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Last Active Duty Huey Flights


Spathologist
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Spathologist

Late notice, but the 21st Cav has the last three UH-1s on active duty, and their last flights will be tomorrow morning at Robert Gray AAF/Killeen Regional Airport. Vietnam vets are invited to apply for rides. After the flights, the aircraft will be available for visitors to explore until around 1400.

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I think the Marines still use the Huey, the UH-1Y Yankees, and in Feb. it was reported the Air Force was looking into buying some of the older Marine UH-1N's:

 

ORLANDO — Just a few years after the Air Force had plans to replace its venerable UH-1N Huey helicopters, the service may actually grow its Huey fleet in the coming years.

 

Air Force Global Strike Command chief, Gen. James Kowalski confirmed that the air service is currently refurbishing three UH-INs that it got from the Marine Corps to replace three Air Force Hueys that have been lost over the years. If the aircraft are in decent shape, and it doesn’t cost too much to get them ready for Air Force service, the blue suiters will look into buying more used Hueys.

 

“The intent is to run these through the depot, bring them up to a standard with the rest of our UH-1Ns” and send them to the field, said Kowalski during a Feb. 24 press conference at an Air Force Association-sponsored conference here.

 

“We’re watching them as they go through depot to see what kind of shape they’re in. Right now, it looks like they’re in really good shape based on the last report I got a couple of weeks ago. Which then gives us the opportunity, as we go through our budget process and see where we have some wiggle room and what our priorities are, it gives us the opportunity to examine where there are other UH-1s out there that we can fund to bring into our fleet and allow us to [grow].”

 

He cautioned that the Air Force will have to look at how much it will cost in terms of aircrew and maintenance needs to expand the service’s Huey fleet before deciding whether to procure more Heuys and in what quantities.

 

Air Force Global Strike Command is the service’s largest operator of Hueys, using the 1970s-vintage UH-1Ns to ferry security forces around the command’s vast Minuteman III ICBM fields. Keep in mind that the Air Force was hoping to replace the Hueys in this role with a brand new chopper, saying the UH-1N can’t carry enough security troops and doesn’t have the range to fly across entire missile fields without refueling.

 

I used to fly in Hueys to and from work at ICBM launch control sites in Montana: it sounds like some of those same UH-1's are still in service over 40 years later.

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Spathologist
Get pictures. I miss my Huey, it now resides on a stick outside a VFW.

 

Flew Hueys for 12 years in 4 continents, and am really, really sorry to see it go. The Lakota really can't fill the Huey's shoes, it's a shame the Army didn't go with the Huey II over the Lakota...

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Flew Hueys for 12 years in 4 continents, and am really, really sorry to see it go. The Lakota really can't fill the Huey's shoes, it's a shame the Army didn't go with the Huey II over the Lakota...

 

Same here, 12 years flying them. Good aircraft, but you had to be a pilot to fly it, else it would kill you. Kids now days don't know what it was like to control and master an aircraft based solely on your own hand/eye coordination.

I agree completely on the Lakota, it is a neat sports car, but not utilitarian as the Huey was. I think the Army eventually will pay the price on the Lakota.

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Cobrahistorian
I agree completely on the Lakota, it is a neat sports car, but not utilitarian as the Huey was. I think the Army eventually will pay the price on the Lakota.

 

Never got to fly the Huey, although I asked for the transition course 3 times. Was told "Apache pilots don't fly Hueys". Pretty lame if you ask me. I agree 100% on the Lakota. Nice ride, but nowhere near a Huey's capability and it isn't a combat aircraft. The Army's already paying the price, since it's a "non-deployable" asset.

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Spathologist
Good aircraft, but you had to be a pilot to fly it, else it would kill you.

 

I'd just flip on the date r...., er, the force trim.

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I had the best of both worlds at one time, flying CH47Ds as a civilian during the week and flying UH-1Hs in the Guard on the weekends.

 

I do miss the Hueys. Only two kinds of helicopter pilots - those that flew Hueys and those that wish they had.

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I know this question will get a side thread going, but........ WHY is the Army scrapping such a versatile aircraft?? :think:

 

Just the way it is. Their mission was replaced by the Blackhawk.

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Just the way it is. Their mission was replaced by the Blackhawk.

The Blackhawk is an older aircraft too, is its mission being downgraded as well?

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The Blackhawk is an older aircraft too, is its mission being downgraded as well?

 

The first UH1 flew in 1956 and went into production in 1960, the first UH60 entered service in 1979 the year I started flight school. Essentually at that point the UH1 was on its way out, I am very surprised it has lasted as long as it has. The newest UH1 I ever saw in the US Army was a 1975 model.

 

The UH60 is going to be around for many more years.

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The first UH1 flew in 1956 and went into production in 1960, the first UH60 entered service in 1979 the year I started flight school. Essentually at that point the UH1 was on its way out, I am very surprised it has lasted as long as it has. The newest UH1 I ever saw in the US Army was a 1975 model.

 

The UH60 is going to be around for many more years.

Thank you!! Being a non serving member, some things just don't make sense!! :lol:

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Spathologist
I know this question will get a side thread going, but........ WHY is the Army scrapping such a versatile aircraft?? :think:

 

One big reason is that Bell doesn't really support it any more. Most current H-model users get their parts from other scrapped Hueys or from expensive small shops. A program I overwatched that used Hueys for initial-entry training had some tense moments trying to keep them in the air. A very large number of the H-models went to the State Department and other users for conversion into Huey IIs.

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Another problem is stress and fatigue. The metals in these things is not the toughest and over time, it begins to deteriorate. There is a point when they begin cracking so much that no amount of repair and patching will keep them airworthy. That is why it's a little interesting that the Air Force is looking at picking these back up. It is really cool to hear on the news that a particular aircraft has been flying for over 50 years until you are a pilot having to fly it.

I just flew a 78 model Blackhawk yesterday to do Bambi Bucket training and it was a literal piece of junk. When I turned it back in, the maintenance folk found the beaded panel cracked, "Oh, don't worry about that, it's getting an ACE inspection next week". Told them I didn't want to know the outcome.

Just like people, you can't fix getting old. Speaking of old, Varangian, you will really impress me if you remember the EGT limits without looking them up.

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Garandomatic

I love Hueys. My childhood on the farm was filled with the unmistakable heavy chop of those things beating the hell out of the sky when they'd go over for National Guard flights. Good buddy of Dad was a door gunner with the 155th ASHC in Nam.

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I love Hueys. My childhood on the farm was filled with the unmistakable heavy chop of those things beating the hell out of the sky when they'd go over for National Guard flights. Good buddy of Dad was a door gunner with the 155th ASHC in Nam.

Often and deservedly referred to as "The Heartbeat of God".

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When I was in CAP, the best orientation flight I ever had was on a 101st Airborne Division Huey. Man, that pilot gave us one hell of a nap of the Earth flight! WOW! Seeing the world fly by only 6o feet below on a deep bank was something to behold. As we left the helicopter, I knocked on the window and gave the pilot a grinning thumbs up! That was simply amazing and for a 15 year old, an experience I will not forget. The only thing that came close was running throttles to full afterburner on an F-15E engine run while I was in the USAF......

 

-Ski

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From The New York Times:

 

The UH-72 Lakota helicopter is a light utility aircraft that performs a number of different tasks for the U.S. military.

 

Multiple Missions

 

The UH-72 helicopter is manufactured by Eurocopter. It is a militarized version of the Eurocopter EC-145 aircraft. The UH-72 is a twin engine helicopter with a single four-bladed main rotor. The UH-72 was selected to be the new light utility helicopter of the U.S. Army in 2006 and entered active service in 2007. The U.S. Army has ordered nearly 350 UH-72 Lakota helicopters to replace its aging fleet of UH-1H and OH-58A/C helicopters that had been widely used by the Army and National Guard.

 

The UH-72 Lakota helicopters are designed to undertake multiple missions. These range from medical evacuations to personnel recovery and drug enforcement. Since entering service with the U.S. Army, the UH-72 helicopters have been primarily used for domestic operations within the United States. However, some of the aircraft have been stationed abroad in Puerto Rico and Germany.

 

Problems and Crash

 

The UH-72 Lakota helicopters have experienced some problems since entering active duty. The aircraft have been found to overheat during operations in hot, dry dessert environments. The U.S. Army has responded to this problem by equipping some of the helicopters with air conditioning units and door vents that enhance cabin air flow.

 

In December 2010, a UH-72 Lakota helicopter was involved in a fatal crash in Puerto Rico. The aircraft was being used by the Puerto Rico National Guard when it crashed at sea off the country’s coast killing all six crew members onboard. As of 2011, there were no fatal crashes of the UH-72 Lakota helicopter reported with the U.S. Army or U.S. National Guard.

 

Each UH-72 Lakota helicopter has a crew of two pilots and can carry up to eight additional soldiers as passengers. The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of nearly 8,000 pounds and a maximum speed of about 170 miles per hour. As of 2011, the U.S. Army had taken possession of approximately 140 UH-72 Lakota helicopters, or about half the initial order. The military in France is also using the UH-72 Lakota helicopter for multiple missions.

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I remember these the Hueys of the 222nd Avaition Battalion, flew in them often, these and the Chinooks. Granted its a computer image, but I can't scan my photos that I have of these painted Hueys and Chinooks in my collection of personel photos I took up in the AK. Anybody got a better image of these White Red Hueys of USARAK please add it.

post-34986-1345307061.jpg

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