USA, Japan, Taiwan, Germany and Italy
Type: general purpose helicopter and direct support
Capacity: pilot and up to 14 passengers (modification UH-1H)
The Bell UH-1 family of helicopters, built since the end of World War II in more numbers than any other military aircraft, has been used by the air forces of various countries more than other types. It was created based on the prototype XN-40, which was built by Bell in response to the need of the US Army for general-purpose helicopters and the evacuation of the wounded. The first production helicopter HU-1A, he received this designation later, went into operation in the late 1950s. In 1961, the Bell company finalized the design and created the Model 205 helicopter, using a longer fuselage and a powerful engine.
As a result, UH-1D / H helicopters became the most popular among the military – they remained in production until 1986. Only the US Army was supplied with 2008 modification D. The basis of the airmobile units in the Vietnam War – the Iroquois helicopter during the war was also armed with a variety of machine guns, both stationary in hanging containers and manually operated unmanaged, and also used in the role of a helicopter artillery battery.
Further modifications included helicopters equipped with two engines for the naval forces, anti-submarine radars for searching at sea, and a very enlarged helicopter for transporting 17 soldiers – the original UH-1A could accommodate only six. The Bell UH-1 helicopter, still widely used today, in its many modifications will undoubtedly play an important role in the armed forces in the 21st century. A large number of Iroquois helicopters released from military service were sold to private customers, mainly in the United States, where they carry out a wide variety of work.
The technique, which is primarily associated with the war in Vietnam, is the American helicopter Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Iroquois). At one time, helicopters performed very well in Korea. This forced the American command to pay special attention to them.
In the early 1950s, a competition was held to create a light multi-purpose helicopter with the possibility of installing machine gun and missile weapons. In 1955, the Bell Helicopter Company project was recognized as the best option.
The first prototype (Model 204) was equipped with a Lycoming T53 turboshaft engine. The first flight of the prototype took place on October 20, 1956, in Fort Worth (Texas). The army version was designated as HU-1 Iroquois (later UH-1). UH-1A helicopters with Lycoming T53-L-1A engine (770 hp) went into mass production.
Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a classic single-rotor helicopter with a twin-bladed main rotor and a twin-bladed tail rotor. The fuselage is semi-monocoque, consisting of a two-seat cockpit, cargo compartment, and tail boom. The functions of the landing gear are performed by steel skis. The power plant is located in the upper part of the fuselage and consists of one or two engines, depending on the modification of the helicopter. The fuel system consists of two tanks (625 l.), Which are located behind the cockpit. A helicopter can carry a machine gun and missile weapons.
Over time, new modifications of this machine appeared. In 1961, the UH-1B began to enter the army, on which the T53-L-5 engine (960 hp) was installed. In 1963, the U.S. Marine Corps received UH-1E helicopters, which were equipped with more modern radio equipment. In 1965, a new modification of the machine, the UH-1C, appeared, which featured an improved rotor design. UH-1D was distinguished by a new fuselage design, which allowed to increase the volume of the cargo compartment. Since 1965, attempts have been made to install two engines on the UH-1. The result was a modification of the UH-1N with two Pratt & Whitney PT6T-3 engines (with a total capacity of 1800 hp). The Iroquois is one of the most popular helicopters in the history of American aviation; in total, more than 8,000 units were built. The machine was exported and manufactured under license abroad.
The range of applications of this helicopter is very wide; it was actively used in the army and civil aviation of different countries. He lit up in many military conflicts, like a helicopter landing and fire support.
- maximum take-off weight of 4309 kg;
- maximum speed 238 km / h;
- the practical range of 615 km;
- practical ceiling 3505 m;
- payload 1361 kg (or 8 fully equipped soldiers).