The Bell AH-1 Cobra is the first real attack helicopter (AH) from the US manufacturer Bell Helicopter. When it was delivered in the mid 1960s, it was the first pure attack helicopter
of the world; previously there were only armed transport helicopters.
Some Bell UH-1B “Huey” were heavily armed for escort duties and were therefore also called “Cobra”. Bell’s engineers found out about this and adopted the designation – although contrary to army rules it was not derived from an Indian tribe. Since the Army was to be made palatable to a new version of the UH-1, so to speak, instead of a new type, it was originally called the UH-1H “HueyCobra” and was only renamed AH-1G after the start of serial production. Bell Helicopter had been experimenting with combat helicopters based on the Bell 47 since the 1950s. In mid-1962, Bell presented to the US Army a mock-up of the D-255 design, which was used in 1964 in the form of the modified D-262 for the Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS). Bell lost this competition, but nevertheless developed the Model 206 from December 1964, which made its maiden flight on 7 September 1965 and proved to be a stroke of luck in the wake of the Vietnam War and the unavailable Lockheed AH-56 A from the AAFSS programme. The first two pre-series aircraft of the now Bell AH-1G were ordered by the U.S. Army on 7 April 1966. As the name suggests, Bell relied as much as possible on components from its current transport helicopter model
Bell 204 UH-1C “Iroquois”, such as the rotor, gearboxes and turbines, to keep costs down.
New was the extremely slim fuselage, which could be designed to the minimum thanks to the reduction to the minimum. This became a trend-setting feature for all following attack helicopter types, which thus only offer the enemy a very small frontal hit area during attacks. The gunner occupies the front seat in the Cobra, the pilot sits slightly raised at the rear. The gunner primarily operates the gun and external weapons. If necessary, the crew members can also take over each other’s tasks, for which both cockpits are equipped with the basic flight instruments, control sticks and pitch levers.
In contrast to the prototype, the AH-1G had a fixed skid landing gear and the tail rotor was moved to the right during production. The lower tail fin of the tail fin was also omitted. The all-round glazed and top rounded canopy with panoramic view made of unarmoured safety glass caused an unpleasant greenhouse effect.
Therefore the first delivered AH-1G were equipped with ventilation nozzles. In the tropical regions of South East Asia, however, these were inadequate. For this reason, the Vietnamese workshops equipped the helicopters with air conditioning systems called “environmental control units” (ECU), which were later installed during series production. The “greenhouse glazing” represented the helicopter’s highest infrared signature, and even the hot engine exhaust gases did not attract infrared-guided weapons as much
on. In addition, the tail rotor of the late AH-1G was moved from the left to the right side compared to the UH-1C for stability reasons, otherwise almost the entire tail section was taken over by the UH-1C “Huey”. The early version had two landing lights in the plexiglass nose, the late version had a landing light below the nose.
The retractable reflex sight M73 served as aiming aid for all weapons. For the chin turret, the computer system compensates the helicopter’s own movements, wind influences and target movements. The AH-1G was only lightly armoured. The armoured shield in front of the cockpit protected against fire with weapons up to 7.62 mm calibre; the hydraulic and fuel guidance systems were also protected against bullets and splinters. Since there was a great need for attack helicopters in Vietnam for the reasons mentioned above and the gradual expansion of the war, and since the competing Lockheed AH-56 “Cheyenne” programme was discontinued due to uncontrollable conceptual deficiencies, the Cobra, initially intended only as a temporary solution, quickly proved convincing and soon proved to be indispensable.
As early as August 1967 the first HueyCobras reached the US forces in support of the South Vietnamese army. During the Vietnam War the United States Army had to write off 157 HueyCobras by anti-aircraft guns (FlaK), four by anti-aircraft missiles (FlaRak) and twelve by attacks on airfields as total losses due to enemy action and 109 by accidents. The USMC lost ten Cobras in the same period. However, most of them were only slightly damaged, then repaired and put back into service. The main task of the HueyCobras at that time was to be used as airmobile artillery, armed escort and armed reconnaissance. It soon became apparent that the M64 turret, even in combination with two M18 containers, did not provide enough firepower. The problem with the powerful unguided FFAR missiles was that during demonstrations the highly professional army instructors could fire them with pinpoint accuracy, but the untrained army pilots could not achieve this precision. At night, in combination with UH-1-“Hueys”, which were equipped with headlight bundles on the sides, targets could still be engaged. As a rule, however, the HueyCobras remained on the ground in bad weather and at night.
After AH-1Gs were shot down by North Vietnamese with 9K32 “Strela-2” anti-aircraft guided missiles in 1972 during the spring offensive, measures had to be taken to improve the infrared signature. A so-called “sugar scoop” (or “sugar bowl”) was attached to the engine outlet. With its toilet bowl-like shape and a heat-insulating coating of asbestos and metal layers, it diverted the hot exhaust gases into the main rotor, where they were mixed with ambient air and dispersed. The slightly tinted cockpit windows were replaced by clear ones in later versions.
The further development of the G version was the AH-1Q “HueyCobra”.
With the delivery of the new Hughes AH-64A “Apache”, the United States Army replaced most of its AH-1F “Cobra” from the late 1980s. Only one air cavalry battalion of the Army still uses AH-1F Cobras; the rest are in reserve with the National Guard. From the end of 2004, there will only be TAH-1S “surrogates” in the Army for night flight training of Apache pilots. However, the United States Marine Corps continues to use the “SuperCobra” variant to this day, as it is ideally suited to the needs of this special force and the cramped conditions on their amphibious vessels (small, light, small footprint, seaworthy and high firepower in relation to size). As the Marine Corps did not want to do without the agile Cobras, their AH-1J/T stock was upgraded to the level of the improved model AH-1W “SuperCobra” from existing cells. The AH-1W “SuperCobra” is more agile than its predecessor AH-1T due to its two increased performance T700 turbines and can finally carry full armament over longer distances into the combat zone. It also has newer avionics and the ability to carry AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. The “SuperCobra” thus poses a threat to enemy helicopters and combat aircraft. The USMC usually omits the AIM-9 Sidewinder, as it would otherwise occupy the two main suspension points. The existing armour only includes the two pilot seats and the rotor blades, which can withstand anti-aircraft ammunition up to 23 mm calibre. The remaining part of the helicopter is unarmoured, which greatly reduces its survivability in the event of enemy fire. During Operation Urgent Fury, for example, two AH-1Ts crashed after being fired upon right at the start of the attack. The wire-guided TOW missiles were supplemented by the modern laser-guided AGM-114 “Hellfire”. However, since the expensive Hellfire can only be used effectively against armoured targets, the cheaper TOW missiles are more efficient for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Despite a very short development time, the remarkably successful AH-1 model was still far from being exhausted: the latest model AH-1Z “Viper” now features the latest computer and target acquisition technology and a four-bladed bearingless main rotor, with which flight performance has been further improved. However, the AH-1Z no longer has the capability of using the TOW anti-tank guided missiles. During the further development of the AH-1Z, Bell’s H-1 programme
At the same time, the UH-1N was modernised into the UH-1Y “Venom”. This should enable a large part of the components such as engine, gearbox, avionics, rotor head etc. to be used for both helicopters. Bell estimates that the 84% interchangeability of parts will reduce operating costs by approximately 3 billion US dollars over a 30-year service life.
The original model was created according to available documents from Bell. On a large 5-axis milling machine, the master model parts were milled in Uriol and then prepared so that the required negative moulds could be produced.
The production of all GFK parts is done in 8 moulds. High-quality resin is used to produce high-strength, very light components which create all the parts necessary for the construction of the Bell Super Cobra.
A set of frames made of high-quality aircraft plywood is glued into the fuselage and takes over the mounting of the tank, landing gear and turbine or electro-mechanics.
Panels are fitted from the inside and fixed with superglue.
Optionally, the fuselage can be upgraded with rivet and quick release fastener replicas. This is done after assembly and initial preparation for painting. Other optionally available additional equipment such as cockpit, LCD monitors etc. can be ordered separately depending on the model and makes your helicopter a unique scale replica of your dream helicopter. A flex-shaft connects the mechanics to the tail rotor.
The model is available in 2 versions with horizontal and vertical exhaust.
The model is completely assembled by us, painted according to your wishes and equipped with remote control components also according to your choice. We mainly use radio control components from Futaba, PowerBox, Bavarian Demon, Hacker and Jeti. The desired installation of 3 D option special parts will be considered according to your wishes.
You can also get the model ready for assembly as a kit with the desired 3D special parts according to your wishes – we will be happy to make you an offer.
Mechanics HF-Cobra for Jakadofsky Turbine PRO 6000 or Q 100 from Hacker.
Robust mechanics especially designed for models like Bell-Super Cobra.
Sturdy GRP side plate screwed onto aluminium bolts milled from the solid.
bolts form the base frame of the mechanism.
An original bevel gear set from Jakadowsky is placed between the distance bars and is manufactured with high precision and driven by a main gear made of high-strength plastic. This main gear is designed for the desired speed of the rotor head for the Bell AH-1 Super Cobra and is specially milled for us from the solid. This ensures 100% concentricity. The plastic main gear then engages the pinion of the centrifugal clutch of the Jakadowsky turbine.
High-quality bearings complement the mechanics and allow for a long service life.
Main rotor head speed 980 rpm
Tail rotor speed 4800 rpm
Mechanics for 12 and 15 mm main rotor shafts
All parts “Made in Germany”!!!
2 blade rotor head with rigidly mounted blade connection shafts.
Structure completely made of metal on high-precision 5-axis machining centres according to our drawings and designs.
Extremely good-natured and precisely controllable rotor head.
Blade handle for 14 mm
Rotor head for 12 and 15 mm main rotor shafts
Rotor head completely assembled
All parts “Made in Germany”!!!
Swashplate HF for Bell Super Cobra in large version with driver
Version for 4 servos
Reproduction completely made in metal on high-precision 5-axis-machining machines for us according to our drawings and layouts.
Swashplate completely assembled
Swashplate for 12 or 15 mm shafts
All parts “Made in Germany”!!!
The 2 blade tail rotor is completely made of aluminium with a 1:1 bevel gear combination with a diameter of 23.3 mm. The bevel gears have cyclo-palloid teeth module 0.6 and the tooth flanks are inductive
This gives us sufficient strength for large models with increased torque which the tail rotor has to compensate for. The direction of rotation is designed for the EC 145 but can be changed at any time by changing the gear wheels in the gearbox. Therefore a later conversion to another direction of rotation or another side is possible. A 8mm hollow drilled, case hardened and ground tail rotor shaft drives the 2-blade tail rotor with steel centre piece and mounts blade holders.
Tail rotor completely made of metal on high-precision 5-axis machining centres manufactured for us according to our drawings and designs.
Blade connection 8mm or 10mm
With 8mm blade holder fixing screw M3 12.9
For 10mm blade holder fixing screw M4 12.9
Tail rotor completely assembled and gear clearance adjusted.
All parts “Made in Germany”!
You can choose between turbine or electric motor drives.
Turbine version with Jakadofsky PRO 6000
In a version for turbines, the scale tank has been functionally
Electric version with Hacker Q 80
We mainly use radio control components from Futaba, PowerBox,
Bavarian Demon, Hacker, Savöx and Jeti. The desired installation of 3 D
Option special parts will be considered according to your wishes.
length 1100 mm
width 95 mm
Rotor blades 2 pieces, finely balanced, with a 14 mm diameter hub
length 1100 mm
width 95 mm
Available as optional 3 D pressure parts or made of stainless steel tube:
Complete cockpit with seats
Functional LCD monitors for cockpit
Lighting with position lights incl. holders
Landing light fixed
Extendable landing light
Exhaust pipe made of stainless steel with double pipe exhaust outlet