American Huey 369, a group of several vintage helicopters that has been touring the nation, is slated to descend from the skies around 2 p.m. Sunday, landing at Mineral Wells Municpal Airport.
“This group has been touring around the country so folks can view a Huey helicopter that was used during the Vietnam War,” said Mary Creighton, a member of the Friends of the [Vietnam War] Museum.
The Bell Helicopter UH-1, called a “Huey,” serves as an icon of the Vietnam War. These utlity helicopters, hence UH in the name, were developed in the 1950s to compete for the U.S. Army’s desire for a general-purpose, medical/casualty evacuation vehicle.
They were first used by the military in 1959. Over 16,000 were produced. While more than 7,000 served in Vietnam, over 3,300 were destroyed.
The Huey could go forward at 112-124 knots, roughly 130-140 mph, sideward at 35 knots, or 40 mph, and rearward at 30 knots, or 35 mph.
These 41-foot-long, 5,000-plus flying machines could carry an addition 3,000 pounds of cargo, such as two pilots, two crew and 11-14 troops.
The public is invited to come see the Vietnam-era birds at the airport Sunday.
Creighton said there will be a small reception inside the airport for American Huey 369 and helicopter crew members will be on hand for photos and to answer questions.