Bell UH-1Y Venom
|A UH-1Y takes off from the deck of USS San Diego|
|National origin||United States|
|First flight||20 December 2001|
|Introduction||8 August 2008|
|Primary user||United States Marine Corps|
|Developed from||Bell UH-1N Twin Huey|
The Bell UH-1Y Venom (also called Super Huey) is a twin-engine, medium-sized utility helicopter, built by Bell Helicopter under the H-1 upgrade program of the United States Marine Corps. One of the latest members of the numerous Huey family, the UH-1Y is also called "Yankee", based on the NATO phonetic alphabet pronunciation of its variant letter. The UH-1Y was to have been remanufactured from UH-1Ns, but in 2005, it was approved for the aircraft to be built as new. After entering service in 2008, the UH-1Y replaced the USMC's aging fleet of UH-1N Twin Huey light utility helicopters, first introduced in the early 1970s. In 2008 it entered full-rate production, with deliveries to the Marines completed in 2018.
Over the years, new avionics and radios, modern door guns, and safety upgrades have greatly increased the UH-1N's empty weight. With a maximum speed around 100 knots (190 km/h) and an inability to lift much more than its own crew, fuel, and ammunition, the UH-1N had limited capabilities as a transport.
In 1996, the United States Marine Corps launched the H-1 upgrade program. A contract was signed with Bell Helicopter for upgrading 100 UH-1Ns into UH-1Ys and upgrading 180 AH-1Ws into AH-1Zs. The H-1 program modernized utility and attack helicopters with considerable design commonality to reduce operating costs. The UH-1Y and AH-1Z share a common tail boom, engines, rotor system, drivetrain, avionics architecture, software, controls, and displays for over 84% identical components.
Originally, the UH-1Y was to have been remanufactured from UH-1N airframes, but in April 2005, approval was granted to build them as new helicopters. Bell delivered two UH-1Ys to the U.S. Marine Corps in February 2008, and full-rate production was begun in September 2009. The Marine Corps purchased 160 Y-models to replace their inventory of N-models.
The UH-1Y variant modernizes the UH-1 design. The Y-model upgrades pilot avionics to a glass cockpit, adds further safety modifications, and provides the UH-1 with a modern forward-looking infrared system. Engine power was increased. Its most noticeable upgrade over previous variants is a four-blade, all-composite rotor system designed to withstand up to 23 mm rounds. By replacing the engines and the two-bladed rotor system with four composite blades, the Y-model returns the Huey to the utility role for which it was designed.
A 21-inch (530 mm) fuselage extension just forward of the main door was added for more capacity. The UH-1Y features upgraded transmissions and a digital cockpit with flat-panel multifunctional displays. Compared to the UH-1N, the Y-model has an increased payload, almost 50% greater range, a reduction in vibration, and higher cruising speed.
The UH-1Y and AH-1Z completed their developmental testing in early 2006. During the first quarter of 2006 the UH-1Ys were transferred to the Operational Test Unit at NAS Patuxent River, where they began operational evaluation testing. In February 2008, the UH-1Y and AH-1Z began the second and final portion of testing. On 8 August 2008, the Marine Corps certified the UH-1Y as operationally capable, and it was deployed for the first time in January 2009 as part of the aviation combat element of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The UH-1N Twin Huey was retired by the Marines in August 2014, making the UH-1Y the Marine Corps' standard utility helicopter.
On 11 October 2017, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified the United States Congress of the potential sale of 12 UH-1Ys and related systems and support to the Czech Republic for a cost of US$575 million. In December 2019, an order for eight UH-1Y helicopters was approved.
- United States Marine Corps
- Crew: 2
- Capacity: 6,660 lb (3,021 kg) / up to ten crashworthy passenger seats / six litters / equivalent cargo
- Length: 58 ft 4 in (17.78 m)
- Height: 14 ft 7 in (4.45 m)
- Empty weight: 11,840 lb (5,371 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 18,500 lb (8,391 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft, 1,828 shp (1,363 kW) each for 2 minutes 30 seconds
- 1,546 hp (1,153 kW) continuous
- Main rotor diameter: 48 ft 10 in (14.88 m)
- Main rotor area: 1,808 sq ft (168.0 m2)
- Blade section: Narramore
- Maximum speed: 164 kn (189 mph, 304 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 158 kn (182 mph, 293 km/h)
- Never exceed speed: 198 kn (228 mph, 367 km/h)
- Combat range: 130 nmi (150 mi, 240 km) with 2,182 lb (990 kg) payload
- Endurance: 3 hours 18 seconds
- Service ceiling: 20,000 ft (6,100 m) +
- Rate of climb: 2,520 ft/min (12.8 m/s)
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