· Status: On display
· Category: Military
· Length: 12,08 m
· Wingspan: Rotordiameter: 13,41 m
· Height: 4,44 m
· Max weight: Tom: 2086 kg Lastet: 3856 kg
· Max speed: 237 km/t
· Max height: 16.900 ft/5150 m
· Range: 370/407 km
Bell UH-1B Iroquois
Medium weight tactical transport helicopter
In 1950 the US Army looked for ways of moving troops and equipment more rapidly by air. The Bell aircraft factory then developed a concept that became revolutionary for the development of later helicopters. The prototype XH-40, with a 700-horsepower T-53 gas turbine, first flew in 1956. The nickname “Huey” came from the first military designation of the helicopter, HU-1. The key to success was the use of a gas turbine instead of a piston engine.
During the 1960s the helicopter became known as the UH-1 “Iroquois”. The UH-1B, UH-1C and larger UH-1D versions were used to a great extent by the American forces for tactical transport in Vietnam. The civil version was designated the Bell 204.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force received the first four UH-1Bs in July 1963 as part of the NATO Military Assistance Programme. 339 Squadron was resurrected at Bardufoss as a helicopter squadron and 720 and 719 Squadrons were also established with UH-1Bs. The squadrons’ primary task was to carry out support missions for the Army. Secondary tasks were rescue service, military transport and support of the civil community.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum’s Bell UH-1B, 64-14079/079, was taken over by the RNoAF on 20 October 1966 and was with 720 Squadron for the whole of its operational period in Norway. In April 1978 the machine was selected to serve in NORAIR, as part of the Norwegian UN Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Back at Rygge in 1979, the helicopter was again painted in its original olive green colour. When the UH-1B was replaced by the Bell 412 at the end of the 1980s, 64-14079/079 had accumulated 8,128.8 flying hours in 720 Squadron. The helicopter was transferred to the Norwegian Defence Museum in 1995, to convey the history of Norway’s UN commitment.
The helicopter is painted white with ‘UN’ in black on both load cabin doors. Otherwise it has the same markings as other Norwegian UH-1Bs.