Our most important remaining project is the procurement of a UH-1C/M gunship to be recreated as AMERICAN WOMAN (65-09438).
We have chosen this aircraft for reasons similar to those used in the selection of 309, not to mention that she was named after a contemporary rock & roll tune that has great sex appeal of its own!
By getting EMU 309 up and running, we hope to generate enough interest from Bell/Textron, the Army or someone’s congressman to convince the Army to release one of the White Sands’ ships or to abrogate the regulation on bringing one back to the U.S. from El Salvador. Thus far, attempts at both of these options have failed.
438 was the 4th longest serving gunship in the TAIPANS and was crewed at one time or another by both Geoff Carr and Peter Olesko in 1971. As with 309, Peter has some striking photographs of 438 that make her a natural for recreation.
Because the clock is ticking on surviving UH-1C/M gunships more quickly than for slicks, EMU INC.’s original plan was to procure a gunship first, then a slick. This changed when it became impractical to locate and procure a UH-1C/M that could readily be made airworthy. After much investigation, our best guess is that there may be only fifteen to twenty UH-1C/M gunships left in the world that could be made airworthy relatively easily.
Regrettably, these aircraft are either at White Sands, New Mexico being used as drones to be destroyed in an Army testing program for a new anti-aircraft system or in El Salvador, where federal law makes it impossible to return them to the United States.