At this year’s 25th annual Thunder Over Michigan hosted by the Yankee Air Museum, visitors can take flight in a Vietnam-era military UH-1 Huey ‘Greyhound’ Helicopter and other historic aircraft. Take a ride with us for a sneak peek of what you can expect during the flight!  

Destination Ann Arbor marketing colleagues, Maria and Christine, had the opportunity to ride in the UH-1 Huey Helicopter at Willow Run Airport. Join them as they share their adventurous experience and find out how you can take this flight of a lifetime! 


RIDING THE UH-1 HUEY HELICOPTER  

When the opportunity came to fly in a UH-1 Huey ‘Greyhound’ Helicopter, we felt a sense of reverence experiencing aviation history firsthand. Given the historical significance of the aircraft and a love for new experiences, this moment left a lasting impression, reminding us of the helicopter’s legacy and the individuals who have flown in these very seats in years’ past. It felt surreal to participate in this living history experience. 

 
THE AIRCRAFT: 

The UH-1 Huey is a historic Vietnam-era military helicopter in service from 1967-71, that helped those wounded to evacuate, among other military uses, and are recognized as one of the most iconic helicopters in the world. This 57-foot long, two-bladed powerhouse has a 10-person capacity and a cruising speed of 127 miles per hour.  Click here to learn more about the UH-1 HueyBack of huey helicopter

TAKING FLIGHT 

Chief Pilot Jim Wise shared stories about his time in the military, including a few stories about this specific aircraft and flights they’ve experienced together.  We toured the helicopter, learned about its battle wounds, and prepared for the open-door flight. 

Pilot and passenger on huey helicopter

Both of us enjoyed our on-ground tour and discussion, and now it was time to take off! After a short safety briefing, we each took our seats on separate sides of the helicopter, facing outwards, with the doors wide open. Our feet were just inches away from the edge. This was about to be a wild ride.  

As the blades started picking up speed, the wind began to roar. The helicopter rose from the ground and away we went! The next 8 minutes were purely exhilarating, with wind in our hair, adrenaline rushing, and full of adventurous thrills. The ride was smooth and gave us a floating feel, different from a commercial airplane. Huey helicopter view

Seeing Ypsilanti from a new perspective was a special experience- 1,500 feet above ground! We appreciated the greenery and flying over Ford Lake, plus familiar Ypsi landmarks in the distance.  While preparing to land, we appreciated this shared unique experience. While it may have been a little nerve-racking to start, we were grateful to take the chance, and would most definitely do this again!   

view from the huey helicopter


OUR TAKEAWAY 

The Yankee Air Museum is preserving the stories of US history through creating experiences like flying in the Huey Helicopter, reminding us of its historical past, while creating a positive story and memory in the present. This flight welcomes passengers who have lived through and have flown in the helicopter during the war period, present-day aviation lovers and family members, and those looking to find new adventures.   

Don’t miss your chance to fly in the Huey or other historic aircraft at this year’s Thunder Over Michigan, August 12-13 at Willow Run Airport. Click here to learn more about Thunder Over Michigan

Thunder Over Michigan | August 12-13

MORE DETAILS  

This is an 8-minute helicopter ride. Passengers are required to sign a release of liability. Expect loud noises, some ear protection is provided. Sneakers are preferred. If you have long hair, we recommend you put it up. As weather permits, the helicopter doors will be open on both sides. Passengers must be able to get in and out of aircraft on their own volition or minimal amount of assistance to ensure their safety. Please click here to learn more about quick tips for your flight.  

 

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