19 Sep 2015

Air Force sells off Iroquois helicopters

6:39 pm on 19 September 2015

The Air Force has sold most of its Iroquois helicopters to an American spare parts company for up to $5 million.

An Iroquois military helicopter.

An Iroquois military helicopter. Photo: 123rf

After 50 years' service, the fleet was retired in June and 10 of the 13 choppers - commonly known as "Hueys" during the Vietnam War - have now been been sold to Dakota Air Parts in the United States.

Retired Air Vice-Marshal Robin Klitscher flew Iroquois in more than 3000 sorties in Vietnam in the early 1970s.

That included transporting and resupplying troops, emergency evacuations of the wounded, and flying the helicopters as gunships.

He also flew them in New Zealand and Fiji.

He said at the time, the Iroquois UH-1 was an innovative workhorse, and a classic of its day, like the DC3 and Boeing 747 aircraft.