BRISTOW, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium received a repaired treasure on Wednesday.

Its Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter arrived back at the museum on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

The Bell UH-1 Iroquois, better known as a “Huey”, first flew in 1956 and entered full production in 1960. It played an integral role throughout the Vietnam War. 

The museum says this Huey will be an ongoing restoration project and museum guests will be able to check on its progress.  The museum says a Vietnam War veteran, who served as a Huey crew chief, will lead a team of volunteers as they work on finishing the project. 

Photo of the Huey helicopter on the trailer before being hauled from Bristow to the Tulsa Air & Space Museum.

The museum is accepting donations for the project, which includes selling commemorative bricks to honor Vietnam War veterans.

The aircraft was hauled from a repair facility in Bristow to the museum by Melton Truck Lines. The company used one of its specially-wrapped trucks for the job.

“We are honored to partner with the Tulsa Air and Space Museum on this historical project,” said Russ Elliott, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Melton Truck Lines, Inc.  “With nearly 30% of our company consisting of military members, we are always eager to accept opportunities that recognize our veterans. The project’s delivery to TASM will serve as an exhibit to be appreciated by all and an exceptional tribute to those who have sacrificed for our country.”

The Huey was the first turbine-powered helicopter produced for the U.S. military. More than 16,000 have been built. 

The Iroquois was originally designated the HU-1, which quickly earned it the nickname "Huey." The nickname stuck, ever after the helicopter's official designation was changed to UH-1 in 1962. 

The museum says this is the same Huey that was badly damage in an accident on Veterans Day in 2013.

 

It was being hauled to the Tulsa Veterans Day Parade, when the cable holding one of its rotors came loose and the rotor struck an overhead sign, knocking the helicopter off the trailer. The impact broke off the boom and the clean-up crew had to cut its rotor blades off in order to remove its cabin from the highway.