The MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopter from Boeing will replace the legendary UH-1N Huey
The MH-139A Grey Wolf will replace Bell’s legendary UH-1N Huey helicopter, adopted for service back in 1970. The corresponding $285 million contract for the construction of 13 helicopters was signed by the U.S. Air Force and the manufacturing company Boeing.
The Grey Wolf was not created from scratch. Its “father” – a commercial helicopter AW139, which allowed Boeing to use ready-made components and proven designs, and the Air Force – to save about $1 billion.
However, such economy had no effect on the performance characteristics of the new machine: the flight range and speed compared to Huey increased by 50% and payload – by 2.3 tons. Cockpit conditions have also become more comfortable – the cabin has increased by almost a third.
The latest avionics multiplies the information awareness of the crew and gives the prospect of transition to flying in fully autonomous mode. The Grey Wolf also boasts reduced maintenance time – it requires only 1.3 hours of technician time for every hour of flight.
According to Azim Khan, Boeing’s program director for MH-139, the company hopes to begin deliveries of the new helicopters as early as 2024.
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