The U.S. Marine Corps has accepted
the UH-1Y transport helicopter for mass production, and will put the first
UH-1Ys in service by early 2009. The manufacturer, Bell Helicopters, has a
contract to remanufactured AH-1W Super
Cobra attack and UH-1N utility helicopters to the AH-1Z and UH-1Y standard. Overall, the remanufactured
models will share about 80 percent
common parts, including a glass cockpit. The UH-1Y can carry three tons, has a cruise speed of 159 kilometers an
hour and the average sortie lasts about 50 minutes.
UH/AH-1 airframe design is half a century old, this is another example of how,
via rebuilding, a basically sound design can continue to serve for decades. Or,
in this case, half a century. The army went on to replace its UH-1s with the
UH-60, and the AH-1 (which is a modified UH-1 airframe) with the AH-64.These
new designs were superior in many ways, but as dozens of nations have
discovered, rebuilt AH-1s and UH-1s can still do the job. Moreover, the marine
refurbs contain many of the improvements built into the UH-60s and AH-64s.