The most famous helicopter in the world is the Bell UH-1 Iroquois, most commonly referred to as the "Huey." The Huey, which first flew in 1956, serves in front-line service in the U.S. military and the militaries of many nations and will continue to do so for many years to come. It earned its fame during the Vietnam War and has been featured in many war movies, including "Apocalypse Now" and "Platoon," as well as in numerous action adventure films.
The Huey has several distinctive characteristics, including its rounded nose, its twin-bladed rotor, and the loud "whomp whomp" sound it makes in flight. It is a particularly noisy helicopter because, when in forward flight, the tip of the advancing rotor blade breaks the speed of sound, creating a small sonic boom. Anyone who has spent a sufficient amount of time working on, around or within the sound of a "Huey" develop a sense when one is coming, long before most people hear the initial distinctive sound which the rotar blades make.
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The prototype Bell Model 204 first flew in 1956 and was the first turbine powered aircraft ordered by the U.S. Army. Initially designated the H-40 following the U.S.A.F. designating system, this aircraft was re-designated the HU-1 when it entered service in 1959. Although officially named "Iroquois", it was better known as the "Huey" based on this designation. In 1962, the U.S. Military changed it's designating system and again changed the designation of the Huey to UH-1. At the same time a lengthened version, the Model 205 was introduced. This went into service as the UH-1D.
This model had its first flight on August 16, 1961, and went on to become the popular "Huey" that saw so much service in the Vietnam War. Capacity was up to 12 fully-equipped troops plus its crew of two. As an aerial ambulance, it could carry four litters and the attendant medical technicians.
In 1968 it was modified with an improved T-53 and new electronics and redesignated as UH-1H. More than 6,000 were built during its lifetime of 30 years.
The specific history of this particular UH-1D, from when it was first purchased by the US Army and assignments thereafter, go HERE> Manufactured by Bell Helicopter Division, Ft Worth TX.