After many years of searching for a UH-1H Huey to add to the Yanks Air’s collection, on August 31, 2013 the museum has received its first model. Yanks received this aircraft through the US Forestry Service. The museum will display the Huey as the entrance into the Vietnam era.The Huey is one of the most extraordinary aircraft of our time.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.
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 one of most successful military aircraft in aviation history.
The Yank’s Huey is complete with engines and at the moment it is located in the museum’s restoration department. The museum is looking for historic items, photos or other Huey related items to create a dedicated exhibit.
“As we collect the stories and oral histories of America’s veterans, there is no more memorable or overwhelming feeling for many than the rhythmic echoing sound of the incoming Huey. “Often Yanks’ allows veterans to sit in the type aircraft they piloted, they remember the controls, the feel, the smell, the camaraderie and often they remember…the battle. Whether they were drawing fire from the enemy or loading a wounded soldier, we repeatedly see the tears fill their eyes as they are overcome with the recollections of their past. The Huey was their link to reality, it was “the sound of our boys returning home”, states Yanks Director, Christen Wright.
The museum will display the Huey as the entrance into the Vietnam era section. The future paint scheme is the 335 Assault Helicopter company. It is an olive drab body with the Cowboys nose art. The museum is still working with the military to acquire the history of the aircraft.
On November 16th the Huey will be open to the public and the Yanks Air Museum will have host 15 of the “Cowboys”to speak about this mighty helicopter and their war experience.