THE US BORDER Patrol is expected to begin using five LHTEC T800-powered Bell UH-1H Hueys in April 1995 for drug interdiction and patrols.

The last of the five UH-1Hs is being fitted with its T800 engine at the US Army's Fort Rucker Aviation Technical Test Center in Alabama. LHTEC, the joint Allison Engines/AlliedSignal company, says that the first three UH-1Hs have amassed 120h flying time to date. One helicopter is in flight tests at Edwards AFB, California, while another is undergoing electro-magnetic interference testing.

The T800s have been loaned by the US Army to the Border Patrol for a one-year evaluation. The Army bought them for the RAH-66 Comanche attack-helicopter programme. A successful trial could lead to a contract to re-engine a further 20 UH-1Hs. The standard powerplant for the helicopter is the Lycoming T53.

Source: Flight International