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Other Unusual Vietnam Helicopters. (No Hueys Allowed)

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  • Member since
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  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Friday, August 17, 2007 7:02 AM

Nope, the Apache community isn't really using external aux tanks much anymore.  With the internal Robbie tank in the ammo bay, it makes things a lot more weight & balance-friendly.  We've got either a 100 gallon or a 130 gallon option, which pretty much covers anything we'd need on a mission.

Jon

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    July 2007
  • From: Miami, FL
Posted by leadfooterm535i on Friday, August 17, 2007 7:10 AM

Since '99, 4th Brigade in Katterbach, was doing alot of self deployments. Of course we carried ours outboard, but the Apaches carried one inboard, I think right side. I'm not sure if they still do it. I left in '03 and since they've been deploying more to the desert.

U/HH-60 CE "Embrace The Suck, Phantoms!!!" "I work for Pedro!" Kris

  • Member since
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  • From: Maryland
Posted by Chief Snake on Friday, August 17, 2007 8:17 AM

Supercobra, you're right. Most of my familiarity is with the Army series. The Marines have used theirs much further into the abilities of the airframe IMHO. It's outlasted the RAH-66 and who knows, maybe will provide the flyover when the -64 is put to pasture.

 

Chief Snake 

  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by supercobra on Friday, August 17, 2007 10:14 AM
 Cobrahistorian wrote:

Hey guys,

 Yes, that is, in fact a laser designator in the nose of that G model Cobra.  Ya beat me to it Ray!  The triple missiles were an experimental configuration (brought back for the Comanche, but it died with the program).  The center missiles are dummies while the outer ones have live seeker heads.  Those triple racks interfered with the inboard pylons, so they were done away with.  Plus, the Hellfire was developed sorta concurrently with the Apache, so they didn't see much reason to put the Hellfire on the Snake, since it is bigger and heavier than the TOW.  

As far as Apache Hellfire loadouts, I've flown with six on board (all dummies or training missiles, mind you) plus an FCR and she handled like a pig.  Gimme 2 missiles and full pods any day!

 

Jon 

 

Thanks for clearing that up Jon.  I guess this is the JAH-1G although I can find very little info on it.  I think these tests went in late 1978 just before the YAH-64 Hellfire firings.  I would have sworn that was an LST vice designator.  It looks very much like the ALT (AN/AAS-32) that briefly appeared on the doghouses of AH-1Fs.  I'm with chief snake in that a designator wouldn't do much good without a way to slave it (whereas an LST would still be useful) and I don't see that happening in that configuration with the size of designators back then unless they moved the aircraft battery. 

  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by supercobra on Friday, August 17, 2007 10:18 AM
 rotorwash wrote:

Supercobra,

  Thanks for the pic.  8 hellfires seems to be the norm.  Did you ever fly with the 6 missile loadout?
   Ray

 

Ray,

If by six missiles you mean the tripple racks - no I don't think Cobras (or Apaches for that matter) ever carried those operationally.  I have flown with six missiles (three missiles each on four missile racks)  -  we left a spot open because you couldn't carry a missile next to an aux tank.

  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by supercobra on Friday, August 17, 2007 10:22 AM
 Chief Snake wrote:

Supercobra, you're right. Most of my familiarity is with the Army series. The Marines have used theirs much further into the abilities of the airframe IMHO. It's outlasted the RAH-66 and who knows, maybe will provide the flyover when the -64 is put to pasture.

 

Chief Snake 

 

Chief,

That could very well happen - it will be interesting to see which production line stays open longer - the AH-1Z or the AH-64D.  With all of the Zs now being new build I guess you could say that the Cobra is newer then the Apache! 

  • Member since
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  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Friday, August 17, 2007 3:48 PM

Hey, we get new Longbows too!  (well, some of em at least!)

Randy, you're probably right it was an LST.  I'd been told it was a designator, but now that you mention it, it does look very much like the LST on the F model doghouse.  In any case, here's another pic of that bird in action, this time with what appears to be a standard M272 rack.

 Oooh, look, we could start all sorts of speculation as to why the stabs are day glo orange!

"1-6 is in hot"
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  • From: phoenix
Posted by grandadjohn on Saturday, August 18, 2007 9:37 AM
Most likely to show up better on films made of the test firing
  • Member since
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  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Sunday, August 19, 2007 2:03 AM

Ok guys, here's one for you.  It's a RAAF OH-13 with a Mk-18 MOD 0 hand cranked Honeywell 40 mm grenade launcher mounted in the door. You can see the crew loading the 40mm ammo into the special ammo belt.  I think this one is pretty cool.

    Ray
 

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket[

Here's a pic of the Honeywell MK-18 on a tripod mount.  the hand crank can just be seen on the right side.:

[img]http://Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket" border="0" />

  • Member since
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  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Wednesday, September 5, 2007 10:43 PM

Jon,

  Do you mind telling me what system is on this cobra?  I thought it was kinda cool because you can see two AH-64's (YAH-64?) in the background.  Kinda strange seeing a cobra and an apache in the same pic don't you think?

Ray

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  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Thursday, September 6, 2007 7:48 AM

Ray,

Good eye on the YAH-64s!  I believe that's a SMASH Cobra, but I can't really tell from that shot.  The nose turret looks a bit small, but it definitely could be.  No idea what the stuff on the wings is, though.  Gonna have to look into this one!

Jon

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Thursday, September 6, 2007 9:05 AM

Jon,

  I thought it might be a SMASH cobra, but where is the  AN/APQ-137 Target Indicator Radar?  I suppose they could just be testing the FLIR. What time period do you think the photo represents?  Also, do you have any idea of the time frame when SMASH was operational?  Sorry, when it comes to Cobra's I'm just full of questions!

    Ray
 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Thursday, September 6, 2007 2:26 PM

Ray,

Without being able to see the -64s entirely, its hard to determine.  Sometime around 1978 by my best estimation.  The FLIR turret would make sense.  They wouldn't need the target acquisition radar at that point because they knew the Cobra wasn't going to be fitted with a radar by that point.  FLIR, on the other hand, is the essential core of the Apache program.   Without FLIR, we'd be blind at night, which is something they were trying to improve on as fast as possible there. 

Is this one of the archives photos?  what's the PN on it?

Jon

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Thursday, September 6, 2007 6:57 PM

Jon,

  I thought you might notice the PN when you saved the file.  It's 1843.  Yes, it's from the Archives.  I should have cited the source in my initial post.  There are a lot of AH-1 pics in that area of the Archive, but no more of that ship as far as I can tell.  Wow, I guess it never dawned on me that the Apache is 30 years old!  Thanks for the info. 

      Ray
 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Thursday, September 6, 2007 7:32 PM

Pretty amazing, ain't it?  The one's I'm flying now are all around 17-20 years old.

 

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: phoenix
Posted by grandadjohn on Thursday, September 6, 2007 7:46 PM

I remember when the Army announced the Apache as the winner. Hard to believe it's that old, but then the Huey is over 50 years old.

So, Jon, how do you like Arizona so far?

  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Friday, September 7, 2007 5:41 AM

Ray, Jon

 

I believe that is not a SMASH Cobra in the picture. It's an AH-1G with Airborne Target Acquisition Fire Control System (ATAFCS) mounted on the nose. ATAFCS was initially used in the podded version, but was later mounted on the nose of some AH-1Gs used in Hellfire/Apache programme. According to my references ATAFCS included stabilized day sight, FLIR and laser designator/range finder.

 

Hope this helps

 

Marko 

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Friday, September 7, 2007 7:29 AM

Jon and Marko,

I found this on the Defense Technical Information Center web site. 

"The AH-1G helicopter with the HELLFIRE modular Missile System (HMMS) and the Airborne Target Acquisition Fire Control System (ATAFCS) is being used as a surrogate trainer for the YAH-64 helicopter. The United States Army Aviation Engineering Flight Activity was tasked to provide quantitative and qualitative data on the handling qualities of the helicopter, obtain limited level flight performance data, and obtain limited handling qualities of the helicopter with only the ATAFCS installed. The test helicopter was a production AH-1G helicopter (212 tail rotor) modified with an ATAFCS mockup and carrying eight HELLFIRE missiles. Six productive flight test hours were flown in six flights. No shortcomings or deficiencies attributable to HMMS and ATAFCS installation were found. The AH-1G helicopter, with HMMS and ATAFCS installed, exhibits an additional equivalent flat plate area of 4.0 ft2 compared to the standard AH-1Q helicopter. The handling qualities of the helicopter with only the ATAFCS installed are essentially the same as the production AH-1G helicopter. (Author)"

The test took place at Edwrds AFB in California.  Does the terrain in the photo look right for Edwards?  I still don't get what is up with the wierd Armamant racks.  That's not the standard setup for mounting hellfires is it?  anyway, that was some quick research there, Marko.  Certainly sounds plausable.  The time frame for the above test (Jun 78-Jan 79) is also close to what you indicated, Jon.

   Ray
 

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Oklahoma
Posted by chopperfan on Friday, September 7, 2007 9:40 AM

Being born and raised in California and having covered just about every part of the state, either on business or pleasure, that is not Edwards.

IF it is even in California I would say it was carried out, where a lot of evaluation work was done with the Army, Fort Hunter Liggett. That is more like the terrain of that area.

While deer and hog hunting there one year we got to see, from a distance, this butt ugly airplane flying close support missions with the Army. I wish I had had a camera. That A-10 is still butt ugly but, AWESOME!!!! 

Randie [C):-)]Agape Models Without them? The men on the ground would have to work a lot harder. You can help. Please keep 'em flying! http://www.airtanker.com/
  • Member since
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  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Friday, September 7, 2007 9:46 AM

Randie,

  Thanks for the info.  There's nothing like good intel!

    Ray
 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Friday, September 7, 2007 10:08 AM

Morning guys!

That could very well be the ATAFCS, although from what I know (not very much) that terrain's not right for Edwards.  The pylons are definitely not HMMS racks, even if they were the triple racks we've seen on that G model with the LST in the nose. 

If I could see the buzz numbers on the Apaches behind, I might be able to get an idea of which articles they were and what they did during the test program.  That might give us a clue as to what the Cobra was doing there. 

Considering the Cobra was used for a lot of Apache test stuff, the ATAFCS explanation does make a lot of sense.  However, from what I can see on the two Apaches, they are close to the production configuration, which means that TADS/PNVS were installed already and were definitely superior in performance to ATAFCS.  Certainly produces some interesting questions!

Jon

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
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  • From: phoenix
Posted by grandadjohn on Friday, September 7, 2007 7:30 PM
Photo could have been taken at the Yuma Proving Grounds, know alot of testing is done there, but the photo really doesn't show the terrian that good to me
  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Monday, September 10, 2007 5:15 AM

Guys,

 

That is certainly an ATAFCS AH-1G. The same picture appears in Mike Verier's Bell AH-1 Cobra book and the caption confirms this being an ATAFCS Cobra. I did some more digging on this subject and came up with the following info: ATAFCS was initially known as the ALLD (Airborne Laser Locator/Designator); ALLD was the podded version carried on the right outboard pylon. It was produced by the Aeronautics division of Philco Ford and gave AH-1G day and night/adverse weather capability to acquire and designate targets for Hellfire or Copperhead laser guided munitions. ALLD was first tested in 1974. Later the Army mounted the system on the nose of some AH-1Gs included in the Apache/Hellfire project and redesignated it the ATAFCS. At least six ALLD/ATAFCS systems were procured by the Army, and though ALLD/ATAFCS was a highly capable system, Army decided not to upgrade their Cobras with ATAFCS (and we all know how long it took the army to eventually equip AH-1s with C-NITE FLIR).

 

Oh yeah, ATAFCS AH-1Gs were still used to designate targets for Hellfire/Apache tests in 1980.

 

Marko

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Monday, September 10, 2007 6:56 PM

Marko,

  Thanks for the info!  Exactly which one of Verier's books is the photo in?  Do you have the ISBN? 

   Ray
 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Monday, September 10, 2007 9:00 PM

Excellent!  Thanks for the confirmation on that Marko! 

:D 

Jon

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    July 2007
Posted by KrazyCat on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 5:14 AM

Ray,

 

The book by Mike Verier is entitled Bell AH-1 Cobra (Osprey Air Combat Series); ISBN: 0850459346. I am not sure if it's still in print, but You can get it through Amazon.

 

I'll do my best to post some more info on ALLD/ATAFCS and an image of the ALLD pod tomorrow.

 

Marko 

  • Member since
    December 2005
  • From: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Posted by ipmsfl on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 5:59 AM

I have a very clear memory of seeing a photo of a helo with a rocket pod painted up as a Budweiser (?) beer can but can't recall where I saw it.  Does anyone else remember this one?

There are also the two all-black H-3's operated by the 20th Special Operations Squadron in Laos. No national insignia just a 4-digit red tail number.

Ed R. Special Operations Any time, any place
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Auburn, Alabama
Posted by rotorwash on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 6:15 AM

Ed,

  Go to the "Links to Huey threads on FSM site" thread and look at the "Huey nose art" thread page 2 and the "Unusual Vietnam Hueys" thread page 1 for several different beer can motifs on rocket pods, including Budweiser.

   Ray 

  • Member since
    July 2007
  • From: Miami, FL
Posted by leadfooterm535i on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 6:37 AM
 ipmsfl wrote:

I have a very clear memory of seeing a photo of a helo with a rocket pod painted up as a Budweiser (?) beer can but can't recall where I saw it.  Does anyone else remember this one?

There are also the two all-black H-3's operated by the 20th Special Operations Squadron in Laos. No national insignia just a 4-digit red tail number.

"Black Maria" CH-3C or E. H-3 in action has briefs on that aircraft. It has a drawing and some other black and whites. I have a few models in the to do list in 1/72 and that is one. All I need for that one is red decals and some interior shot to built it up. I also have planned on making Banana 1 and the rest of the acft in the raid.

U/HH-60 CE "Embrace The Suck, Phantoms!!!" "I work for Pedro!" Kris

  • Member since
    June 2007
Posted by squeakie on Friday, September 14, 2007 12:10 PM
 grandadjohn wrote:

 

"Big Mother" a CH-54A of the 1st Cav being readed for it's third bomber mission with the 10,000lb to clear a LZ.

And let's not forget those ACH-47A "Guns-a Go-Go" birds

The flying crane was relatively rare over there, and to see one with a "daisy cutter" is even stranger. Up north they were always dropped out the back of a C130.

gary

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