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Bell Model 209 (AH-1) "HueyCobra"
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Bell AH-1 Cobra

In 1965 the US Army finalised its requirement for the world's first armed battlefield helicopter, the Bell AH-1 Cobra, often called the HueyCobra.

The idea had arisen before Vietnam, but the Cobra arrived on the scene just when it was needed in the Southeast Asia conflict. The AH-1 featured a streamlined, narrow-width fuselage that accommodated a two-man crew in tandem seats with the pilot above and behind the co-pilot/gunner.

The US Army progressively improved this fine helicopter. The engine power, performance and armament had all been enhanced by 1972 when the AH-1 proved especially valuable during the North Vietnamese offensive. Already successful using guns and rockets for direct support of ground troops, the Cobras were pitched against Communist PT-76 light tanks.

The early design was so effective that improved versions of the AH-1 Cobra were ordered for the Army and the US Marine Corps. Beginning in the 1970s, twin-engined versions replaced 'first generation' HueyCobras. These newer combat helicopters still remain with some units.


R.Jackson "Helicopters. Military, Civilian, and Rescue Rotorcraft", 2005




-- Edited by Stingray on Tuesday 1st of June 2010 09:38:58 PM



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the picture you have of the cobra firing missiles is a bit wrong if that pic was taken in nam, because it has the US navy's version of the canopy which was only installed after nam when the navy started to purchase cobras.



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scorpio213 wrote:

the picture you have of the cobra firing missilesis a bit wrongif that pic was taken in nam, because it has the US navy's version of the canopy which was only installed after nam when the navy started to purchase cobras.



Sorry but you're wrong about that. The aircraft in the picture is the AH-1G "Snake", a modified version of the Cobra that was first deployed in Vietnam on September 1967. It was used extensively in a variety of missions ranging from armed escort and reconnaissance to fire suppression and aerial rocket artillery.

More pictures:



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realy, i never knew that, thanks for the info

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Stingray wrote:

Bell AH-1 Cobra



 Howdy, I'm new around here and the AH-1 Cobra is my second favorite aircraft, just behind the venerable UH-1.  The above photo shows the second pre-production Cobra during weapons testing.  Below is the lineage of the AH-1 Cobras fielded by the US Army.  Photos are from teh US Army Aviation Museum archives at Ft. Rucker, Alabama.

      Ray

Bell 207 (Sioux Scout).  Great Great grandfather of all Cobras.  Built in house by Bell on a OH-13 frame to test tandem seating and dedicated gunship configuration:

1619.jpg

N209J, the Cobra prototype.  Characterized by retractable landing skids.  The retractable skids were never intended for production aircraft, but the designers thought it made the bird loook "like she was going 5 knots faster" in flight.

6591.jpg

The second Cobra.  This is the bird in the first photo of this thread.  Note the taper around the chin turret like N209J and the fixed skids.

AH-10364.jpg

Early production G model.  This was the Cobra first sent to Vietnam.  Note the left handed tail rotor.  The tail rotor was enlarged and moved to the right side in the middle of G model production.  This bird is Bearcat 15, a US Army Aviation Test Board bird at Ft. Rucker.

AH-1G.jpg

The AH-1Q.  This was the first TOW equipped Cobra.  Basically a G model with the TSU.

AH-1q3.jpg

AH-1S (MOD), similar to teh AH-1Q but produced in much larger numbers.  This is a National Guard bird:

AH-1S.jpg

AH-1P (AH-1S (Prod)), Basically a AH-1S with the flat canopy windows. 

AH-1P.jpg

AH-1E (AH-1S (ECAS)), This was the first major weapons improvement after the addition of TOWs.  ECAS=Enhanced Cobra Armament System.  This bird was aAH-1P fitted with the M197 20mm gun system.  these birds are in Panama I believe.  the AH-1E was also the first Cobra to switch exclusively to teh Kaman type main rotors with the distinctive narrow tips.

AH-1E2.jpg

AH-1F (AH-1S fully modernized), this was the ultimate development of the Cobra in US Army service.  Major changes include:

New IR suppression exhaust
Air Data Sensor (AADS) boom on the canopy right side
Improved Particle Separator (IPS)
Additional scoops (Debris Deflectors) added to inlets on later models
M-130 Chaff dispenser added to the tail boom
Bulge added to left transmission door
Airborne Laser Tracker and/or fairing added to front of doghouse.
IR lights added, including skid light
ALQ-144 on new suppression system
HUD display in ****pit

AH-1F2.jpg



-- Edited by rotorwash on Friday 16th of September 2011 03:49:28 AM

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Welcome to Stingray's forum! This is an overwhelmingly great first post, thanks for the pictures!

There's also a great walkaround of the prototype, and a few Vietnam trials aircraft here...

http://stingraysrotorforum.activeboard.com/t40703016/bell-hueycobra-mods/



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Gunship wrote:

Welcome to Stingray's forum! This is an overwhelmingly great first post, thanks for the pictures!

There's also a great walkaround of the prototype, and a few Vietnam trials aircraft here...

http://stingraysrotorforum.activeboard.com/t40703016/bell-hueycobra-mods/


 Alan,

   Thanks for the welcome.  Regarding those walkaround photos, I took those.  They are from the US Army Aviation Museum old storage facility at Ft Rucker.  She is now in a much nicer building and I have pictures of the interior as welll.  So do you guys want snake photos here or the other thread?

    Ray



-- Edited by rotorwash on Friday 16th of September 2011 11:58:02 AM

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Yeah, post them here if you like. Those are great photos you took of the prototype. I'm sorry I didn't properly credit you as the source, because I saved them before my forum was even built, which means I didn't save many sources at the time.



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Hey there's my avatar in Stingray's post at the top. biggrin



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First here I have a photo of a model showing the earliest concept for the Cobra, project designated D-245. Second is a project for a twin-engined version with wide body and passenger cabin, designated Model 280:



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Stingray wrote:

Yeah, post them here if you like. Those are great photos you took of the prototype. I'm sorry I didn't properly credit you as the source, because I saved them before my forum was even built, which means I didn't save many sources at the time.


 Travis,

  No problemo.  I posted them so they would get shared.  Here are some fo the latest photos I have of N209J.  I took these last month at Ft. Rucker.  I figure some of you guys who are deatil oriented will like these.  You'll notice she has padded seats more like a commercial aircraft and no air conditioning (the hose you normally see running beside the seat in cobra pics).  This bird would have gotten HOT in the summer.  Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy the pics.

   Ray

 

DSC_0195.JPG

Pilot seat:

DSC_0196.JPG

Pilot's Instrument Panel:

DSC_0200.JPG

Gunner's position with sight:

DSC_0212.JPG

Gunner's view of the sight. man it's tight in there!:

DSC_0215.JPG

Here's the data plate:

DSC_0226.JPG

Last pic shows N209J in her new home among a sea a legendary Hueys and Cobras.  I'm like a kid in a well stocked candy store.

DSC_0227.JPG



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Ray, great photos. For a military prototype, that looks like one comfortable ride. So long as it's not operated in the heat, of course.



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For the pilot maybe, but I'd sure hate to be the gunner. disbelief



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Alan,

   You are correct. And, in fact, N209J is NOT a military aircraft.  She was built as an in house project by Bell when they realized that a new dedicated attack helicopter would be needed in Vietnam.  When the Army asked for a dedicated attack helo, they were miles ahead of the competition.  She was flown all over the world to show off the capabilities of the cobra.  IMHO, she is the sexiest attack copter ever produced.  The Sykorsky S-67 is a close second.

   Ray



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Hi everyone, I´m new to this forum. I´m from Germny, so please excuse my English.

There is one thing that puzzles me: Every single book I have states that the N209J and the AH-1G were based on the UH-1C.

But now I got hold of a number of magazine cut outs from the 1960s that say the Cobra (or UH-1H  as it was still called at that time) was based on the UH-1B.

What´s right, what´s wrong?

Thanks!

Luedo34



-- Edited by luedo34 on Friday 30th of September 2011 11:46:04 AM

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luedo34 wrote:

Hi everyone, I´m new to this forum. I´m from Germny, so please excuse my English.

There is one thing that puzzles me: Every single book I have states that the N209J and the AH-1G were based on the UH-1C.

But now I got hold of a number of magazine cut outs from the 1960s that say the Cobra (or UH-1H  as it was still called at that time) was based on the UH-1B.

What´s right, what´s wrong?

Thanks!

Luedo34



-- Edited by luedo34 on Friday 30th of September 2011 11:46:04 AM


 Luedo34,

  Well I'd say they are both right and both wrong.  First off, the magazine has made a typical magazine type error in calling the prototype the UH-1H HueyCobra.  UH stands for Utility Helicopter and the Cobra was designed as a dedicated attack helo from the start.  Perhaps "AH-1H" was used very early in the program, but G comes before H and since the Cobra was in the Huey family, the military went with AH-1G.  The AH-1G HueyCobra was the official name adopted by the Army on March 16, 1967.  The original concept of the tandem seat attack helo was Bell's D-255 "Iroquois Warrior" built as a mockup by bell in 1962.  The D-255 did have a UH-1B tailboom and since it was unveiled before the first UH-1C was even built (64-14101 rolled of the assembly line in 1965) could not have been based on a Charlie model.  Therefore, the first concept of what would be refined as the Cobra did have a tail and powerplent based on the UH-1B.  However, N209J (the first cobra) has a totally different tail than either the UH-1B or UH-1C. The powerplant and rotors however are much like the UH-1C.  Like the UH-1C, the first Cobras used the Lycoming T53 L11 engine and had the door hinge 540 rotor system which was completely different from the 204 rotor system found on the UH-1B.  The blades were wider (27inches vs. 21 inches in the UH-1B) and the rotorhead was different.  However, the Cobra line, including N209J, incorporated SCAS (Stabilization Control Augmentation System) which eliminated the need for the stabalizer bar above the rotorhead (a signature feature on the UH-1 series).  So I would say that the Cobra owes some of it's heritage to both the UH-1B and UH-1C but is really a direct descendant of neither.  Of course that is all in what parts you consider to be the same.  Certainly the engine, transmission, and rotor are much more like the UH-1C than the UH-1B.  Plus the AH-1G has a cambered tail as does the UH-1C as part of the modifications found on helicopters with the 540 rotor system.  I'll try to post pics of all the parts soon but hopefully this helps.

     Ray

  



-- Edited by rotorwash on Friday 30th of September 2011 01:27:36 PM

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Ray, that helps very much. Thanks a lot!

The huge number of AH-1 variants sometimes drives me crazy.

Could anbody, possibly Ray, please  identify these Cobras for me?

Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 



-- Edited by luedo34 on Saturday 1st of October 2011 12:01:40 PM

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Ups, I have just seen, the attached pics are only very small...too small to identify the model.

As I am new to this forum: How can I post post bigger images?

Thanks!

 



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luedo34 wrote:

Ray, that helps very much. Thanks a lot!

The huge number of AH-1 variants sometimes drives me crazy.

Could anbody, possibly Ray, please  identify these Cobras for me?

Thank you!


-- Edited by luedo34 on Saturday 1st of October 2011 12:01:40 PM


 

No problem.  From left to right:

AH-1F (AH-1S fully Modernized):  Note the ADS (Air Data Sensor) above the pilots heads.  It's a dead giveaway.

Either an AH-1P (AH-1S Production) or AH-1E (AH-1S ECAS-Enhanced Cobra Armament System).  No way to tell without seeing the chin turret, but the AH-1G exhaust precludes it being a AH-1F and the flat plate canopy precludes it being a AH-1S (Mod).

Next one is an AH-1S (Mod), usually just called an AH-1S.  Note the rounded canopy, M28 turret, and TOW racks with corresponding TSU (Target Sight Unit).

The two cobras in flight are AH-1E (AH-1S ECAS).  I posted that image or another copy on other forums before.  Note the flat canopy, M197 20mm gun in the turrret and normal AH-1G exhaust.  The F model has a totally different exhaust with baffles to dissipate heat and the ALQ-144 "disco ball" on the back of the transmission housing. 

The last one flying in the woods is a little difficult to tell but I think it's an AH-1E.  It could also be a AH-1P.

Hope that helps.  by the way THIS thread over at ARC should help with all your Army Cobra questions.

    Ray

 



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luedo34 wrote:

Ups, I have just seen, the attached pics are only very small...too small to identify the model.

As I am new to this forum: How can I post post bigger images?

Thanks!


 

This is what I curse ActiveBoard software for everyday, as I have to pay them money I don't have for special features, such as removal of language filter and ability to view full-size attachments.

If the picture is high-resolution, just do what Ray does... hotlink to a reliable image-hosting service, like Photobucket.com, or the free-forever ImageShack.com.



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Great, thanks Ray!

Great link by the way. Is there something comparable for Marine-Cobras?

 

@Stingray: Thanks for the information.  Will do that in the future.

 



-- Edited by luedo34 on Sunday 2nd of October 2011 11:57:58 AM

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Dear Stingray,

any chance to get bigger pics of these two designs, especially the D245?

 

First here I have a photo of a model showing the earliest concept for the Cobra, project designated D-245. Second is a project for a twin-engined version with wide body and passenger cabin, designated Model 280:

 

Thank you !

 

 



-- Edited by luedo34 on Sunday 2nd of October 2011 12:24:56 PM



-- Edited by Stingray on Monday 3rd of September 2012 06:15:08 PM

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Sorry, those are the only pictures I could find regarding those concepts.



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I know the Bell 280 was for a USAF C-SAR chopper proposal.Obviously nothing came of it,but I may have to do a drawing of it.Looks to me like a Bell 230 front attached to say,an AH-1J body,with a TAT turret under the nose and 2x external tanks on stub wings,yea,should be no problem...lol


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rotorwash wrote:
You are correct. And, in fact, N209J is NOT a military aircraft.  She was built as an in house project by Bell when they realized that a new dedicated attack helicopter would be needed in Vietnam.  When the Army asked for a dedicated attack helo, they were miles ahead of the competition.  She was flown all over the world to show off the capabilities of the cobra.  IMHO, she is the sexiest attack copter ever produced.  The Sikorsky S-67 is a close second.

 


 On that point I wholeheartedly agree with you. Nothing beats N209J's sleek sensuality!



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Does anyone know whwn the first AH-1s were equipped with the ALQ-144 IR-jammer? Some books state that this was done at the end of the Vietnam war, but it seem, that the ALQ-144 itself was not produced before the early 80s.
I am confused!
Thanks for you help!

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luedo34 wrote:

Does anyone know whwn the first AH-1s were equipped with the ALQ-144 IR-jammer? Some books state that this was done at the end of the Vietnam war, but it seem, that the ALQ-144 itself was not produced before the early 80s.
I am confused!
Thanks for you help!


 

Well, from what I've read, the device was developed by Sanders Associates in the 1970s, but as you said, not produced until 1981.

Perhaps during it's development it was tested on select Cobra aircraft at the end of the war, before production?



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luedo34 wrote:

Does anyone know whwn the first AH-1s were equipped with the ALQ-144 IR-jammer? Some books state that this was done at the end of the Vietnam war, but it seem, that the ALQ-144 itself was not produced before the early 80s.
I am confused!
Thanks for you help!


 Alexander,

  Here is the only pic I have of a AH-1G with an ALQ-144.  I don't know the date, but it's definitely not Vietnam (no weapons on the stub wings).:

AH-10138_1280x854.jpg

 

The first dated photos I have showing the ALQ-144 installation on a AH-1 are these pics of an AH-1S taken on May 23, 1977.  These are US Army Aviation Test Board images and my guess is that this was the first real test of the system.  HTH

  Ray

AH-1S%252520w%252520ALQ-144%252520May%25252023%2525201977%2525202F6-7-OTN-261-04009.jpg

 

AH-1S%252520w%252520ALQ-144%252520May%25252023%2525201977%2525202F6-7-OTN-261-04010.jpg

 

AH-1S%252520w%252520ALQ-144%252520May%25252023%2525201977%2525202F6-7-OTN-261-04011.jpg

 

AH-1S%252520w%252520ALQ-144bMay%25252023%2525201977%2525202F6-7-OTN-261-04008.jpg

AH-1S%252520w%252520ALQ-144bMay%25252023%2525201977%2525202F6-7-OTN-261-04006.jpg

 

AH-1S%252520w%252520ALQ-144bMay%25252023%2525201977%2525202F6-7-OTN-261-04005.jpg

 



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