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UH-1C Gunship Configurations

Pat Eastes (Bob Tayor, Tom Fleming, Bruce Powell)

see UH-1C Tail Numbers and Conversion to XM21 Minigun System

The Huey UH-1C is a UH-1B with improved engine, modified blades and rotor-head for better performance in the gunship role. 767 of them were built.

In combat we found out quickly that the UH-1B gunship lacked the power necessary to carry weapons and ammunition and keep up with transport Hueys. Hence, the UH-1C upgrade, designed specifically for the gunship role, was performed.

We need more information on the "M" model that followed the "C".

The UH-1C Huey's with its more powerful engine and 540 rotor system were configured differently for the two roles of Scouting and Heavy Weapons.

Heavy Weapons (Hog): Usually quickly identified by the 40mm (chunker) cannon on the nose, and larger rocket pods (19 tube or 24 tube on each side. No flexguns.

Heavy Scout: The Heavy Scout version had two seven tube rocket pods (one on each side) fired by the pilot and a flex gun system (4 M60 machine guns "XM-16 System" or 2 miniguns "XM-23 System") fired by the pilot in command (right seat). No weapon on the nose.



MinnieHogMinnie Hog: There were other configurations like this one; a cross between the two above.

This photo of the Minnie Hog may have been taken in mid 1968.

The gunner was John K. Hart. Can you get us more info on him?

Did you fly it? How many rockets could be loaded and still get off the ground?

Do you remember working on this aircraft or others like it?

You fellows from 69 thru 72: Did you have such a configuration? Pictures? Stories? Names? Tail numbers?

Rick Williams left Nam in Aug 68 and he remembers a conversion from the 7 rocket pods to the 19 rocket pods (like the photo). Pat Eastes left Nam in Aug 68 and he took the photo. A good guess from these notes would say the conversion took place between April and August of 68. Your input please.

minihogTaylorPat Eastes: I think it had a L13 engine to make it a M model. Maybe more ships were configured that way after I deros'd in August, I don't know. I remember that we all wanted to fly the minihog because it could carry so much and even hover.

Bob Taylor: We tried loading the 19 rocket pods on 444 but she didn’t have enough strength to pull it. EGT went into the red the minute we tried to hover. So we went back to the 7 rocket pods and she still had them when I left in June of 68.

We only had one ship with the strength to pull both the miniguns and the 38 rockets. Here is what it looked like (photo to the left) but for the life of me I can't remember the tail number.

xm21444Bob Taylor: Other then the short try out with the larger pods, this is the only configuration we had on 444 (photo to the right; Heavy Scout)

Tom Fleming: The conversion of a UH-1C to a UH-1M entailed more than an L-13 engine. It required a modified air intake system plus some other changes. I think C to M happened at depot, (during the 67 era) however by mid 1968 or 69 it is conceivable that l-13 engines became available for the UH-1Cs that D Troop had about the time that l13 engines were going into UH-1D making them like a UH-1Hs.



The older Heavy Scouts had 4 M-60 machine guns, two on each side. They were flex guns fired by the Pilot in Command. Called the XM-16 System.

The quad M60 machine gun armament kit was an M16 nomenclature shown below.


XM-16 System: Boresighted and harmonized to converge at 700 meters. Rockets to converge at 1250 meters.

Can be used simultaneusly engage dual targets.

M60 Flex guns fired by the left seat (PIC) using flexible sighting station. Right seat pilot (Copilot) can fire the M60's when they are in the stowed position using the XM60 Infinity sight (or grease pencil mark on the windshield) and firing button on the control cyclic.

D Troop received the M21 Minigun kits in June July 1967. I don't remember the 116 AHC at Chu Chi having Miniguns. When they arrived I vividly remember Adolpho Eshenwald firing them one night for the first time and blurting out "Look at those Fooking Minnie Guns" and all of us laughing our sides off and being amazed at seeing them in action for the first time. Before that we saw the miniguns firing only from Spooky or Moon Glow but never from an Army helicopter.