Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fly By

Marine AH-1 Cobras
This morning I heard the characteristic Huey thumping sound outside, and of course had to investigate.  It was a couple of Marine AH-1 Cobras, probably from MCAS Yuma.  When Bell made the Cobra, they used a lot of the UH-1 design to work from.  It could be said they took a Huey and shaved the fuselage down to 36" wide and started putting armament on it.  That would be a simplification, but isn't too far off the mark.  The Army retired the Cobra and Huey many years ago for the Apache and Blackhawk, but the Marines have stuck with it, with Bell still updated the designs.  I've always had a soft spot for the Cobra.

(Note:  It just struck me how much technology has changed since the Cobra was introduced.  I heard these birds, grabbed my camera and photographed them, downloaded, selected and post processed the image and posted it on the blog.  As I write this, they're probably still airborne.)


virgil xenophon said...


I've known about the Cobra updates, but have you seen what they did to the Huey?!! Can't remember where or I'd link but they put a four-blade rotor on, more powerful engine, updated electronics and weapons and it's like something from outer space--an entirely different 'copter! Never thought something could be updated like that to make a super-capable bird even by today's standards--a really imaginative update on an old airframe!

Pogue said...

Yeah, we've had a couple of the UH-1Y's stop by out facility. Both they and the AH-1W/Z are using the same basic T700 engine we use in the Blackhawk and Apache. The Marines have really worked at keeping those birds up to date and keeping commonality for supply. The only downside I've heard on the new UH-1's is that they don't have as much lift capability as they would like, but there's only so much you can do to an airframe.