The Corps is replacing its UH-1N Hueys with the next generation UH-1Y “Yankee,” which debuted this past summer, and now the first three are preparing for their initial operational deployment overseas, joining the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group when they leave San Diego in January.
With four rotor blades instead of two, the Yankee produces a faster, higher pitched “chop-chop” sound, similar to the Navy’s four-blade S-60 Seahawk helicopters. “The tradeoff,” said Maj. Christopher Chown, a Huey pilot leading the H-1 transition team at Pendleton’s Marine Helicopter Training Squadron 303, “is you don’t hear them coming — but that’s a good thing.”
But there is much more to the new Huey than its sound signature. It will provide the Corps with enhanced capabilities: more lift, greater speed, longer range and better survivability. Coupled with a “glass” cockpit, integrated avionics and heads-up helmet displays for the pilots, this bird is a utility helicopter for the 21st century, officials say.
The Y model Hueys are 80% faster and have 76% more lift than N models.