National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

UH-1H Iroquois Helicopter

August 2009. A Royal New Zealand Air Force Iroquois from Number 3 Squadron.

August 2009. A Royal New Zealand Air Force Iroquois from Number 3 Squadron.

The Iroquois helicopter known as the Huey was made famous during the Vietnam War carrying soldiers in and out of battle, airlifting the shot and wounded to hospital and delivering fresh food and ammunition.

After almost 50 years of service the fleet of RNZAF Iroquois helicopters have been retired and one has been donated to the National Army Museum collection to recognise and preserve the long history of this important aircraft.

Famous for the distinctive noise of its rotors, the Iroquois has been a very versatile aircraft serving in war zones all around the world since it was entered into service in 1966.

Manufactured by Bell Helicopter, the Iroquois was used by RNZAF’s No. 3 Squadron for tactical air transport, search and rescue, counter-terrorist operations, as well as to support humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions.

In July 2015 the Iroquois were replaced by the bigger and faster A109 and NH90 helicopters.

Inside the Iroquois

Inside the Iroquois

Iroquois specifications:

Length 17.27m
Width 2.8m
Height 4.4m
Basic weight 2600kg
Cruising speed 195kmh

Capable of carrying five fully equipped soldiers and seven lightly equipped troops.

Replacement was first considered by the Air Force in the 1980’s.

Their performance limitations in tropical East Timor from 1999 to 2002 reinforced the need for an urgent solution.

A modernised and upgraded version of the Iroquois is still in use in many western military countries including the USA.