Top 10 picks on Military Channel

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by blue swede, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. blue swede

    blue swede New Member

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    The other night on the Military Channel they had what they rated as the top 10 helicopters.
    In rating the Cobra, they pointed out that it was a new concept in helicopter design at the time. But when it came to rating it, they said it fared poorly in the "innovation" category!
    I would say that starting a whole new direction in helicopter function and design is highly innovative.
    This isn't the first time I have been bewildered by their rating system. Has anyone else been bothered by this?
     
  2. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    They probably also consider it 40 year or so career not long enough either.
     
  3. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    I was bewildered by the Military Channel until I got rid of it , its far to partisan
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    They might have been taking into consideration that it was just a UH-1 Huey that had been modified. It took the same engine, transmission, drive shafts, etc.. and put a new fuselage on it. That might be what they are saying about innovation.
     
  5. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Good info Adler, that's interesting to me. So a lot of the Cobra was just "off the shelf" parts so to speak. Wonder how much this lowered the cost of development. I have never read up much on helicopters. Might have to now.
     
  6. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    IIRC, the original Cobra design was actually a private company venture by Bell to develop a dedicated "gunship" version of the UH-1B Huey; they had mounted guns rockets on Huey's before, but Bell wanted to go one better, and design a helicopter that would be a pure "gunship". They were the first ones to come up with the seating configuration with the pilot behind the weapons system operator; before the Cobra, nobody had really considered putting the pilot of the helicopter behind the WSO, thereby making the helicopter slimmer and, therefore, a smaller target to ground threats. Since then, the tandem, as opposed to side-by-side, seating arrangement has become de riguer for attack helicopters.

    And, yes, the engines, drivetrain, rotor system, and tail boom were, essentially, straight off the UH-1B/D Huey; it was only much later (with the AH-1W "SuperCobra") that the Cobra got it's own twin-engine powerpack, and four-blade rotor system. Up till then, it shared many parts with the original Hueys.
     
  7. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info Stitch!
     
  8. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    Yes, interesting info. I think the Cobra is underrated.
     
  9. blue swede

    blue swede New Member

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    Thanks for the info and comments.
    I didn't realize either that the the Cobra shared so much to the Huey.
    Maybe that influenced their decision.
    Although I think the the basic idea and design was still "innovative".
    Creating a whole new class of aircraft has to be. How often does that happen?
     
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    SoD Stich is correct. That is why the original Cobra was called the "Huey Cobra". Because of it being pretty much a common design of the UH-1 Huey, it only took Bell Helicopter $1 Million and 8 months from the initial drawings to the first flight of the helicopter.
     
  11. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Only 1 million dollars to engineer the Cobra. Seems like a hell of a bargain for such a dominant design, still in use today, although vastly upgraded and changed.
     
  12. Soren

    Soren Banned

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    I think the military channel has some good shows and some bad ones. I liked their series on smallarms and different soldiers through time.

    Regarding the Cobra, well I wouldn't rate it highly in terms of advanced technology but it was innovative IMHO as it was the first true gunship helicopter out there. Oh, and it looks good too :cool:
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Chris - that might their perspective.. but the cobra had some interesting features that took it to a highly effective attack Helo and ahead of its time.

    The tandem gunner/pilot arrangement with helmet mounted sights, turret gun slaved to sights, made the ship capable of dealing with two separate targets - coupled with strong pylons for weapons stores made the airframe scalable as far as lethality - starting with 2.75's to the XM-97 20mm gun, then Hellfires.

    As FLIR and other electronics became available, they were readily installed to upgrade to night and all weather anti tank mission.

    So, 40 years later it is still going strong.
     
  14. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    How long will the Cobra stay in service? I don't know of any replacement in development, and I know the Marines love those Zulu models. I suppose it's the only player for that role apart from the Apache.
     
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