UH-1Y arrives at MCAS Cherry Point

UH-1Y arrives at MCAS Cherry Point

10-Oct-2011 Source: US Marine Corps

The rotors of the aircraft made the once peaceful flight line a whirlwind of chaos. In true military fashion the birds flew in slow and came to a hover over their designated spots. While still hovering, the aircraft turned and proceeded to touch the ground, one at a time. This landing started a new chapter in East Coast rotary wing aviation.

Three UH-1Y helicopters passed through Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., after a three-day flight from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. The aircraft’s arrival marked the end of the UH-1N Huey era and the beginning of the transition to the UH-1Y Venom, or, as preferred by the Marines, “Super Huey.”

Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167, MCAS New River, became the first East Coast squadron to add the UH-1Y to its arsenal, Sept. 29.

The helicopters made the stop at Cherry Point to refuel and for Marines to get a first look at the new aircraft.

“I just wanted to come out and witness the arrival of the aircraft,” said Maj. Gen. Jon M. Davis, commanding general of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. “I am very excited and can’t wait to see them integrated here.”

The UH-1Y, also commonly referred to as the “Yankee” for the letter “Y” in its designation, is a step up from the older UH-1N version and features many new components.

“The UH-1Ys are an upgraded model of the UH-1N Huey,” said Staff Sgt. Marty Napier, an aerial observer with HMLA-167, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd MAW.

“This is truly a different aircraft in everything but the frame,” said Capt. Patrick J. Sise, instructor pilot for MAG-29. “The ‘Yankees’ have significantly more power than the ‘November’ model. That extra power helps us with every mission we (conduct).”

Sise explained the new aircraft have larger engines, a larger fuel capacity, a digital display and, more visually noticeable, a four-blade rotor system. These upgrades give the new aircraft a 125 percent greater payload, nearly 50 percent more range and maximum cruise speed, and increases its versatility compared to the previous model.

“The UH-1N Twin Huey has been around since the Vietnam War and is a tired, old airframe,” said Maj. Jeffery Coker, the future operations officer with HMLA-469, MAG-39, 3rd MAW.

“Now we’re able to increase the mission capabilities of the utility platform. In the past they had to choose what mission each aircraft was going to carry out,” added Coker. “No longer do we have to worry about what mission we’re going to do. Be
it ground support or the insertion or extraction of troops the (UH-1Y Super Hueys) can do almost all of those things simultaneously.”

As a utility helicopter, the UH-1 series conducts a wide range of missions. They can conduct offensive air support, intelligence and surveillance, command and control as well as tactical insertion of troops.

“In the ‘November’ model, we would have to make sacrifi ces,” said Sise. “You would have to either bring troops or rockets, but not both.

“With such an increase in payload, we can bring everything we could possibly need.”

UH-1Y Super Hueys are already in use today in Afghanistan explained Coker. The aircraft are armed with anything from 2.75-inch rockets, also known as the MK-4 “Mighty Mouse,”
the GAU-17 minigun and .50-caliber machine gun. The weaponry available on the Super Hueys allow the aircraft to support Marines on the ground.

“With the older aircraft, you had to constantly be worried about how much weight you’re carrying,” said Sise. “With the ‘Yankee,’ you actually run out of room before you reach the
maximum weight.”

“We’ve already completed the transition from the UH-1N to the ‘Yankee’ on the West Coast and now we’re starting on the East Coast,” said Coker.

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