UH-1Y completes final block mod early

UH-1Y completes final block mod early

US Naval Air systems Command (NAVAIR), September 16, 2004 - PATUXENT RIVER, MD – As one of the final steps before starting Operational Evaluation, the “graduation exercise” for the H-1 Upgrades program, early next year, the first of five upgraded H-1s here completed its last block modification Sept. 11 one week early.

During Block Modification D, the aircraft, a UH-1Y, was brought up to production configuration by removing flight test instrumentation, installing the new H-1 turned exhaust and other structural and system upgrades.

“Getting our first aircraft out of its final block modification is a major milestone,” stated Col. Doug Isleib, H-1 program manager here. “Given the amount of knowledge and experience gained over the past three years of active flight test, it represents a lot of dedicated effort on the team’s part to incorporate it all into the aircraft.

“And that they did it ahead of schedule speaks volumes about the professionalism, dedication and skill of the integrated Bell/government team,” Isleib added

“We completed UH-1Y-2 Block Mod D and the fire suppression retesting almost a week ahead of schedule,” explained Bell Helicopter’s flight test director, Ajay Sehgal. “This is testament to the dedicated and focused effort on the part of the whole Y-2 test team including the operations, planning, quality, flight test, instrumentation, design and technology personnel.

“The assistance from personnel in Texas to get the parts and timely engineering support throughout the Block Mod D effort has also been instrumental in completing this task. The team should take pride in meeting its commitment to get the aircraft ready ahead of schedule for the next phase of testing,” Sehgal added.

Three other aircraft will soon follow the UH-1Y out of block modification, two AH-1Z’s and the other UH-1Y. A fifth test aircraft, the original AH-1Z, is not undergoing this last block modification and is slated for destructive live fire testing when the other aircraft start OpEval.

To date, the H-1 Upgrades integrated test team has achieved approximately 2,500 flight test hours with five aircraft (three AH-1Z and two UH-1Y test aircraft, of which all but one AH-1Z are production representative). The test aircraft have flown 222 knots, maneuvered from –0.4 to +3.5 g’s and been well above the 10,000-foot altitude mark. In weapons testing, the AH-1Z has fired nearly 800 Mk-66 2.75” rockets at air speeds ranging from 60 to 200 knots, five AGM-114 “Hellfire” anti-armor missiles, three AIM-9 “Sidewinder” air-to-air missiles and approximately 3,000 rounds of 20mm ammunition from its M-197 automatic gun. The UH-1Y has successfully fired approximately 400 2.75-inch rockets, 12,800 rounds of machine gun ammunition, 136 flares, 104 chaff canisters and 104 decoys on nearly 40 test flights.

With integration of new technology, such as the Thales Top Owl helmet-mounted sight and display, Northrop-Grumman integrated digital cockpit, upgraded engines and Bell Helicopter-developed composite four-bladed rotor system nearly complete, the program is rapidly approaching the end of its developmental flight test period.

Following a successful six-month operational evaluation by Fleet pilots and crews, the program is expecting to be approved for full-rate production.

The aircraft was approved for low rate initial production in October 2003.

For more information, please contact the H-1 public affairs officer, John Milliman, at (301) 995-7410 or

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Bell UH-1Y Venom in US US Marine Corps



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