The HH-IN is a USAF multi-purpose utility helicopter providing support for various USAF missions. In 1974, Air Force Reserve rescue squadrons started receiving modern turbine-engined helicopters, namely the Bell HH-1 Iroquois with a range 318 miles. On a positive note, the Air Force stopped sending the Air Force Reserve to the boneyard to resurrect obsolete helicopters. Mount Saint Helens blew its top on May 18, 1980. The volcano had lain dormant for 125 years when it erupted with the explosive power equivalent to 40 hydrogen bombs. The U.S. Forest Service contacted the 304th ARRS, based 60 miles south of the volcano, to warn of seismic activity and to ask for help. Within minutes, helicopters were en route. During the first day, the squadron saved 51 people. The 304th ARRS used all 10 UH/HH-1N aircraft it had on hand. Flying in pairs, the crews flew 131 hours during the rescue effort. In all, the squadron saved 61 people, including four rescue workers who had became trapped during a second eruption. In 1992 the Air Force Reserve received the much improved HH-60G Pave Hawk, a giant leap in technology for the Air Force Reserve's rescue squadrons.
The HH-1N Iroquois helicopter is used by the Navy for shore-based search and rescue duties. The UH-1N Iroquois is used by the Marine Corps to provide all-weather, day-or-night airborne command, control and coordination for assault support operations. Additionally, it is used for assault transport and maritime special operations, forward air control, aeromedical evacuation of casualties from the field and tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel missions.
The HH-1N Iroquois helicopter is a single pilot, utility type aircraft. There is a copilot's station and a cargo area capable of holding test equipment or passengers. It has a length of 52 feet, 11 inches with blades in the most fore and aft positions. External cargo loads to 2,000 pounds can be carried to remote locations around the complex. Weight must be less at altitudes above 5,000 feet.
A basic model HH-1N aircraft weighs 6,800 pounds with crew and no equipment installed. Its main fuel load is 1,300 pounds which has a flight duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Additionally, two internal fuel cells can be carried with 660 pounds of fuel each for an additional one hour of flight time. The maximum total gross weight of the HH-1N cannot exceed 10,500 pounds. The lifting capability of the helicopter is ultimately based on weather conditions.
The HH-1N is also capable of flying as a radar target for projects which require slow flight profiles. In all cases, limitations for weather conditions and safety are considered. In specially modified configurations, the HH-1N can carry cameras or other test equipment on board. The helicopter has both 115/26 VAC and 28 VDC power sources in the cabin for avionics and other equipment. External mounting of test equipment can also be approved. There are two standard attachment points which are used for weapons deployment or mounting of sensors or special test equipment.
Deliveries of the current version, the HH/UH-1N, began in 1971. The last, and newest, UH-1N was delivered in January 1979. On 15 April 1991 NAVAIR established the HH-1N designation for many of the H-1 Huey helicopters. The redesignation was to be completed by 30 September 1991.
One of the aging aircraft in Navy rotorcraft inventory is the HH-1N. As of 2004 the Navy had 27 with an average age of 31.6 years. These aircraft are used primarily for Search and Rescue. The MH-60S Seahawk primary missions are anti-surface warfare, combat search and rescue, naval special warfare support and organic airborne mine counter measures. This platform will replace the CH-46D, HH-1N, H-3 and HH-60H in a multitude of missions for the Navy.
The H-1 Upgrades Program will replace the Marine Corps' AH-1W and UH-1N helicopters with state-of-the-art AH-1Z and UH-1Y models. The program is a key modernization effort designed to resolve existing safety deficiencies, enhance operational effectiveness, and extend the service life of both aircraft. Additionally, the commonality gained between the AH-1Z and UH-1Y (84 percent) will significantly reduce life-cycle costs and logistical footprint, while increasing the maintainability and deployability of both aircraft. The program will remanufacture 180 AH-1W helicopters into AH-1Zs, remanufacture, 10 UH-1N/HH-1N into UH-1Y helicopters and build 90 new UH-1Y models. Both the Navy HH-1N fleet and the Marine Corps UH-1N fleet are scheduled to start being replaced by the UH-1Y in March 2008. The UH-1N could be in the fleet until 2014 when the last UH-1Y is delivered.
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