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Aircraft Release : Bell Civilian UH-1 by Nimbus Simulations


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UH-1 Civilian_Header.jpg


Aircraft Release : Bell Civilian UH-1 by Nimbus Simulations


When Nimbus Simulations released their excellent Bell UH-1 "Huey" in September 2019, they noted at the time they would be doing a "Civilian" version of the UH-1, and here it is. Plus it comes with a few nice configurations as well, a Basic seating version, Medical version, Crop spraying version, and an unexpected Fire Fighting version... all very nice to have in a single model. There is a separate Float (Water) variant also included.


There was a lot of shouting initially that this new release is a full repurchase of the aircraft? If you don't have the earlier UH-1 Military "Huey" then yes it is the full price of US$37.95, but if you do own already the "Huey", then this civilian addon comes with a 40% discount, or US$22.77, which is still great value for what you get included here.



We have to note the installation early, because it has elements that require explaining. There are two separate downloads;

  • Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6
  • civilian uh-1 liveries

When the packages are opened the "Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6" pack has two more folders;

  • Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6
  • Nimbus Firefighting v1.0

The "Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6" folder goes into your aircraft folder, but the "Nimbus Firefighting v1.0" goes into your Resources/Plugins folder (Not in the aircraft folder?). The contents of "civilian uh-1 liveries" folder called "Liveries", is now placed into your "Nimbus Civilian UH-1 v1.6" aircraft folder...  slightly complicated but easily doable.


Recommended is the "Use Experimental flight model" to be ON, and the "Flight models per frame" to be set at 4. X-Plane commands (Keys), also need to be set as well to cover or activate the external operations and mostly for the hoist controls.


Bell Civilian UH-1 by Nimbus Simulations

I went over most of the major details of the instruments and the exceptional detail in the earlier Helicopter Review : Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" by Nimbus Simulations, so I won't go over the same intimate descriptions again, but I will note the highlights.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 1.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 2.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 3.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 4.jpg


Externally the UH-1 in Civilian form is very similar to the military version, but there is one major difference. (you can choose) to have the original older tail configuration, or a more "Modernised Tail" that is more efficient and it gives you more rudder authority.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 5.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 6.jpg


It certainly looks very different from the original tail shape, and the difference in yaw feel is highly effective.


The Float variant is excellent, the pontoons are absolutely HUGE, and really well done here, note the excellent well modeled attachment frame to the fuselage, but there are no wheels, just the water based pontoons.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Float 1.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Float 2.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Float 3.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Float 4.jpg


There also three choices in texture detail...  High, Medium and Low (But only one selection for the float variant, and is my guess the "High"), all are provided by .acf choices in the menu... this covers most low rent computers, but to be honest, even the "High" choice is not a framerate killer, but the options does give choices to those that run X-Plane on laptops and etc...


Rotor head design and detail is again outstanding, and all the elements are fully animated (again I did a full rotor description in the earlier review) to the movement of the controls.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 7.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 8.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 9.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 10.jpg


Tail rotor and yaw animations, are also perfectly created, wonderful seeing them all again and it brings back to you the sheer quality of the detail presented here.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 11.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_head 12.jpg


I had a small beef about the green roof tinted windows in the "Huey" review, this aspect to a point it has been fixed...  but only internally, but viewed externally they are still clear...  but anything is still better than nothing.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Green 1.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Green 2.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Green 3.jpg



The six original menu tabs of: Checklist, Maintenance, Controls Position, CoPilot, Weight & Balance and Doors & Accessories are all still present and mostly unchanged from the "Huey" version...  but added in for the Civilian is a new menu option called "Configuration"


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 1.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 2.jpg


Another addition is a "Mini Menu" lower left of your screen, this can be thankfully switched off in the main banner (plugins) menu....


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 4.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 3.jpg


...  but it is a little odd to use, you can only show the MIni-Menu or not, nor it does not flip out of sight when not selected, so unless you are willing to put up with it consistently or if needed or required on the screen, then it is either on or off, which does not make any sense really, why not just use the drop down menu? You can however use the "Key" command function to also toggle the "Mini Menu", and that works far better...  and to note that all the earlier set "Key" commands on the "Huey" settings, also work for the Civilian version.


Again a full description of the menu details are in the "Huey" review, but minus the door mounted guns!


All the great features are still here, opening doors and you can take them off as well, pilots and crew are all here are dressed in civvy gear, and not the heavy military uniforms. There are two pilots and eleven crew, a lot, count them all.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 5.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 6.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 7.jpg


Cockpit is exactly the same instrument panel layout with the same authentic feel and the perfect details of an original UH-1... note the AviTab plugin feature provided.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Cockpit 1.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Cockpit 2.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Cockpit 3.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Cockpit 4.jpg



The "Configurations" menu is quite extensive. Top of the list is a co-pilot bubble window and upper fuselage steps, then the expansive (HUGE) spraying crop dusting boom, that is really well done.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 8.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 9.jpg


The "Bambi" Bucket and the "FireFighter" module is fitted below (only the FireFighting Module is shown here, as we will look at the Bambi Bucket when in the air). The Simplex Firefighting tank module is simply sensational in detail, highly realistic in design, shape and attachment. Note the hanging hose.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 10.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 11.jpg


The Medivac option is also simply excellent, you can choose to have the patient visible or not, and the medical equipment detail is just really, really well done, the best Medivac layout yet for X-Plane.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 12.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 13.jpg


Lower nose mirrors can be attached, and the next option is the "Modernised Tail" of which we have already noted.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 14.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 15.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 16.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 17.jpg


Next is the "Internal hoist", which is again simply sensational in detail. You have to set the "Key" Commands to use it (or any hoist on the aircraft) on the "Keyboard Menu" in "deploy", "extend" and "retract". However the quality and action of the hoist is again the best yet I have seen.


There is also the option for an "External" hoist positioned on the upper cabin on the right side, quality and detail is again excellent...


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 18.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 19.jpg


....   the UH-1 already comes with a mid-mounted under fuselage attachment hook for a third carrying point.


You can also switch over from the older Radio Comm units to a more "Modern" avionic fit-out...


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 20.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 21.jpg


THE GNS 530 stays the same in both configurations, but the older style panels are replaced by a BendixKing KX 165 Comm unit (COM2/NAV2)...  (COM1/NAV1 is set in the GNS 530), BendixKing KR 67 ADF unit, BendixKing KR 71 Transponder and bottom a BendixKing KMA 24 Radio. The centre panel does look far more empty and even quite sterile with the newer radio elements, but it is also more convenient and familar to use.


Last two options on the configuration menu is a large white external carry basket, and two front seats in the cabin.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 22.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Menu 23.jpg


Fire Fighting

The biggest feature of the Nimbus Civilian is the "FireFighting" role playing. There is a separate window to be used and it is accessed via the "Nimbus FireFighter" window in the plugins banner menu...


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 1.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 2.jpg


...  there is also a control panel situated just above the GNS 530 gps unit.


The pop-up on screen panel has three actions...  Fire, Activate and Reset, to start you press the centre "Activate" to start up the plugin, and when "Active" it turns green, this is also reflected on the Configurations Menu. Obviously the underbelly "FireFighter" module has to be selected.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 3.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 4.jpg


First you have to set up your fire(s). In my case I did a low pass and then pressed the "Fire" symbol repeatedly to create the fire line. You can do this with up to a huge (firestorm!) 300 fires, but here I did a row of twelve fires...


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 11.jpg


That done it was now time to do the fire bombing water run...  but two things first. If you are not happy with your fire spread, you can reset the fires to zero and start again by pressing the right "Reset" symbol. Secondly, you know how much water you have on board via not only the water control unit on the upper centre console, but there is also a four light water level marker (in the tank) right in front of you (arrowed below right).


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 10.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 9.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 5.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 6.jpg


I set the "Open Tank Doors" trigger to my joystick, via the "Joystick" menu (you can also use a key setting), but note, that to not have the trigger available in a too vulnerable position, as if you accidentally hit it (like I did), then your water load is quickly gone? And it is actually very hard to get back up to the full tank level again.


So I did a bombing run and pressed (my inner trigger button) and dropped the water load and was soon snuffing out two fires...


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 7.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 8.jpg


It is a lot of fun, but it is not as all as easy as it all looks either...  a full heavy underbelly tank makes the UH-1 very, very unbalanced and nervy (It already has a habit of leaning heavily sideways to the right with the twin blade configuration), and also as the water is used (or dropped) then the aircraft becomes suddenly normally lighter...  it also becomes unstable after rebalancing the weight, so it needs a lot of control (and some very steady nerves) to get it right...  Underbelly tank detail and animation is again absolutely first rate.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 12.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 13.jpg


With all my (water) resources gone, I headed to the nearest lake to refill the underbelly tank...  oddly there is no option to refill the tanks on land? So if you use up the water, it is gone completely unless you do this complicated refill routine...  and that can be far easier said than done, as the UH-1 is very tricky machine in the low hover...  you can do a hard refill of the tank by closing X-Plane down completely, and then restarting, but that is a messy simulation breaking option, I think you should have the (lazy) quick option of refilling even if it is not authentic to the mission, a ground tank appearing when refilling the water would also be a nice option.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 19.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 14.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 15.jpg


Again you have to set up a "Command" (key) option to pump up the water into the tank, Water/Command "Water pump on", and hold the key down to make it work in sucking up the water...  the indicator on your instrument panel shows you how much water there is in the tank and all four dots of green says it's full...


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 16.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 17.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 18.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 20.jpg


...   once full it is quickly back into the firefight.


A second FireFighting option is the Bambi bucket. This is again selected in the "Configuration" menu (above the FireFighter selection). Again the plugin has to be "Active" to use the Bambi Bucket. Trivia... "Bambi Bucket" isn't a nickname. It's actually a trademarked name owned by Canadian industrial fabrics manufacturer SEI Industries, and also nothing at to do with a small fawn (deer).


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Bambi 2.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_FireFighting 22.jpg


There is more to do to attach the Bambi bucket than just selecting it from the configurations menu, as you also have to attach it to the aircraft...  this process is the same for also attaching all the eight sling (Slung) loads provided...  and they include; Air Conditioning Unit, Generator, Single Logs, Logs, Small Container (quite large and heavy actually), Air Compressor, Hook and a Person.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads 3.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads 4.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads 8.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads 5.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads 6.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads 7.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads 9.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads 10.jpg


To attach the load you have to go to your X-Plane "Weight, Balance & Fuel" Menu...   Then select "Select New" and up comes the UH-1 Civilian aircraft folder, from there you select the "Slungload" folder...


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads A.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads B.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads C.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads D.jpg


In the open folder you then select the "Load" you want via it's "Object" symbol (not the images). If you want to change the load then when you go back to the "Weight, Balance & Fuel" menu, you now have the option to "Select New" again, but this time it will take you directly to the "Slungload" folder for another selection. You can remove the slung load by pressing the "Remove Slung Load" button, but I found pressing the "Restore Defaults" button a better, quicker and cleaner option. The noted "Hook" object is required to be selected to use the Bambi bucket feature.


You can adjust the Length of your cable or note the Maximum Length of the cable by the settings at the bottom of the Configure menu panel.


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Loads E.jpg


A note that these load items are ridiculously heavy for this sized chopper, the weight will swing you like a pendulum, with you as the lighter partner...  It will take a lot of skill (and an immense amount of patience) to get it right, not only in the takeoff, and lift phase, but even when changing any direction in flight... one small mistake, and your easily cactus, Note no Helicopters were hurt while compiling this review, but it came very, very close a lot of times.



There are nine liveries provided for the USA, Canada and Australia. Included are Tasman (CAN/Default)), Airfast (AUS), C-GEAG (CAN), CalFire (USA), King County (USA), Plain White, Tennessee State Trooper (USA), Vahalla (CAN) and Fleet Helicopters (AUS).


Nimbus UH-1 Civilian_Liveries_Tasman.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Liveries_Airfast.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Liveries_C-GEAG.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Liveries_CalFire.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Liveries_King County.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Liveries_Plain White.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Liveries_TST.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Liveries Valhalla.jpgNimbus UH-1 Civilian_Liveries Fleet.jpg




This is the Civilian version to the Nimbus Simulations UH-1 "Huey" helicopter released in Sept-2019. The UH-1 is the famous renowned twin-blade "Vietnam War" chopper, but it is also highly used in a civil form (there was a lot of reused military aircraft) in a load of different services and roles. This Civil release does cover a lot of those roles and civil services.


The original "Huey" was already a very highly featured machine and extremely well modeled and highly detailed, so quality wise and performance wise it is already a very exemplary machine, but to note it is a tricky handling aircraft due to it's twin-blade configuration.


All the same huge feature list on the "Huey" version are replicated here (except for the machine guns!) and include; Checklist, Maintenance, Controls Position, CoPilot, Weight & Balance, Doors & Accessories and a long feature and menu list it is, in reality you are won't for nothing, including opening doors, door removal, thirteen crew and a highly authentic UH-1 instrument panel.


The Civilian feature list is just as long...   There are a load of configurations you can do; Floats (Water Variant), Medivac, Crop Spraying, Police work, SAR (Search & Rescue) with working hoists...    but the highlight is the FireFighting roles with both an active underbelly tank or Bambi Bucket to put out a created (up to 300) fires, by dropping the internal or carried water loads. There are is also the option(s) to carry eight slung loads under the helicopter. There is also the option to have the original UH-1 tail, or a more modernised version.


All the different roles and the installed equipment are all extremely well done and of high quality and give you a huge variation of challenges to show off your flying skill sets. Odd points are that the upper green windows are clear from the external view. And there is no quick refill option to fill up your water tank if you accidentally drop your water load (guilty as charged m'lord). Refilling the tank can be very challenging and requires a lot of skill and it is also time-consuming (if very authentic)... so a quick apron fill would be a nice quicker option.


Users complained that it was expensive to repurchased the same aircraft again, but that is not the case if you already own the original Nimbus "Huey" aircraft, as you will get 40% off the price for the Civilian version...  even with that aspect, the amount of extra features and detail presented here is to the extreme, and in both cases and well worth the investment.


Challenging, Adventurous, Role Playing...  the Nimbus UH-1 Civilian has it all and more....  Highly Recommended.



X-Plane Store logo sm.jpg


The Bell UH-1 Iroquois Civilian by Nimbus Simulations is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store

Civilian UH-1

Priced at US$37.95


The Bell UH-1 Iroquois "Huey" by Nimbus Simulations is also available! from the X-Plane.Org Store
Nimbus UH-1

Priced at US$30.36 (20% off)


Customers who already own the UH-1 can get this non-civilian version for 40% OFF


  •    High quality 3D model
  •     High, medium or low skids
  •     Floats version
  •     Firefighting module
  •     Several objects for external load operations.
  •     PBR textures
  •     High quality 4K textures
  •     VR ready
  •     Black and also white panel and interior
  •     Nothing beats the sound of a helicopter sound in real live so we are using High quality professionally recorded sounds to give you a realistic experience, every switch and knob, doors, guns, blade slap, engine and rotor sound is there.
  •     Vibrations play a big role on helicopters, the Nimbus UH-1 is full of animations and vibrations.
  •     Accurate systems simulation, fuel, electric and hydraulic systems are simulated, all the logic of switches, warnings and annunciators is present.
  •     Accurate handling and flight characteristics
  •     Accurate performance based on performance charts.
  •     Realistic night lightning with custom lights and textures.
  •     Particle system.
  •     8 liveries and a white one for repaints.
  •     SASL powered

Firefighting module

A highly requested feature is now available, easily create fires and then fight them with your helicopter, use the belly tank or the bambi bucket to extinguish them.


   Windows for managing maintenance, weight and balance, doors and accessories, joystick position, copilot, configuration and checklists.


    Chose the equipment you want installed on your helicopter, firefighting (bambi or tank), crop dusting, medical, hoists, modern or classic radios, basket, bubble window and modernized tail are some of the options available.

Maintenance module:

    if you want a more realistic experience you can choose if you want the helicopter to require maintenance with time and usage, depending on how you fly and engine exceedance the mechanical components will degrade and performance will be affected.


    We created a "copilot" module that will allow you to hand over control and forget about flying so you can move to the back, enjoy the view, the sound

Weight and balance:

    A graphic interface gives you the chance to modify the cargo, passengers, fuel and CG, handling of the helicopter will change depending on the CG lateral and longitudinal position.

Doors and accessories:

    Doors opened or closed, wire cutter or not.....customize it as you want.


    Checklist are easily accessible through the menu on the left, this window will also allow you to see some performance charts.

Joystick position indicator:

    A small window on the right bottom corner will show the position of your controls, it seems simple but is a very good way to refine your flight technique.



X-Plane 11

Windows, Mac or Linux
4 GB VRAM Minimum - 8 GB VRAM Recommended
Download Size: 750 MB
Current and Review version : 1.6 (June 28th 2021)

Installation and documents:

Download for the Bell UH-1 Civilian is 711 Mb  and the unzipped file is deposited in the aircraft "Helicopter" X-Plane folder. The civilian uh-1 liveries are a separate download at 965 Mb...  and is deposited in the main Civilian aircraft folder.


The "Nimbus Firefighting v1.0" Folder is deposited in the X-Plane Resources/Plugin folder


Total aircraft install is: 1.80 Gb


The AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft.



One manual that is required reading, not only for the install, but for activation of the complex features (33 pages)

  • Manual CIVILIAN UH_1 V1.6



Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 

3rd July 2021

Copyright©2021 : X-Plane Reviews


(Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions)


Review System Specifications: 

Computer System: Windows  - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1Tb gb SSD 

Software:   - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55

Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose  Soundlink Mini

Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.9

Scenery or Aircraft

- KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.99


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  • Stephen changed the title to Aircraft Release : Bell Civilian UH-1 by Nimbus Simulations

It's a very interesting helicopter, especially as a firefighter who has been involved in a lot of forest fires in real life, and it's a lot of fun to experience a UH-1 civilian fire in the game. We only have mi-171 and kalmov helicopters in our country. Playing the UH-1 was a pleasure, especially in VR. It feels real. I have a suggestion. Can I see water fetching and fire fighting in playback mode? This feature can't be seen in playback, and I can't see what I've done before.

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