 2005 as conversions but from 2008 are completely new airframes

See Also:
Hueys in Vietnam - Camp Holloway
VH-1 - Presidential Hueys
Bell 209 AH-1 Cobra - The attack variant

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