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The Bell UH-1Y Venom[4] (also called Super Huey)[5] is a twin-engined, 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.[6]

UH-1Y Venom
UH-1Y USS San Deigo.jpg
A UH-1Y takes off from the deck of USS San Diego
Role Utility helicopter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
First flight 20 December 2001[1]
Introduction 8 August 2008
Status In service
Primary user United States Marine Corps
Produced 2001–present
Number built 92[2]
Unit cost
US$26.2 million (flyaway cost, FY2014)[3]
Developed from Bell UH-1N Twin Huey

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. It is currently in full-rate production,[7] with deliveries to the Marines to be completed in late 2018.[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.[9][10] 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 tailboom, engines, rotor system, drivetrain, avionics architecture, software, controls, and displays for over 84% identical components.[11][12]

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 around 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.[citation needed]

A UH-1Y during sea trials aboard USS Bataan

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 returns 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.[7][13]

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

Bell delivered two UH-1Ys to the U.S. Marine Corps in February 2008[14] and full-rate production was begun in September 2009.[15] The Marine Corps plans to buy 160 Y-models to replace their inventory of N-models.[16]


UH-1Y refueling at night

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) fuselage extension just forward of the main door has been added for more capacity. The UH-1Y features upgraded engines and transmissions, 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 increased payload, almost 50% greater range, a reduction in vibration, and higher cruising speed.[11][17][18]

Operational historyEdit

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.[19] 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.[20] In February 2008, the UH-1Y and AH-1Z began the second and final portion of testing.[21]

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.[22][23] The UH-1N Twin Huey was retired by the Marines in August 2014, making the UH-1Y the Marine Corps' standard utility helicopter.[24]

Potential operatorsEdit

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.[25]



UH-1Y firing rockets

Data from Bell UH-1Y guide,[11] International Directory of Civil Aircraft[33]

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 ten crashworthy passenger seats, six litters or equivalent cargo[34]
  • 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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ "UH-1Y Achieves First Flight". Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  2. ^ a b "World Air Forces 2015 pg. 33". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ DoD 4120-15L, Model Designation of Military Aerospace Vehicles. US DoD, 12 May 2004.
  5. ^ GE Aviation (2008). "Bell UH-1Y Super Huey". Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  6. ^ Jane's Information Group (2008). "Bell 205 (UH-1) – Bell UH-1Y Viper Upgrade (United States), Aircraft – Rotary-wing – Military". Retrieved 5 June 2009.[dead link]
  7. ^ a b "UH-1Ys to be built new starting in 06" Archived 6 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine. US Navy, 22 April 2005.
  8. ^ Bell to finish Marine Corps deliveries of UH-1Y Venom by end of 2018. Flight International. 17 May 2018.
  9. ^ Donald, David. Modern Battlefield Warplanes. AIRTime Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-880588-76-5.
  10. ^ Bishop, Chris. Huey Cobra Gunships. Osprey Publishing, 2006. ISBN 1-84176-984-3.
  11. ^ a b c "Bell UH-1Y pocket guide]. Bell Helicopter, March 2006. Retrieved: 20 January 2010. [ archived copy" (PDF). Retrieved 9 February 2019. External link in |title= (help)
  12. ^ Rotorbreeze Magazine[permanent dead link]. Bell, October 2006.
  13. ^ Bruno, Michael. "Wynne Approves Buy Of New UH-1Y Hueys"[dead link]. Aviation Week, 25 April 2005.
  14. ^ "Bell H-1 upgrade program delivers two UH-1Y and one AH-1Z in February" Archived 28 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Bell Helicopter, 3 March 2008.
  15. ^ "Program Insider: H-1 Update". Rotor & Wing Magazine. 1 September 2009.
  16. ^ Butler, Amy. "U.S. Marines Propose AH-1Z Production Boost". Aviation Week, 13 October 2010. Retrieved: 17 August 2017.
  17. ^ "The helicopter huey by the Bell Helicopters". Huey Helicopter Review. Retrieved 10 January 2012.[dead link]
  18. ^ UH-1Y page. Bell.
  19. ^ Milliman, John. "AH-1Z/UH-1Y complete developmental testing" Archived 28 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. US Navy, 1 March 2006.
  20. ^ "AH-1Z/UH-1Y Start OPEVAL". US Navy, 6 May 2006.
  21. ^ Warwick, Graham. "US Marine Corps' Bell AH-1Z and UH-1Y enter final test phase"., 20 February 2008.
  22. ^ Leland, Wendy (November – December 2008). "Airscoop". Naval Aviation News. United States Department of the Navy. p. 7. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2008.
  23. ^ Morris, Jefferson. "Marine Corps Declares UH-1Y Operational"[dead link]. Aviation Week, 18 August 2008.
  24. ^ Final Flight of UH-1N Huey for HMLA-773 -, 3 September 2014
  25. ^ "Czech Republic – UH-1Y Utility Helicopters". Defense Security Cooperation Agency. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  26. ^ "Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 HML/A-167 "Warriors"". Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  27. ^ "Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron-169 [HMLA-169]". Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  28. ^ "Squadron 269 transition to new helicopter". Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  29. ^ "MARINE LIGHT ATTACK HELICOPTER SQUADRON 367 HMLA-367 "Scarface"". Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  30. ^ "Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 HMLA-469 "Vengeance"". Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  31. ^ "Final Flight of UH-1N Huey for HMLA-773". Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  32. ^ "Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 HMLA/T-303 "Atlas"". Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  33. ^ Frawley, Gerard: The International Directory of Civil Aircraft, 2003–2004, p. 44. Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2003. ISBN 1-875671-58-7
  34. ^ "UH-1Y Huey, United States of America". Retrieved 10 January 2012.[unreliable source?]
  35. ^ Marine helicopters deploy with laser-guided rocket -, 17 April 2012 Archived 3 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit