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Air Support: 1950 - 1975

Air Support: 1950 - 1975



A military helicopter is a helicopter that is either specifically built or converted for use by military forces. A military helicopter's mission is a function of its design or conversion. The most common use of military helicopters is transport of troops, but transport helicopters can be modified or converted to perform other missions such as combat search and rescue (CSAR), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), airborne command post, or even armed with weapons for attacking ground targets. Specialized military helicopters are intended to conduct specific missions. Examples of specialized military helicopters are attack helicopters, observation helicopters and anti-submarine warfare helicopters.
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US Army Bell UH-1B Huey Helicopter - Vietnam, 1964 US Army Bell UH-1B Huey Helicopter - Vietnam, 1964 (1:72 Scale)

So unassuming is the humble Huey (never called "Iroquois" by those who flew them) that its role as one of the major combat aircraft of the century is easily forgotten. More than 12,000 of all models were built and -- on any given day, during its heyday in Vietnam -- 2,000 could be in the air at once.

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US Army Bell UH-1B "Heavy Hog" Huey Helicopter - 128th AHC "Gunslingers," Vietnam, 1968 [With Collector Magazine] US Army Bell UH-1B "Heavy Hog" Huey Helicopter - 128th AHC "Gunslingers," Vietnam, 1968 [With Collector Magazine] (1:72 Scale)

So unassuming is the humble Huey (never called "Iroquois" by those who flew them) that its role as one of the major combat aircraft of the century is easily forgotten. More than 12,000 of all models were built and -- on any given day, during its heyday in Vietnam -- 2,000 could be in the air at once.

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French Naval Aviation Sikorsky UH-34D Choctaw Helicopter - 1964 French Naval Aviation Sikorsky UH-34D Choctaw Utility Helicopter - 1964 (1:72 Scale)

The Sikorsky S-58 was developed from the Sikorsky's UH-19 Chickasaw. The aircraft first flew on March 8, 1954. It was initially designated HSS-1 Seabat (in its anti-submarine configuration) and HUS-1 Seahorse (in its utility transport configuration) under the US Navy designation system.

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Royal Navy Westland Wessex HU.5 Helicopter - No 845 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Bulwark, 1969 Royal Navy Westland Wessex HU.5 Helicopter - No 845 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Bulwark, 1969 (1:72 Scale)

The Westland Wessex is a turbine-powered version of the Sikorsky S-58 "Choctaw", developed under license by Westland Aircraft, initially for the Royal Navy, but later for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Wessex was built at Westland's factory at Yeovil in Somerset.

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USMC Boeing Vertol CH-46E Sea Knight Helicopter - HMM-163 "Ridge Runners" ("Evil Eyes"), 2010 [With Collector Magazine] USMC Boeing Vertol CH-46E Sea Knight Helicopter - HMM-163 "Ridge Runners" ("Evil Eyes"), 2010 [With Collector Magazine] (1:72 Scale)

The Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight is a medium-lift tandem rotor assault helicopter, used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to provide all-weather, day-or-night assault transport of combat troops, supplies and equipment. Assault Support is its primary function, and the movement of supplies and equipment is secondary.

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Polish Mil Mi-4A Hound Transport Helicopter - Poland, 1964 Polish Mil Mi-4A Hound Transport Helicopter - Poland, 1964 (1:72 Scale)

The Mil Mi-4 (originally known to US intelligence as the Type-36 and later by the NATO reporting name "Hound") was a Soviet transport helicopter that served in both military and civilian roles. The Mi-4 was designed in response to the American H-19 Chickasaw and the deployment of U.S. helicopters during the Korean War.

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US Army Piasecki H-21 Shawnee Multi-Mission Helicopter - "Cherry Boy," 121st Aviation Company, Vietnam, 1964 US Army Piasecki H-21 Shawnee Multi-Mission Helicopter - "Cherry Boy," 121st Aviation Company, Vietnam, 1964 (1:72 Scale)

The Piasecki H-21 Workhorse/Shawnee is an American helicopter, the fourth of a line of tandem rotor helicopters designed and built by Piasecki Helicopter (later Boeing Vertol). Commonly called the "flying banana", it was a multi-mission helicopter, utilizing wheels, skis, or floats.

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RAF Westland Whirlwind HAR Mk10 Medium Lift Helicopter - No. 228 Squadron, 1976 RAF Westland Whirlwind HAR Mk10 Medium Lift Helicopter - No. 228 Squadron, 1976 (1:72 Scale)

The Westland Whirlwind helicopter was a British license-built version of the U.S. Sikorsky S-55/H-19 Chickasaw. It primarily served with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm in anti-submarine and search-and rescue roles.

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Soviet Mil Mi-1MU "Hare" Utility Helicopter - Russia, 1961 Soviet Mil Mi-1MU "Hare" Utility Helicopter - Russia, 1961 (1:72 Scale)

The Mil Mi-1 (USAF/DoD reporting name "Type 32", NATO reporting name "Hare") was a Soviet three- or four-seat light utility helicopter. It was the first Soviet helicopter to enter serial production. It is powered by one 575 hp Ivchenko AI-26V radial.

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US Army Bell OH-13H Sioux Observation Helicopter - 1965 US Army Bell OH-13H Sioux Observation Helicopter - 1965 (1:72 Scale)

The Bell H-13 Sioux was a two-bladed, single engine, light helicopter built by Bell Helicopter. Westland Aircraft manufactured the Sioux under license for the British military as the Sioux AH.1 and HT.2.

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US Navy Piasecki HUP-2 Retriever Utility Helicopter - Helicopter Utility Squadron HU-1, 1956 US Navy Piasecki HUP-2 Retriever Utility Helicopter - Helicopter Utility Squadron HU-1, 1956 (1:72 Scale)

The Piasecki H-25 Army Mule/HUP Retriever was a compact single radial engine, twin overlapping tandem rotor utility helicopter developed by the Piasecki Helicopter Corporation of Morton, Pennsylvania during the late 1940s and produced during the early 1950s. The company changed its name in the 1956 to Vertol Aircraft Corporation and subsequently was bought by Boeing Aircraft Company in 1960, and became Boeing-Vertol.

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Polish Air Force Mil Mi-2 Hoplite Utility Helicopter - 1974 Polish Air Force Mil Mi-2 Hoplite Utility Helicopter - 1974 (1:72 Scale)

The Mil Mi-2 (NATO reporting name is "Hoplite") was a small, lightly armored transport helicopter that could also provide close air support when armed with 57 mm rockets and a 23 mm cannon. The Mi-2 was produced exclusively in Poland, in the WSK "PZL-Świdnik" factory in Świdnik. Production ended in 1985 after about 7,200 were made.

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French Army Aerospatiale Alouette II Utility Helicopter - 1972 French Army Aerospatiale Alouette II Utility Helicopter - 1972 (1:72 Scale)

The Arospatiale Alouette II ("Lark") is a light helicopter originally manufactured by Sud Aviation and later Arospatiale, both of France. The Alouette II was the first production helicopter to use a gas turbine engine instead of the conventional heavier piston powerplant.

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US Army Hughes OH-6A Cayuse Observation Helicopter - C Troop, 16th Cavalry, 1972 US Army Hughes OH-6A Cayuse Observation Helicopter - C Troop, 16th Cavalry, 1972 (1:72 Scale)

The Hughes OH-6 Cayuse (nicknamed "Loach", after the requirement acronym LOHLight Observation Helicopter) is a single-engine light helicopter with a four-bladed main rotor used for personnel transport, escort and attack missions, and observation.

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US Army Bell OH-13H Sioux Observation Helicopter US Army Bell OH-13H Sioux Observation Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The Bell H-13 Sioux was a two-bladed, single engine, light helicopter built by Bell Helicopter. Westland Aircraft manufactured the Sioux under license for the British military as the Sioux AH.1 and HT.2. The Sioux is a three-seat observation and basic training helicopter. In 1953 the Bell 47G design was introduced.

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Polish Air Force Mil Mi-2 Hoplite Utility Helicopter Polish Air Force Mil Mi-2 Hoplite Utility Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The Mil Mi-2 (NATO reporting name is "Hoplite") was a small, lightly armored transport helicopter that could also provide close air support when armed with 57 mm rockets and a 23 mm cannon. The Mi-2 was produced exclusively in Poland, in the WSK "PZL-Swidnik" factory in Swidnik. Production ended in 1985 after about 7,200 were made.

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USMC Sikorsky UH-34D Choctaw Utility Helicopter USMC Sikorsky UH-34D Choctaw Utility Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The Sikorsky S-58 was developed from the Sikorsky's UH-19 Chickasaw. The aircraft first flew on March 8, 1954. It was initially designated HSS-1 Seabat (in its anti-submarine configuration) and HUS-1 Seahorse (in its utility transport configuration) under the US Navy designation system.

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US Air Force Bell UH-1N Twin Huey Helicopter US Air Force Bell UH-1N Twin Huey Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The Bell UH-1N Twin Huey is a twin-engine medium military helicopter. A member of the numerous Huey family, it first flew in 1969. The CUH-1N Twin Huey (later CH-135 Twin Huey) was the original version, first ordered by the Canadian Forces.

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US Army Sikorsky CH-37B Mojave Heavy Lift Helicopter US Army Sikorsky CH-37B Mojave Heavy Lift Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The Sikorsky CH-37 Mojave (company designation S-56) is an American large heavy-lift helicopter of the 1950s. The S-56 came into being as an assault transport for the United States Marine Corps (USMC), with a capacity of 26 fully equipped marines.

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US Army Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw Utility Helicopter US Army Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw Utility Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw (company model number S-55) was a multi-purpose helicopter used by the United States Army and United States Air Force. It was also license-built by Westland Aircraft as the Westland Whirlwind in the United Kingdom.

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Royal Navy Westland Wessex HAS.3 Helicopter Royal Navy Westland Wessex HAS.3 Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The Westland Wessex is a turbine-powered version of the Sikorsky S-58 "Choctaw", developed under license by Westland Aircraft, initially for the Royal Navy, but later for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Wessex was built at Westland's factory at Yeovil in Somerset.

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Italian Navy AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin TTH Medium Lift Helicopter Italian Navy AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin TTH Medium Lift Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The AgustaWestland AW101 is a medium-lift helicopter used in both military and civil applications. First flown in 1987, it was developed by a joint venture between Westland Helicopters in the United Kingdom and Agusta in Italy in response to national requirements for a modern naval utility helicopter.

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US Air Force Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant Heavy Lift Helicopter US Air Force Sikorsky HH-3E Jolly Green Giant Heavy Lift Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The U.S. Air Force developed the Sikorsky HH-3E helicopter, nicknamed the "Jolly Green Giant," to perform combat search and rescue (CSAR) to recover downed Airmen during the Southeast Asia War. A highly modified version of Sikorsky's CH-3 transport helicopter, the HH-3E carried both armor plating and armament to protect it from hostile forces during rescues of aircrews in a combat area.

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Royal Air Force Bristol Type 192 Belvedere Heavy Lift Helicopter Royal Air Force Bristol Type 192 Belvedere Heavy Lift Helicopter (1:72 Scale)

The Bristol Type 192 Belvedere is a British twin-engine, tandem rotor military helicopter built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It was designed by Raoul Hafner for a variety of transport roles including troop transport, supply dropping and casualty evacuation. It was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1961 to 1969.

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US Army Bell H-13 MedEvac Helicopter - 46th Surgical Hospital MASH, Korea, 1951 US Army Bell H-13 MedEvac Helicopter - 46th Surgical Hospital MASH, Korea, 1951 (1:48 Scale)

One of the first helicopters developed by Bell, the H-13 is a derivative of the Bell Model 30, which was developed as early as 1943. It first flew in 1945 and was delivered to US forces deployed to Korea in January 1951.

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USMC Bell H-13 MedEvac Helicopter - HMX-1, Marine Air Ground Museum, Quantico, VA USMC Bell H-13 MedEvac Helicopter - HMX-1, Marine Air Ground Museum, Quantico, VA (1:48 Scale)

One of the first helicopters developed by Bell, the H-13 is a derivative of the Bell Model 30, which was developed as early as 1943. It first flew in 1945 and was delivered to US forces deployed to Korea in January 1951.

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US Army Bell UH-1B Huey Helicopter - Heavy Hog, 64-13978, Vietnam, 1966 US Army Bell UH-1B Huey Helicopter - "Heavy Hog", 64-13978, Vietnam, 1966 (1:72 Scale)

So unassuming is the humble Huey (never called "Iroquois" by those who flew them) that its role as one of the major combat aircraft of the century is easily forgotten. More than 12,000 of all models were built and -- on any given day, during its heyday in Vietnam -- 2,000 could be in the air at once.

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US Army Bell UH-1C Huey Helicopter - Sharks Gun Platoon, 174th AHC, Aces of Spades, 1st Aviation Brigade, II Corps, Vietnam, 1971 US Army Bell UH-1C Huey Helicopter - Sharks Gun Platoon, 174th AHC, "Aces of Spades", 1st Aviation Brigade, II Corps, Vietnam, 1971 (1:72 Scale)

So unassuming is the humble Huey (never called "Iroquois" by those who flew them) that its role as one of the major combat aircraft of the century is easily forgotten. More than 12,000 of all models were built and -- on any given day, during its heyday in Vietnam -- 2,000 could be in the air at once.

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US Army Bell UH-1B Huey Helicopter - 57th Medical Detachment, Vietnam, 1964-1965 US Army Bell UH-1B Huey Helicopter - 57th Medical Detachment, Vietnam, 1964-1965 (1:72 Scale)

So unassuming is the humble Huey (never called "Iroquois" by those who flew them) that its role as one of the major combat aircraft of the century is easily forgotten. More than 12,000 of all models were built and -- on any given day, during its heyday in Vietnam -- 2,000 could be in the air at once.

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US Army AH-1G Cobra Attack Helicopter - First Lieutenant van Joyce and Captain Joel Hagerman, Crystal Ship, Phouc Vinh, Vietnam, May 1970 US Army AH-1G Cobra Attack Helicopter - First Lieutenant van Joyce and Captain Joel Hagerman, "Crystal Ship", Phouc Vinh, Vietnam, May 1970 (1:48 Scale)

While the ubiquitous UH-1 "Huey" could perform a variety of roles, it was found to be too slow for the gunship or escort role. Bell Helicopter won the competition for an interim fast armed escort helicopter in March 1966, against the Sikorsky S-61 and the Kaman H-2 Tomahawk, while the Army was waiting for the fielding of the AAFSS AH-56A Cheyenne. The AAFSS program was cancelled in 1972.

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