This month, Bell delivered three Bell UH-1H-IIs to the Lebanese Air Force (LAF). The LAF has been flying the UH-1 series helicopters since the early 1990s in multiple roles. Most recently, its Huey IIs extinguished the fires caused by the port explosion in Beirut. The Huey II is an upgraded version of Bell UH-1H multimission, medium-lift helicopter, designed and manufactured by Bell Helicopter, a subsidiary of Textron. These aircraft will augment their existing fleet and be utilized for search and rescue, troop transport, firefighting and utility missions. The Bell UH-1H-II is a versatile, single engine helicopter with high operational readiness and low operating costs. It has the best payload in its class and excels in multiple mission configurations.
“The Lebanese Air Force is honored to add three more Huey IIs to our fleet,” said Commander BG Heykal, Lebanese Air Force. “We value this aircraft for its multi-mission capabilities, reliability and durability and appreciate the Bell team for their quality customer support and longtime partnership.”
“We are privileged to support the LAF with additional Huey II aircraft, which will enhance its operational capability,” said Tim Evans, regional sales manager, Africa and the Middle East. “This proven platform equips their squadron with the most capable utility helicopter available.”
The UH-1H helicopter has a two-blade, semi-rigid main rotor and a two-blade tail rotor. It is also equipped with a new skid type landing gear. Combining a modernised airframe of the basic UH-1H helicopter and Bell 212 components, the OEM-standard Huey II upgrade offers lower direct maintenance costs and greater mission flexibility. It is equipped with new features such as increased horsepower, crashworthy seats, multifunctional interior, new wiring and digital cockpit. The Huey II is operated by one or two pilots and can accommodate up to 14 personnel. The crew section is equipped with jettisonable doors and new wide windscreens. The wide sliding doors of the cabin facilitate easy loading and unloading of cargo. Four large windows fitted to the cabin offer improved visibility.
The Huey II offers improved safety over the standard UH-1H and comes with safety equipment, including jettisonable crew doors, new crash-resistant fuel cells, wire-strike protection system, rollover bulkheads, autorotation, and transmission system with chip detection and debris collection. The large, flat cabin floor area can be reconfigured with multiple structural assemblies and hard points to provide multi-role flexibility. The helicopter can be provided with three-place litter, high-skid gear, cargo hook, hoisting and armour solutions. The multi-mission Huey II platform is powered by a Honeywell T53-L-703 turboshaft engine, which generates a take-off power of 1,342kW. Standard fuel capacity of the helicopter is 799l and an auxiliary fuel of 568l can be carried optionally to increase the helicopter’s range.