The “New” Huey Arrives

Air Education and Training Command recently received two TH-1H helicopters, essentially old UH-1H Hueys that were stripped bare and rebuilt by technicians at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center and contractor Lockheed Martin in Georgia. The effort began in December 2004 at the instigation of AETC which faced a growing problem as elderly UH-1 parts have become more and more scarce. The first revamped Huey began testing in July 2005. According to Lisa Jackson, TH-1H program manager at the WRALC, the TH-1H helicopter with its glass cockpit will better prepare student pilots for the more modern aircraft they will fly operationally. Lockheed program official Alfred Woods said, “AETC made a wise decision to take an old platform like this Huey and basically run it through a shop and upgrade it. … By doing that, we were able to produce an aircraft at about $2.5 million a copy. If we wee buying a new helicopter, we’d pay in excess of $15 million.” AETC expects to get 24 TH-1H Huey II aircraft by Fiscal 2011, about two years later than originally anticipated. The command now expects to begin using the new trainer with its helicopter classes this fall. (Includes Robins report by Holly Birchfield)