Home Cold War Era Former German Army Paratrooper explains why the legendary UH-1D Huey helicopter was his all-time favorite aircraft

Former German Army Paratrooper explains why the legendary UH-1D Huey helicopter was his all-time favorite aircraft

by Dario Leone
Former German Army Paratrooper explains why the legendary UH-1D Huey was his all-time favorite aircraft

‘Every time, we met US Army soldiers, they got jealous: “My daddy flew on one of these in Vietnam!”,’ Roland Bartetzko, former German Army Paratrooper.

The UH-1 evolved from a 1955 US Army competition for a new utility helicopter. The Army employed it in various roles, including that of an armed escort or attack gunship in Vietnam. The initial Army designation was HU-1, which led to the common unofficial nickname of “Huey.” All US armed services adopted the model as did several other countries, and it was redesignated in 1962 as the UH-1 under a triservice agreement. The USAF ordered the UH-1F Huey in the early 1960s for support duties at missile sites, and TH-1F variants for instrument and hoist training and medical evacuation.

The USAF later ordered more capable versions of the Huey. The HH-1H incorporated a longer fuselage and larger cargo area. The USAF ordered these in 1970 as local base rescue helicopters to replace the HH-43 Huskie. The first of the USAF’s UH-1Ns, a twin-engine utility version capable of cruising on one engine, was obtained in 1970.

However, the legacy UH-1D remained the fav “Huey” model for many of the crews who had the chance to fly it as well as for those who flew aboard it as passengers.

‘ The German Army still flew the Bell UH-1D helicopter when I served there as a Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper),’ remembers Roland Bartetzko, former German Army Paratrooper, on Quora.

‘This chopper was our “battlefield taxi”. It landed in the middle of our barracks, you hopped in and off you went for a ride. There’s no better flight experience than with this chopper: You are ten meters above the tree crowns and every moment, you think that you are going to crash while the pilots are laughing at you.

‘I jumped a couple of times with a parachute from the Huey and this was also fun compared to jumping from other aircraft. The doors are open, your feet are dangling outside in the air and then the jumpmaster who sits behind you gives you a clap on the shoulder. Off you go!

‘Every time, we met US Army soldiers, they got jealous: “My daddy flew on one of these in Vietnam!”

‘And the sound that these birds made! Their characteristic “flup, flup, flup” gave you goosebumps. Because of this sound, we also called it the “carpet beater”.’

Bartetzko concludes;

‘In comparison to the Huey, all other aircraft were ordinary and boring.’

Former German Army Paratrooper explains why the legendary UH-1D Huey was his all-time favorite aircraft

Photo credit: Unknown

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Aviation Geek Club
Welcome to The Aviation Geek Club, your new stopover aviation place. Launched in 2016 by Dario Leone, an Italian lifelong - aviation geek, this blog is the right place where you can share your passion and meet other aviation enthusiasts from all over the world.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy
error: Content is protected!