The World's Best Pickup Truck
A mainstay of air transportation, the Huey provided the soundtrack to the Vietnam War.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- AirSpaceMag.com, August 25, 2011
Photograph by Eric Long and Mark Avino.
The National Air and Space Museum acquired its UH-1H in 1995. The aircraft has had a long service life, starting with the U.S. Army's Company A in Vietnam in 1966. Nicknamed Smokey III, the helicopter served as a smoke ship: As slicks (troop transports) approached a landing zone, Smokey III would fly low, producing smoke between the landing zone and the enemy.
The aircraft remained in combat service until 1970, when it was damaged, and returned to the United States for repair. The aircraft, which began life as a D-model, was converted to an H-model and assigned to an Army National Guard unit. After more than 6,500 flight hours, the helicopter was donated to the Museum, where it is now on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in northern Virginia.