Collection Highlights

Bell CH-135 “Twin Huey”

Artifact No.: 1998.0851 


Highlights:

  • An American military utility helicopter manufactured by Bell Aircraft Corporation / Bell Helicopter Company / Bell Helicopter Textron, starting in 1960
  • Twin-engine version of the single-engine Iroquois, known as the "Huey"
  • Developed through a program funded by the Canadian government, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and Bell Helicopter
  • Fifty operated by Canadian Armed Forces; about six by Canadian Department of Transport
  • Production transferred to Bell Textron Canada Ltd., a world leader in civilian helicopter production in 1988
  • Used worldwide for troop and cargo transport, reconnaissance, medical evacuation, and search-and-rescue work; also used by civilian operators
  • First flight was on October 20, 1956 (XH-40)

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History:

The aircraft nomenclature system introduced by the U.S. Army during the 1950s included the letters HU, which stood for “helicopter utility”. From this, the famous but unofficial nickname “Huey” was derived for the Bell UH-1 Iroquois as the Twin Huey. An American design, it was developed to Canadian specifications and utilized Canadian-built turbine engines. Entering armed forces service in 1971, it has subsequently been purchased by military and civilian operators worldwide. Production was transferred to Bell Textron Canada Ltd in 1988 and over 900 of the type have been delivered as major exports.

The twin-engine installation is coupled to a combining gearbox and single output shaft that drives a semi-rigid rotor, endowing the helicopter with increased reliability and safety. Used for troop and cargo transport, reconnaissance, medical evacuation and search and rescue work, the Twin Huey was replaced in 1996-97 by the newer Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopter.

Current Location:

Reserve Hangar, Canada Aviation and Space Museum

Provenance:

Transfer from Canadian Forces

This CH-135 was manufactured by Bell Aircraft Corporation, at Forth Worth, Texas in 1971, and was taken on strength by the Canadian Armed Forces that same year. It served throughout Canada until the CH-135s were phased out of service in 1997. One of the highlights of the helicopter's career was its use in search and rescue operations in Goose Bay, Labrador in the mid-1970s.

Of the 50 Twin Hueys operated by the Forces, this example was among those that had flown the most hours.

This helicopter was stored in Trenton, Ontario after it was retired from service, and was donated to the Museum in 1998.

Technical Information:

Rotor diameter 14.7 m (48 ft 2 1/2 in)
Length 12.9 m (42 ft 4 in)
Height 4.5 m (14 ft 10 in)
Weight, Empty 2,720 kg (5,997 lb)
Weight, Gross 5,080 kg (11,200 lb)
Cruising Speed 185 km/h (115 mph)
Max Speed 201 km/h (125 mph)
Rate of Climb 400 m (1,320 ft) /min
Service Ceiling 4,570 m (15,000 ft)
Range 420 km (260 miles)
Power Plant 1,290 hp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3 Twin Pac turbine

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