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Bell UH-1Y Venom

For an overview of the whole Huey family of aircraft see Bell Huey family
UH-1Y Venom
Bell UH-1Y during sea trials aboard USS Bataan
Role Utility helicopter
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
First flight 20 December 2001[1]
Introduction 2008
Status In service
Primary user United States Marine Corps
Produced 2001–present
Number built 54
Unit cost
US$26.2 million (flyaway cost, FY2014)[2]
Developed from Bell UH-1N Twin Huey

The Bell UH-1Y Venom[3] (also called Super Huey[4]) is a twin-engine medium size utility helicopter, part of the United States Marine Corps' H-1 upgrade program. The helicopter is also called Yankee for its variant letter, Y.[5]

The UH-1Y is currently in full-rate production to replace the USMC's aging fleet of UH-1N Twin Huey light utility helicopters first introduced in the early 1970s. 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.[6]


  • Development 1
  • Design 2
  • Operational history 3
  • Operators 4
  • Specifications 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


In 1996, the United States Marine Corps launched the H-1 upgrade program by signing a contract with Bell Helicopter for upgrading 100 UH-1Ns into UH-1Ys and upgrading 180 AH-1Ws into AH-1Zs.[7][8] The H-1 program created completely modernized attack and utility helicopters with considerable design commonality to reduce operating costs. The UH-1Y and AH-1Z share a common tail boom, engines, rotor system, drive train, avionics architecture, software, controls and displays for over 84% identical components.[9][10]

Over the years new avionics and radios, in addition to modern door guns and safety upgrades, have greatly increased the UH-1N's empty weight. With a maximum speed of approximately 100 knots (190 km/h) and an inability to lift much more than its own crew, fuel and ammunition, the UH-1N, while useful, is limited in its utility.

A UH-1Y of HMLAT-303 at Camp Pendleton, 2008

The Y-model upgrades pilot avionics to a glass cockpit, adds further safety modifications and provides the UH-1 with a modern FLIR system. However, the biggest improvement is an increase in engine power. By replacing the engines and the two bladed rotor system with four composite blades the Y-model will return the Huey to the utility role for which it was designed. 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.[6][11]

The Y-model updates an airframe that has been central to the Marine Corps aviation in Iraq. The Huey has many mission requirements including command and control (C2), escort, reconnaissance, troop transport, medical evacuation and close air support. Typically detachments of 2–4 Hueys have been deployed with detachments of 4–8 Cobras. The forward mounted weaponry of the Cobra combined with the door guns of the Huey provides a 240° field of fire.

Bell delivered two UH-1Ys to the U.S. Marine Corps in February 2008.[12] As of September 2009, the UH-1Y is in full-rate production, with the Marine Corps expected to have 21 by the end of the year.[13] The Marine Corps plans to eventually buy 160 of the Y-models to replace their inventory of N-models,[14] with aircraft deliveries to be completed by 2016.[15][16]


The UH-1Y variant modernizes the UH-1 design. Its most noticeable upgrade over previous variants is a four-blade, all-composite rotor system designed to withstand up to 23 mm rounds. A 21-inch (530 mm) insert just forward of the main door has been installed for more capacity. The UH-1Y features upgraded engines and transmission, a digital cockpit with flat panel multifunctional displays, and an 84% parts commonality with the AH-1Z. Compared to the UH-1N, the Y-model has an almost 125% increased payload, almost 50% greater range, a reduction in vibration, and higher cruise speed.[17][9][18]

The Lockheed Martin target sight system (TSS) incorporates a third-generation forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensor. The TSS provides target sighting in day, night or adverse weather conditions. The system has various view modes and can track with FLIR or by TV. It is also used on the Bell AH-1Z Viper and the KC-130J Harvest HAWK.[19]

Operational history

A UH-1Y from HMLA-367 and an AH-1W SuperCobra in Afghanistan, November 2009

The UH-1Y and AH-1Z completed their developmental testing in early 2006.[20] During the first quarter of 2006 the UH-1Ys were transferred to the Operational Test Unit at the NAS Patuxent River, where they began operational evaluation (OPEVAL) testing.[21] In February 2008, the UH-1Y and AH-1Z began the second and final portion of OPEVAL testing.[22]

On 8 August 2008, the Marine Corps certified the UH-1Y as operationally capable and was deployed for the first time in January 2009 as part of the aviation combat element of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.[23][24] The UH-1N Twin Huey was retired by the Marines in August 2014, making the UH-1Y the Marine Corps' standard utility helicopter.[25]


 United States


UH-1Y firing rockets

Data from Bell UH-1Y guide,[9] International Directory of Civil Aircraft[27]

General characteristics
  • Crew: One or two pilots, plus crew chief, other crew members as mission requires
  • Capacity: 6,660 lb (3,020 kg) including up to 10 crashworthy passenger seats, 6 litters or equivalent cargo[28]
  • Length: 58 ft 4 in (17.78 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 48 ft 10 in (14.88 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 7 in (4.5 m)
  • Disc area: 1,808 ft² (168.0 m²)
  • Empty weight: 11,840 lb (5,370 kg)
  • Useful load: 6,660 lb (3,020 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 18,500 lb (8,390 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft, 1,828 shp for 2.5 min; 1,546 shp continuous (1,360 kW for 2.5 min; 1,150 kW continuous) each



See also

Related development


  1. ^ "UH-1Y Achieves First Flight". Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  2. ^ "Department of Defense Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 President's Budget Submission, Aircraft Procurement, Navy, Budget Activity 01-04". Department of the Navy. April 2013. p. V1-79. 
  3. ^ Model Designation of Military Aerospace VehiclesDoD 4120-15L, . US DoD, 12 May 2004.
  4. ^ GE Aviation (2008). "Bell UH-1Y Super Huey". Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  5. ^ Jane's Information Group (2008). "Bell 205 (UH-1) – Bell UH-1Y Viper Upgrade (United States), Aircraft – Rotary-wing – Military". Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  6. ^ a b "UH-1Ys to be built new starting in 06". US Navy, 22 April 2005.
  7. ^ Donald, David. Modern Battlefield Warplanes. AIRTime Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-880588-76-5.
  8. ^ Bishop, Chris. Huey Cobra Gunships. Osprey Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-84176-984-3.
  9. ^ a b c Bell UH-1Y pocket guide. Bell Helicopter, March 2006. Retrieved: 20 January 2010.
  10. ^ Rotorbreeze Magazine. Bell, October 2006.
  11. ^ Bruno, Michael. "Wynne Approves Buy Of New UH-1Y Hueys". Aviation Week, 25 April 2005.
  12. ^ "Bell H-1 upgrade program delivers two UH-1Y and one AH-1Z in February", Bell Helicopter, 3 March 2008.
  13. ^ "Program Insider: H-1 Update".  
  14. ^ Butler, Amy. "U.S. Marines Propose AH-1Z Production Boost" Aviation Week, 13 October 2010. Retrieved: 13 October 2010.
  15. ^ Cavas, Chris (15 August 2008). "Corps certifies UH-1Y; January deployment eyed". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 15 August 2008. 
  16. ^ Morris, Jefferson (18 August 2008). "Marine Corps Declares UH-1Y Operational". Aviation Week. Retrieved 18 August 2008. 
  17. ^ "The helicopter huey by the Bell Helicopters". Huey Helicopter Review. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  18. ^ UH-1Y page. Bell.
  19. ^ Arrington, Cpl. Samantha H. "From Hueys to Harvest Hawk: Ordnance Marine arms aircraft in Afghanistan". DVIDS. 19 May 2011.
  20. ^ Milliman, John. "AH-1Z/UH-1Y complete developmental testing". US Navy, 1 March 2006.
  21. ^ "AH-1Z/UH-1Y Start OPEVAL". US Navy, 6 May 2006.
  22. ^ Warwick, Graham. "US Marine Corps' Bell AH-1Z and UH-1Y enter final test phase"., 20 February 2008.
  23. ^ Leland, Wendy (November–December 2008). "Airscoop". Naval Aviation News.  
  24. ^ Morris, Jefferson. "Marine Corps Declares UH-1Y Operational". Aviation Week, 18 August 2008.
  25. ^ Final Flight of UH-1N Huey for HMLA-773 -, 3 September 2014
  26. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory". 2014 Aerospace. Aviation Week and Space Technology, January 2014.
  27. ^ Frawley, Gerard: The International Directory of Civil Aircraft, 2003–2004, p. 44. Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2003. ISBN 1-875671-58-7
  28. ^ "UH-1Y Huey, United States of America". Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  29. ^ Marine helicopters deploy with laser-guided rocket -, 17 April 2012

External links

  • UH-1Y Venom page on US Navy RDA site
  • UH-1Y Venom page on
  • UH-1Y Venom page on
  • "US Navy proposes more UH-1Ys, AH-1Zs despite test phase setback", Flight International, 22 August 2008.
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