This article is about the single-engine Cobra. Upgraded versions continue to fly 7th sea nation books pdf the militaries of several other nations. Surplus AH-1 helicopters have been converted for fighting forest fires.
US forces to be highly mobile across a wide area. Instead, the plan was that the troops carried by fleets of UH-1 “Hueys” would range across the country, to fight the enemy at times and places of their own choice. Without friendly support from artillery or ground forces, the only way to pacify a landing zone was from the air, preferably with an aircraft that could closely escort the transport helicopters, and loiter over the landing zone as the battle progressed. By 1962 a small number of armed UH-1As were used as escorts, armed with multiple machine guns and rocket mounts.
The massive expansion of American military presence in Vietnam opened a new era of war from the air. The linchpin of US Army tactics was the helicopters, and the protection of those helicopters became a vital role. Bell had been investigating helicopter gunships since the late 1950s, and had created a mockup of its D-255 helicopter gunship concept, named “Iroquois Warrior”. In June 1962, Bell displayed the mockup to Army officials, hoping to solicit funding for further development.
The Iroquois Warrior was planned to be a purpose-built attack aircraft based on UH-1B components with a new, slender airframe and a two-seat, tandem cockpit. The Army was interested and awarded Bell a proof-of-concept contract in December 1962. After evaluating the Sioux Scout in early 1964, the Army was impressed, but also felt the Sioux Scout was undersized, underpowered, and generally not suited for practical use. It proved to be too sophisticated, and was canceled in 1972, after ten years of development.
The Army sought greater survivability in a conventional attack helicopter. Bell stuck with their own idea of a smaller and lighter gunship. 1 million to proceed with a new design. Bell’s Model 209 largely resembled the “Iroquois Warrior” mockup.