Bell Helicopter will soon deliver five refurbished Huey II helicopters to Uganda’s military, after completing upgrade work on the aircraft.
Bell Helicopter on 10 November 2017 finished refurbishing the aircraft after nearly 200 employees at its Ozark, Alabama, facility spent nearly a year upgrading them.
According to WDHN News, the helicopters were subsequently sent to Huntsville, Alabama, where they will be put onboard an aircraft and flown to Uganda.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aircraft register records their temporary registration numbers being cancelled on 19 December.
The aircraft are ex-US Army UH-1Hs upgraded to UH-1H Huey II standard. Bell was in September 2016 awarded a $34.5 million contract for the five helicopters for Uganda with work due to have been completed by 29 December 2017. Meanwhile, Kenya received eight Huey IIs between December 2016 and July 2017.
The UH-1H Huey II is powered by a 1 800 shp Honeywell T53-L-703 engine (replacing the original Lycoming), leading to an increase in hover performance in hot conditions and increasing the maximum gross weight to 4 763 kg. Along with the Bell Huey II kit installation, Bell Helicopter refurbishes the Bell UH-1H basic airframe to OEM standards (zero timing the airframe), provides a complete rewire, updates the avionics (including an optional glass cockpit) and offers a comprehensive selection of mission specific kits and customization.
Other features include rollover bulkheads, rupture-resistant fuel cells, wire strike protection and jettisonable crew doors. The Huey II has a useful load of 2 200 kg, endurance of 2.6 hours and max cruise speed of 196 km/h at maximum gross weight.