Huey (UH-1)


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The Bell UH-1 Iroquois (nicknamed "Huey") is a utility military helicopter designed and produced by the American aerospace company Bell Helicopter. It is the first member of the prolific Huey family, as well as the first turbine-powered helicopter in service with the United States military.

Development of the Iroquois started in the early 1950s, a major impetus being a requirement issued by the United States Army for a new medical evacuation and utility helicopter. The Bell 204, first flown on 20 October 1956, was warmly received, particularly for the performance of its single turboshaft engine over piston engine-powered counterparts. An initial production contract for 100 HU-1As was issued in March 1960. In response to criticisms over the rotorcraft's power, Bell quickly developed multiple models furnished with more powerful engines; in comparison to the prototype's Lycoming YT53-L-1 (LTC1B-1) engine, producing 700 shp (520 kW), by 1966, the Lycoming T53-L-13, capable of 1,400 shp (1,000 kW), was being installed on some models. A stretched version of the Iroquois, first flown during August 1961, was also produced in response to Army demands for a version than could accommodate more troops. Further modifications would include the use of all-aluminium construction, the adoption of a rotor brake, and alternative powerplants.