The Iroquois helicopter is synonymous with the Vietnam War and it is one of the best known aircraft in the world. It has been in production for four decades and has been built in greater numbers than any other helicopter. It is used around the world in many different military and civilian roles.
The first Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopters entered Australian service in 1962. The Iroquois had been in service with the US army since 1959 and was already known by its nickname “Huey”, which refer to the model number UH.
9 Squadron received the first Iroquois in October 1962. Two years later, 5 Squadron was sent to Malaysia during the Indonesian Confrontation flying Iroquois helicopters handed over from 9 Squadron. In 1964 the RAN began using Iroquois for search-and-rescue flights, training, and transport. From 1966 to 1971, 9 Squadron used the helicopter to deploy troops and evacuate casualties, supporting the 1st Australian Task Force based at Nui Dat in Phuc Tuy province. In 1969 some Iroquois were converted into gunships, nicknamed “bushrangers”, armed with machine-guns and rockets. The RAAF later used Iroquois on peacekeeping missions in the Sinai from 1976 to 1979, and 1982 to 1985. In the late 1980s the RAAF Iroquois were transferred to the Australian Army Aviation Corps.
Bell UH-1H Iroquois
Type: 2-seat medium transport helicopter
Entered service: 1962
Crew: 1–4, could carry 11 fully equipped troops or six stretchers
Length: 12.77 m
Weight (laden): 4,309 kg
Ceiling endurance: 12,600 ft
Speed: 204 km/h
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