Closely related with the development of the Bell AH-1 is the story of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois—predecessor of the modern helicopter, icon of the Vietnam War and one of the most numerous helicopter types built. The UH-1 made the theory of air cavalry practical, as the new tactics called for US forces to be highly mobile across a wide area. Unlike before, they would not stand and fight long battles, and they would not stay and hold positions. Instead, the plan for the troops carried by fleets of UH-1 “Hueys” to range across the country, to fight the enemy at times and places of their choosing.
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois (unofficially Huey) is a military helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine, with two-bladed main and tail rotors. It was developed by Bell Helicopter to meet the United States Army’s requirement for a medical evacuation and utility helicopter in 1952, and it first flew on October 20, 1956. Ordered into production in March 1960, the UH-1 was the first turbine-powered helicopter to enter production for the United States military, with more than 16,000 built.