Hobby Master HH1001 US Army Bell UH-1B Huey Helicopter - "Heavy Hog", 64-13978, Vietnam, 1966 (1:72 Scale)
"I can't promise you that I will bring you all home alive, but this I swear: I will be the first one to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off. And I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we all come home together. So help me God."
- Colonel Hal Moore, from the feature film "We Were Soldiers"
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.
From 1962, when the first short-fuselage HU-1s arrived, to the later large-doored versions, they took on transport, utility and medevac or "dustoff" missions. The Huey later morphed into a gunship with multiple protrusions of guns and rocket pods added to protect and escort the unarmed troop-carrying "slicks."
When the new Huey Cobra appeared, a true Air Cavalry was born. Though most of the USAF machines are gone, the army expects to keep the Huey through the first decade of this century.
The UH-1B was an improved model that was equipped with the Lycoming T53-L-5 engine of 960 shp (716 kW), revised main rotor blades of 44 foot diameter and 21 inch chord, 13 inches higher rotor mast and a longer cabin that could accommodate seven passengers. This version was redesignated UH-1B in 1962.
Later production UH-1Bs were equipped with Lycoming T53-L-9 and L-11 engines of 1,100 shp (820 kW). Gross weight was 8,500 lb (3,850 kg) and the standard empty weight was 4,513 lb (2,047 kg).
Army testing of the "B" model started in November, 1960 with first production aircraft arriving in March, 1961. A total of 1010 "Bravo" models were delivered to the US Army. First deployment was in November 1963 when eleven were sent to Vietnam to join the "Alpha" models already in use by UTTCO.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a US Army Bell UH-1B Huey helicopter that was deployed to Vietnam during 1966.
Rotor Span: 7-1/2-inches
Release Date: June 2008
Historical Account: "Baby Huey" - The first Bell helicopter to use a turbine engine was a modified Model 47 (designated the XH-13F), first flown in October 1954. In 1955, anxious to obtain a powerful medical evacuation helicopter, the U.S. Army awarded Bell a contract to develop the next generation turbine-powered helicopter, designated the XH-40 (renamed the Model 204). The first XH-40 flew on October 22, 1956. Two more prototypes were built in 1957, and eighteen more YH-40 prototypes were tested in 1958.
Bell believed the YH-40 was ideal for troop transport and cargo carrying as well as the medevac role, a view soon adopted by the Army, who found the pre-production aircraft so much better in service than previous piston-powered helicopters they soon ordered more of them.
The HU-1A (later redesignated the UH-1 Iroquois) was the first turbine-equipped U.S. helicopter to go into production, and production models first entered service with the 101st Airborne at Fort Lewis, Washington. Although they were intended for evaluation only, the Army quickly pressed them into operational service.
The helicopter was originally designated the HU-1A, which is where it received its nickname - "Huey." The official U.S. Army designation Iroquois (Army helicopters are traditionally given Native American names) was almost never used in practice. The HU-1B was equipped with revised main rotor blades and could carry seven passengers. These versions were redesignated UH-1A and UH-1B respectively, in 1962. A UH-1C gunship version with a more powerful engine was later built, along with search and rescue (SAR) and training variants.