Bell AH-1 Cobra (Attack)

General Information

ah1diagram
MAKE: Bell Helicopter-Textron
NUMBER BUILT: 1,116
MISSION: Attack
NICKNAME: Huey Cobra; Widowmaker
Located in Hangar 79

Background

The AH-1 Cobra is the world’s first dedicated armed attack helicopter. During the early months of the Vietnam War many helicopters were lost to ground fire. The need for an armed gunship to protect unarmed helicopters quickly became apparent. Heavily armed, highly maneuverable, and quick, the AH-1 proved to be a powerful combatant through the rest of the war. Its precedent-setting design led to many other variations including some two-engine models. Other manufacturers later developed other armed helicopters.

The AH-1 Cobra was armed with 2.75 inch (70mm) Folding Fin Aerial Rockets (FFARs) in M158 seven-tube or M200 nineteen-tube rocket launchers, and a chin-mounted turret on the M28/M28A1 armament subsystem. The stub-pylons can be outfitted with Mini-gun pods, anti-tank missiles, and a variety of mission-specific weaponry.

Please visit “The Hard Life of Snake 298” blog post for more information on this aircraft.

Characteristics

CONTRACTOR: Bell Helicopter-Textron
DATE DEPLOYED: First flight, September 1965; Operational June 1967
PROPULSION: Two 1212-kW General Electric T700-GE-401 turbo-shafts
LENGTH: 58 feet (17.7 m)
HEIGHT: 14 feet 2 inches (4.3 m)
WEIGHT: 14,750 pounds (6690.5 kg)
MAXIMUM SPEED: 152 knots (175 mph / 281.6 km/h)
SERVICE CEILING: 11,400 ft (3,475 m)
RANGE: 395 nautical miles (731.5 km/h)
CREW: Two
ARMAMENT: 2 × 7.62 mm (0.308 in) multi-barrel Miniguns, or 2 × M129 40 mm Grenade launchers, or one of each, in the M28 turret.

Photos