Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Has anyone flown in a Cobra or Apache?

15 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Has anyone flown in a Cobra or Apache?
Posted by midnightprowler on Friday, June 27, 2003 9:20 AM
I was wodering if anyone has had the chance to fly in a Cobra or a Apache? If so, what was it like?

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

Co. A, 682 Engineers, Ltchfield, MN, 1980-1986

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

Ask me about Speedway Decals

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, June 28, 2003 11:55 PM
Nope.......but i have 700 hours in the back of a Chinook.

Nothing else in the world like "ramp riding"

2 Burnin' - 6 Turnin'
Ramps Up - Ready In The Rear
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Lewisburg , Tenn
Posted by fuzzy on Sunday, June 29, 2003 12:45 AM
I've flown in the front seat of a Cobra several times.
It's fast and agile. Sitting up front with very little in front
and all the glass close to you enhanced the feeling that
I was on the front of the airframe. Great rides!Smile [:)]
The only thing that is close was flying in the
bombardier's position on a B-17 flight.Cool [8D]
The all time best has to be the left rear bench in
a Huey.Big Smile [:D] Sure do miss them.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Sunday, June 29, 2003 9:09 AM
Well, believe it or not, never been in one...
Worked on plenty at museums though. Got a Cobra and a Huey that I take care of on a regular basis. Trying to get em both back as close to flyable condition as possible. The Huey's much easier than the Cobra though, she's still got her engine! Hopefully within the next few years I'll be going up in Apaches on a regular basis, though... keepin my fingers crossed for that over 30 Age waiver! If things continue the way they seem to be going, I should be flying Apaches by 2006.

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Sunday, June 29, 2003 6:31 PM
Amen to Col. Miller's quote. It got kinda ugly there. Those birds were sure a welcome sight. Don't have any time in Cobra's, but got in 4 1/2months in the right rear side of Huey's, hanging on to an M-60 "Pig". It was interesting. - Ed
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by eaglecentral on Monday, June 30, 2003 12:16 AM
I got one ride in an AH-1G Cobra when I was a young crew chief in the US Army. I was with A Btry, 4/77 ARA (Air Rocket Artillery) of the 101st Airborne (this was just about March of 1969) and we were trading in our UH-1C's for Cobras. Along with several pilots and crew chiefs, we flew in a C-130 from Camp Eagle RVN (Near Hue) down to Vung Tau and picked up several brand new snakes. I had over 1500 crew chief hours at the time (thats 1100 hours in D model slicks and 400 in C model guns) and the coming of the Cobra was the end of my flying career as the Cobras had two pilots and no gunner or crew chief like our C's. During the trip back to Camp Eagle, my pilot let me fly the thing quite a while. All things considered, it was a very good adventure. As I recall, flying from the front was a little different from the back because the front seat had the cyclic stick on the right side of the cockpit instead of in the center like the back seat did, kind of a little sawed off thing, same with the collective on the left.

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 5, 2003 9:53 AM
midnightprowler, I flew AH-1's for 3 years. The rear seat is the designated pilots station while the front seat is obviously the CP/Gunners station. The visibility in the rear seat is restricted looking forward, this is especially noticable while landing when the nose of the aircraft is in a positive attitude. Because of this you have to lean over to the right (or left I guess) to see where your headed, the instrument panel dips down on either side which allows you a "keyhole" to look through. Other than that visibility is good to the sides and down. Sitting in the Cobra is unlike most helicopters in that it gives you the impression of sitting in one of the old WW2 fighters. The front seat has very good visibility in all directions but it is a bit cramped (I'm 6' tall) for above average height people. It is about ..... 4 times harder to fly (manipulate the controls) the aircraft from the front as the controls are abreviated versions of the cyclic and collective. How does it fly? Well it's just a bit sportier than the Huey which the basic flight systems were derived from. The air conditioning is nice but on low performance days (hot days) it has to be turned off since it robs a bit of power from the engine.
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Lafayette, LA
Posted by Melgyver on Tuesday, July 8, 2003 5:00 PM
Sounds like a lot of ex-Huey Crew Chiefs out there! I passed up my chance to ride in the Cobra when I was in the 344th Trans up at Camp Viking (Red Beach) in early 72. We rebuilt one that was in pretty bad shape, shot down, hard landing. I think we replaced everything except the main fusealage. So, I passed on it! Too many people put the thing back together. It flew fine though no problems. I ended up goind down on a Huey Test Flight taking a buddiy's place. He was the one that screwed up! Lucky no one was injuried! I do miss those days sometimes. Especially the earlier 174th AHC days at Chu Lai.

Clear Left!


  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 9:07 PM
Does the simulator count? I just got an hour in the Longbow Combat Training Simulator on Monday. UNBELIEVEABLE!!!!

By the way, has anyone built the 48th scale Academy Apache? Its a dog! Missing lots of major bits of detail, like the Air conditioning intake vents, etc. Surface detail isn't bad, but it needs a LOT of work if you wanna make it accurate...

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 12:19 PM
i am a longbow apache pilot have flown them since 99 and before that and alpha model pilot and before that a huey pilot i have about 1400 hours in a and d model apaches. if you have any questions email me, or i will check this thread. until then keep the greasy side down!
CW3 Bob Roebuck
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Piedmont Triad, NC (USA)
Posted by oldhooker on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 3:24 PM
Prowler and all,

Here's a shot from the A/C's seat in a G-Model while participating in action in Vietnam. (any info on this particular photo's source would be greatly appreciated)

Had the 82nd Avn Bn on one side of my office at Simmons AAF, and the 1/17th Cav on the other side, but never had the occasion to accompany any of the Snake Pilots..Sad [:(]


  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Aaaaah.... Alpha Apaches... A beautiful thing!
Posted by Cobrahistorian on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 10:06 PM

Gotta love the grease-pencil crosshairs and nav markings on the canopy interior!

"1-6 is in hot"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 22, 2003 12:41 AM
I've never flown in one, but I was born at Fort Hunter Stewart Ligget in 69. Dad graduated in Aug 69 for deployment with the 186th Crusaders, Tay Nihn "Ratpack". I guess I can say that the "Snake's" in my blood. Would've gone onto to fly but the vision thing got in the way. Re: the grease pencil gunsight. I asked a veteran who flew them in Nam once if the gunsight was all that accurate. He told me they usually just Grease-penciled cross-hairs and found that to be more accurate. Gotta love American ingenuity and a good-ole bore sight. T.L.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by Prince of Styrene II on Sunday, September 28, 2003 11:30 AM
Well, being just a civilian, I can't brag too much, but I did get a couple chances to fly in a couple of Hueys for my work. I got to hang out the side door shooting video. I tell ya, those things kick up alot more wind when they land than your average Bell Jet Ranger! :)

"Hold the weapons, Daddy. I'm going to go get my monkeys." The Dutchess of Styrene

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 4, 2003 10:00 AM
I am a qualified AH-1F Cobra pilot and have worked extensively with AH-1's in three divisional aviation assignments. I tried like a dog to get AH-64 qualified but luck was against me.

First the picture. That is an AH-1G with the reflex sight installed. It was an attempt to give the pilot in the back seat some accuracy with 2.75" rocket engagements. See for more details. Anyway, the reflex site wasn't that good and took up much of the pilot's forward field of view. The markings on the gunner's forward canopy served several functions. The crosshairs on the front were "field expedient" markings to help line up shots. We took the reflex site out and the pilot would have the copilot mark the front windscreen with a greasy “X” to replicate a boresight. Pilots would shoot a pair of rockets from a hover or running fire mode, observe impact, then apply “Kentucky windage” to adjust follow-on engagements. I found that this “low tech” approach worked well. The other markings are notes the copilot is making concerning the tactical fight. We would write grid coordinates and call signs on the canopy for quick reference vice jotting notes on a small kneepad that often ended up being covered by a map. There would be days we’d return from training or REFORGER flights where the Cobra and OH-58’s front windows were completely covered in scribble. Crew chiefs would make us clean up our “office” area if we went a bit overboard.

Flying the Cobra is FUN. There is something about having the backseat and enjoying the feel of being alone. Since all Army aircraft were “side-by-side” seating, you flew with another person right there next to you; not the same feeling in a Cobra. I enjoyed the responsibility of being in charge of my area and the mission it involved. No one covered your tasks; you had to know your job. I will agree that forward visibility was constrained but you developed techniques to overcome that problem. Front seat was the best area for me by flying was a bit harder since the flight controls were not as smooth. The short leverage of the cyclic and collective made you work a bit harder but in time you could fly nap of the earth (NOE) with minimal problems. You could control most of the weapon systems from the front seat and that was a blast. Nothing like being down in the TOW Sight Unit (TSU) and having a TOW go off the rail or having your feet shake as the 20mm was engaging. The original AH-1 was a good system and technology improved the weapon platforms. Sadly the additional technology made the aircraft a real pig to fly. Max gross weight for the AH-1F was around 10,000 pounds and when we got ours in Germany in 1982 they sat on the ramp at around 9,000 to 9,500. Put two pilots and gas on board and you were really close to your limits. You had to burn gas off if you were going to do some serious NOE work.

AH-64 guys may say “skids are for kids” but at least Cobras didn’t need training wheels.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 4, 2003 11:21 AM
Flew cobras for 2 years before getting my advance aircraft transition into UH60's. Cobras were fun to fly, especially from the front seat, with the side controller, wish you could start the aircraft from the front, though. But it wasn't as maneuverable as the blackhawk or apache, semi-rigid vs. Fully articulated, you can't compare, fully articulated rotor systems rule!. Do a negative G in a Cobra, say goodbye to the rotor system. Also, carrying a full load was out of the question if the FARP folks topped you off. sitting there, burning off enough fuel so you can take off. For its time, the cobra was a wonderful aircraft and probably the last true "Gunfighter". The apache is too computerized and prone to breakdowns.

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.