Are the Cobra and Apache similar to each other? Saw something the other day that confused me.
Not at all, as the Cobra began as a specialized gunship helicopter during the Vietnam war, since armed version of the Huey had proven inadequate, eventually becoming the world’s first attack helicopter:
But thanks to all the lessons from that war, the US Army wanted brand-new machines designed around them, giving birth to both the Black Hawk and the Apache (I’ll return to it in a minute), so they dropped the Cobra, but Bell decided to continue development of the machine, leading to the two-engine variant Super Cobra, which found great success with the Marines and Iranians.
Which eventually got further upgraded into the AH-1Z Viper, a much more capable machine that still kept the same basic design from the 60′s.
Meanwhile, the Apache, as stated, was born from the ashes of Vietnam, overall a much more capable, rugged machine that time and again has proved her worth, with a design so great little has been done to improve it, other than better electronics and armament:
An UAE “basic” Apache
An American Apache Long Bow, with a radome, rather than a periscope, on top of the main rotor blades.
Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit perform post-flight maintenance on an AH-1Z Viper aboard the USS Anchorage in the Philippine Sea, June 2, 2015. The Marines of VMM-161 work day and night to ensure the aircraft are mission capable.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jamean Berry/Released)
Evening Quickie #soldierporn: The great cloud-continents of sunset seas.
A Sailor signals an AH-1Z Viper helicopter, attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 (Reinforced), to land aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) and salutes the pilot as the aircraft lifts off again. Makin Island, the flagship of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, is on a deployment with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to promote peace and freedom of the seas by providing security and stability in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
(U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Lindahl, 4 FEB 2015. Title from sonnet by Thomas Bailey Aldrich.)
U.S. Marines perform maintenance checks on an AH-1Z Viper with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, aboard the USS Anchorage (LPD 23) during Amphibious Squadron/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT) off the coast of San Diego March 2, 2015.
PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 4, 2015) A Sailor salutes the pilot of an AH-1Z Viper helicopter, attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 163 (Reinforced), as it launches from the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) during routine flight operations.
The UH-1Y and AH-1Z have a very high level of commonality which reduces the manufacturing and procurement costs. The helicopters have a common four-bladed, composite, hingeless, bearingless main rotor system and tail rotor, engine, avionics, software, controls and displays. Drawing of the AH-1Z Supercobra showing the rotor system common with the UH-1Y.
PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 10, 2011) Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Lawrence Lowe guides a Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter off the flight deck of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans (LPD 18) during flight quarters.
“The whole point of this is to prepare the aircraft to provide support for our guys on the ground,” said Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Kelley. “It’s a get in, hit the enemy, get out, come back, resupply, and do it again type of aircraft. It’s really an awesome piece of gear.”