AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter

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(1965)  The UH-1 "Huey" was too slow for the gun ship or escort role. Bell Helicopter won the competition for an interim fast armed escort helicopter while the Army was waiting for the fielding of the AAFSS Ah-56A Cheyenne. The AAFSS program was cancelled in 1972. Bell designed the Cobra using the best features of the UH-1C gun ship. The Cobra uses the basic transmission, modified "540" rotor system, and power plant of the UH-1C, a streamlined fuselage using parts 85% in common with the UH-1D tail boom and body, combined with the nose components from the experimental Bell (model 207) Sioux Scout. The original Bell (model 209) featured an Emerson chin-turret mounting two 7.62mm "Miniguns" and had fully-retractable skids. The AH-1G Cobra featured a computerized stability-augmentation system, in place the short weighted gyro-stabilizer bar originally used on the Bell (model 47) OH-13 Sioux. The AH-1G was powered by a single Lycoming T53-L-13B 1400 shp engine.

The Bell (model 209) AH-1G Cobra featured a new wide-bladed rotor and slim fuselage that gave it twice the speed of the UH-1B "Huey". It could could loiter over the target area three times as long, and had an improved armament system over previous gun ships. Tandem seating of the two crew members the Cobra, with a width of just 38 inches, presented a much smaller target than the 100 inch wide UH-1 "Huey". The Cobra had a two-bladed semi-rigid seesaw bonded all metal main rotor and two-bladed rigid delta hinge bonded all metal tail rotor. The AH-1G Cobra's mission was direct aerial fire support, armed escort, and reconnaissance.

The AH-1G Cobra, or "Snake", was armed with 2.75 inch (70mm) Folding Fin Aerial Rockets (FFARs) in M158 seven-tube or M200 19-tube rocket launchers, and a chin-turret on the M28/M28A1 armament subsystem. The chin-turret mounted the M134 7.62mm "Minigun" and the M129 40mm grenade launcher. The AH-1G could also be armed with a single M134 "Minigun" in a XM64 (TAT-102) chin-turret, the M134 "Minigun" in fixed side-mounting M18/M18A1 gun pod, and the port (left) side mounting M195 20mm automatic gun on the M35 armament subsystem. The AH-1G could also mount the M118 smoke grenade dispenser.

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