Aiken’s/Collectors Showcase Bell UH-1 Helicopters
Three variants of the venerable “Huey”
The “Huey” is perhaps the most recognizable helicopter of all time. Originally developed by Bell in the late 1950s as the Model 204 in response to the U.S. military’s call for an all-purpose utility heli, the design was adopted by the U.S. Army and put into service in 1960, designated the “HU-1”—giving birth to the nickname “Huey.”
Although the Army redesignated it the “UH1” in 1962— around the time that the first models were deployed to Vietnam—the nickname stuck. The Huey served a diverse variety of roles in the following decades: as a troop transport, medevac unit, and gunship for the military as well as in a civilian capacity as fire and rescue and even recreational aircraft. The key to the design’s success was the Lycoming turbine engine, which was lighter, more compact, and more powerful than pistonengine designs. UH1s received upgrades throughout the model’s lifetime, allowing more payload space and lifting capability. Aiken’s Airplanes is introducing a series of three Vietnamera Hueys as part of the Collectors Showcase series of military miniatures in 1:30 scale. Each features accurate unit insignia in addition to precise molding of Huey details. Let’s check out some of the highlights of each.