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 aircraftâ€™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, â€œSuper Huey.â€
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.
â€œI just wanted to come out and witness the arrival of the aircraft,â€ said Maj. Gen. Jon M. Davis, commanding general of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. â€œI am very excited and canâ€™t wait to see them integrated here.â€
The UH-1Y, also commonly referred to as the â€œYankeeâ€ for the letter â€œYâ€ in its designation, is a step up from the older UH-1N version and features many new components.
â€œThe UH-1Ys are an upgraded model of the UH-1N Huey,â€ said Staff Sgt. Marty Napier, an aerial observer with HMLA-167, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd MAW.
â€œThis is truly a different aircraft in everything but the frame,â€ said Capt. Patrick J. Sise, instructor pilot for MAG-29. â€œThe â€˜Yankeesâ€™ have significantly more power than the â€˜Novemberâ€™ model. That extra power helps us with every mission we (conduct).â€
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.
â€œThe UH-1N Twin Huey has been around since the Vietnam War and is a tired, old airframe,â€ said Maj. Jeffery Coker, the future operations officer with HMLA-469, MAG-39, 3rd MAW.
â€œNow weâ€™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,â€ added Coker. â€œNo longer do we have to worry about what mission weâ€™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.â€
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.
â€œIn the â€˜Novemberâ€™ model, we would have to make sacrifi ces,â€ said Sise. â€œYou would have to either bring troops or rockets, but not both.
â€œWith such an increase in payload, we can bring everything we could possibly need.â€
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 â€œMighty Mouse,â€
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.
â€œWith the older aircraft, you had to constantly be worried about how much weight youâ€™re carrying,â€ said Sise. â€œWith the â€˜Yankee,â€™ you actually run out of room before you reach the
â€œWeâ€™ve already completed the transition from the UH-1N to the â€˜Yankeeâ€™ on the West Coast and now weâ€™re starting on the East Coast,â€ said Coker.