20 March 2011

Out To Pasture?

This article indicates that the last of the two-blade Hueys will soon be removed from military service. I was under the impression that a few would serve in the Guard and Reserve systems for the next several years. Maybe they are converting many of them with new engines and rotor systems. But these days you hear that old "wop-wop-wop" sound less and less, and that makes the Viet Nam Veterans among us very sad.

Hat tip to The Old Man.


Timothy Frazier said...

I'm surprised you haven't found one on eBay and put it in the garage next to Pizza Bike and the rest of the herd.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

It's my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that the Huey was the most mass-produced airframe in American history.

Is this true?

I also will miss that aspect, but not so much if the new quad-blade set and upgraded engines are safer, more dependable and more efficient.


Greybeard said...

Seems to me I saw something like 13,000 of them were produced BZ, so I think you're probably correct.
I also know our loss of pilots was about 50/50 accident vs. combat loss, and that figure would have been worse had the Huey not been such a forgiving thing to fly.

The four-blade system is quieter and more efficient, but not as easy to autorotate. (But those newer engines are also less likely to fail.)

michael said...

are you familiar with the army aviation heritage foundation? You ought to join them and fly again with them. if you haven't already.

cary said...

Didn't ride 'em in Nam (too young for that) but since the USMC is the last to upgrade (or we were, when I was in, which explains the PRC25 I carried for the first year of being a 2531, and the jeeps we drove waaaay after Army got the Hummers) I did get to ride in a few of the Nam era birds that made it back to, or never left, the states. I also got to ride in a few Sea Knights and Sea Stallions. But the Huey? That, my friend, was the hot rod station wagon of the air crowd. Always got a kick out of forming a perimeter before the bird set down - you can't do that if everyone is filing on/off the back gate!

Old NFO said...

It's a true piece of history... and Hueys will be flying for the next 50 years, just like the DC-3... I have a few hours in them, and even today, I hear one I automatically stop and look!