lockheed ah-56 cheyenne

Today, we will review the Lockheed Ah-56 Cheyenne, lockheed ah 56 cheyenne price and the ah 56 cheyenne model kit. In the 1960s, the Army tested the AH-56A Cheyenne, an attack helicopter that might have revolutionized warfare. Had a civilian version existed, it might have changed aviation. So what is the lockheed ah 56 cheyenne price?

Instead, the Cheyenne became a “might have been.” It was costly and technologically challenging. It may have been too advanced for its time. Its performance in flight was sometimes “spectacular,” as one pilot put it, but there were minor kinks that were never quite ironed out.

During vertical and hovering flight all power was applied to the main and anti-torque rotors, while during forward flight all but about 700shp was shafted to the pusher propeller. In forward flight lift was generated by the stub wings and windmilling main rotor. In “clean” configuration the AH-56A was capable of sea-level speeds in excess of 275 miles per hour.

Lockheed Ah-56 Cheyenne

The AH-56A was also called the Advanced Aerial Fire Support System (AAFSS). During the period when the United States was building up its troop strength in Vietnam, the AH-56 became a bold attempt to compete with the Air Force for a key role in air-to-ground support. The Cheyenne was a highly sophisticated compound rotorcraft incorporating design features pioneered in Lockheed’s earlier XH-51A test ship.

Lockheed’s AH-56 Cheyenne, an aircraft ahead of its time. Note the pusher propeller at the tail. Photo from the Robert F. Dorr Collection

It was a long, slim helicopter with retractable landing gear, small wings that spanned almost 27 feet, and a General Electric T64-GE-16 shaft turbine engine with a four-bladed rotor. The power rating of the engine was increased to 3,922 horsepower as the test program evolved.

The Cheyenne used an innovative propulsion system built around the T64. The powerplant drove a rigid, four-bladed, gyro-stabilized main rotor, the tail-mounted anti-torque rotor, and the pusher propeller at the extreme end of the tail boom.

During vertical and hovering flight all power was applied to the main and anti-torque rotors, while during forward flight all but about 700shp was shafted to the pusher propeller. In forward flight lift was generated by the stub wings and windmilling main rotor. In “clean” configuration the AH-56A was capable of sea-level speeds in excess of 275 miles per hour.

Raymond L. Robb, a Fairborn, Ohio, author of an unpublished history of the AH-56, said in a 2003 interview that the fast, powerful helicopter “could have given the Army a new capability to support its combat troops.”

The Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne Attack Helicopter Might Have Been a Formidable  Weapon | Defense Media Network

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The Army was looking for a truly giant leap with the AH-56. The service established exceedingly ambitious goals. It said it wanted an aircraft with a top speed of 220 knots, able to hover out of ground effect at 6,000 feet, with a ferry range of 2,100 nautical miles. A little noticed feature of the Cheyenne, according to Arthur Moss, who wrote the AH-56 flight manual, was its ability to self-deploy over long distances, including the 2,200-mile flight from California to Hawaii.

Although Lockheed had little experience building helicopters, the Army chose its design in 1966.

But in tests the AH-56 had difficulty maintaining stability close to the ground and at high speed. Various design changes seemed to help, but no certain fix had been found when the third Cheyenne built was lost in a crash on March 12, 1969.

The crew of two, pilot and gunner/co-pilot, sat in tandem in an enclosed cockpit. The impressive armament of the Cheyenne included a 30-mm XM140 cannon in a belly turret, and a 40-mm XM129 grenade launcher or 7.62-mm Minigun in a nose turret. Under the wing were six hardpoints for ordnance, consisting of Hughes TOW anti-tank missiles or 2.75-inch folding fin aircraft rockets. The AH-56 had an advanced weapon sighting system that included night vision equipment and a helmet gun sight.

An AH-56 Cheyenne conducting a weapons test. For a helicopter the AH-56 carried an impressive array of weapons, reportedly a bit too impressive for the Air Force. Photo from the Robert F. Dorr Collection

“It was a helicopter carrying the kind of weapons you typically found on an Air Force fighter-bomber,” said Donald F. Segner, the Lockheed test pilot in a 2003 interview.

The Army was enthusiastic enough that in January 1968, it placed an initial production order for 375 aircraft.

As it turned out, only 10 Cheyennes were built.

With Army Lt. Col. Emil “Jack” Kluever on board, Segner took the prototype AH-56 for its first flight at Van Nuys, Calif. on Sept. 21, 1967.

But in tests the AH-56 had difficulty maintaining stability close to the ground and at high speed. Various design changes seemed to help, but no certain fix had been found when the third Cheyenne built was lost in a crash on March 12, 1969.

Accompanied by a chase plane, the Cheyenne was flying at 2,500 feet off the Pacific coast of California. The AH-56 was in the hands of Lockheed test pilot David Beil. As the chase pilot looked on, the Cheyenne’s main rotor oscillated out of control and the blades sliced into the pilot’s canopy and then chopped off the tail boom. Beil was killed instantly. All Cheyennes were grounded temporarily.

lockheed ah 56 cheyenne price

The mere task of finding a “chase” aircraft was needed to shadow the Cheyenne on test flights was, in itself, a difficult undertaking. No helicopter could keep up. In fact, none came close.

The Army acquired three F-51D Mustang fighters of World War II vintage, built by North American Aviation, Inc., and later modified by Cavalier Aircraft Corp.

A formation of three AH-56 Cheyenne conducting flight tests. Before the Sikorsky X2, which recently broke the helicopter speed record and employed some of the technology of the Cheyenne, the big Lockheed AH-56 flew far faster than any contemporary helicopter. Photo from the Robert F. Dorr Collection

The Army’s Mustangs differed from World War II versions in having additional fuel, a second cockpit station for a cameraman, and a gyro-stabilized camera mount for the second crewman. Cavalier removed the six .50-caliber Browning M2 machine guns built into the Mustangs. The Army flew them without armament.

According to retired Army Col. Alexander J. Rankin, who led the “chase” effort and uttered the “spectacular” quote about the Cheyenne, about half a dozen Army pilots flew the Mustangs.

According to Roby, the final test report issued just after termination of the program identified the Cheyenne as “the finest aircraft” ever tested at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

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Following the grounding of the AH-56s, tests resumed in July 1969. By then the Army had abandoned its production order – prematurely, many observers said. The Cheyenne program also suffered from cost increases. Meanwhile, the Army was getting good results with a less advanced, less ambitious helicopter, the AH-1G Huey Cobra, which went into combat in South Vietnam in 1969.

In an Internet posting, David Roby, an engineer on the Cheyenne program, describes himself as one of the “six Cheyenne biased bastards” in a statement attributed to Army Secretary Stanley Resor. Roby lists the following reasons why the Cheyenne didn’t succeed: “Air Force concerns with its A-10 Thunderbolt II program; Bell Helicopter and Sikorsky business practices; Lockheed’s own “failures” on UH-1 Huey depot maintenance contracts, shipbuilding schedule problems; a ‘Golden Handshake Clause’ in the C-5A Galaxy contract, with which Congress took issue, that allowed Lockheed to recoup any financial loss on the contract for the first 25 on any subsequent reorder … and finally the various development problems with the most advanced helicopter ever conceived.”

According to Roby, the final test report issued just after termination of the program identified the Cheyenne as “the finest aircraft” ever tested at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The nation has seen several efforts by the Army to introduce advanced, high-tech helicopters. The RAH-66 Comanche, which was also canceled, began as the LHX project of the late 1980s, which would have pushed technology to the limit. Today, the Army is interested in the X2 demonstrator and the proposed S-97 Raider from Sikorsky, both of which would have cutting-edge features. In a poignant reminder of just how far ahead of its time the Cheyenne was, the X2 has a tail propeller that looks almost like a carbon copy of the Cheyenne’s.

An AH-56 Cheyenne in flight. Clearly visible is the large bubble canopy over the tandem cockpit that placed the pilot in the rear seat, and the gunner in the front. Photo from the Robert F. Dorr Collection

Had its technical difficulties been overcome and had politics not intervened, the Cheyenne would have been a formidable weapon. In some ways, it was more advanced than today’s AH-64D Longbow Apache, which offers some of the capabilities the Cheyenne had but is not as effective at high altitude. The Cheyenne “was an incredible aircraft,” said Richard Berch, who piloted the AH-56A at the Yuma, Arizona Proving Ground in Arizona. “It would have changed military aviation. A passenger carrying version would have changed short-haul commercial aviation.”

Today, all that remains of the Cheyenne program is an AH-56 at the Army Aviation Museum, Fort Rucker, Ala., another on outdoor display at Fort Polk, L.,a and a third at Fort Campbell, Ky., at the outdoor display of the 101st Airborne Division (Donald F. Pratt Memorial) Museum.

How to Buy a Private Helicopter: 5 Things You Need to Know When You Are Buying a Private Helicopter
There are many benefits of owning a helicopter, including getting to work on time when living 100 miles (ca. 161 km) away from your office. The main advantage of owning a helicopter is freedom. Once you have permission and some space, you can set your course for any destination.

soaring over the sky!
Content List
Will You Be the Pilot or the Passenger?
Predetermine Your Budget
How Far Will You Travel?
Other Considerations
Landing Space is Limited
Terms You Should Know
A private owner in the United Kingdom can fly to Devon and back to London without stopping to refuel. A pub in Oxford, the Manson’s Arms, has a helipad. The photographs of helicopters that visit adorn the walls of the pub. It is a thrilling and bizarre place to visit.

Modern helicopters have engines that are quieter and more efficient with advanced glass cockpits that offer fewer distractions for pilots. Airbus Helicopters’ Ed Sale responded to GQ at the Elite London event giving insight into what to consider when buying a private helicopter.

  1. Will You Be the Pilot or the Passenger?
    The majority of helicopter owners are pilots so they can fly themselves. Private pilots and those who own a helicopter and fly themselves prefer hands-on, less bulky designs.

Bigger helicopters are usually reserved for professional pilots while the owners sit in the back. The big shots use this as their executive means of transport. Midrange helicopters have administrative abilities too but are fun to handle.

The bigger the aircraft, the more experience a pilot requires. A well-trained amateur can fly any of the Robinson chopper models. The same applies to the B3 and B4 Eurocopter Ecureuil, AgustaWestland Koala and Bell 407. If you are looking at bigger models, like the AgustaWestland A109 with more sophisticated instrumentation, you will need a professional pilot.

If planning to become a pilot, next choose a flying school. Lots of flying schools will issue Private Pilot Licenses PPLs(H). Ask friends with helicopters to recommend a good flying school.

It helps if the flying school is local to you as you need a minimum of 45 hours of training over 12 months. Training costs vary from school to school but expect it to cost around $26,200 (around £20,000). This covers your tests, exams, flying hours, medicals, equipment, and airfield fees.

Training at Heli Air, one of the UK’s largest Robinson helicopter distributors, will cost you $10,500 (around £8,000). This covers theory in subjects like meteorology, air law, and flight planning. A Class 2 medical is compulsory.

After qualifying, you need an annual review to renew your license. You can opt to expand your qualification to include formation flying and night flying. The choice is yours.

  1. Predetermine Your Budget
    Design, capacity, and the manufacturer determines a helicopter’s price. Set your budget right from the start. It helps narrow your search.

Just like cars, you will have a range of options. Sloane Helicopters marketing director, Giorgio Bendoni, says first-time buyers can choose from the two-seater, single-piston Robinson R22 to the twin-turbine, eight-seater AgustaWestland Grand. It depends on budget flexibility.

While helicopters are expensive, some are cheaper than a Lamborghini. The Robinson R44, the world’s most famous helicopter, costs only $350,000 (around £313,500) and half that second-hand.

When setting your budget, add maintenance costs too. Some helicopter’s cost more to maintain than others. Lower priced helicopters can cost more in maintenance over the long run.

The AgustaWestland Grand and the AgustaWestland A109 are great in sophistication and space, but with an annual depreciation of five to 10 percent, you may want to weigh your options.

You should also consider the cost of insurance, capital investment, and depreciation.

  1. How Far Will You Travel?
    Aircraft manufacturers offer similar models with a small tweak in design and performance. Cheaper helicopters are smaller. And this limits the number of people it can carry, fuel capacity, and distance it can travel.

So, you need to decide how many people need to travel in your helicopter regularly. Also look at the distance it can travel before needing to refuel. The H125 is a midrange helicopter that guarantees 300 to 350 miles (ca. 563 km) or 2½ hours without refueling.

  1. Other Considerations
    The Airbus H160 is a new sleek design marketed to business and private customers, while the H125 has strong competition from the Bell 407. The cabin is separate from the cockpit and is luxurious. It has two seats facing each other and is a great option if you have a pilot. In contrast, an Airbus is a better option with you as the pilot as there is no separation from your passengers.

The choice of interior should reflect the helicopter’s purpose. Some people ignore carpets as it is a lot of work to keep clean. Leather seats are an attractive option as are seats with twin leather stitching which are currently in vogue.

Landing Space is Limited
Landing spaces in London are limited due to their tight restrictions on noise control, which limits helicopter paths. Battersea Heliport is the best place to land and continue your journey using other means. Places you can land outside London include Elstree, Denham, Biggin Hill, and Northolt.

Grab a helicopter landing guide to find somewhere to land in London. It has a list of landing sites around the UK and their phone numbers. This allows you to request landing permission before leaving for your destination. They may let you land for free or for a small fee (around $50).

Terms You Should Know
There are terms you should know if you intend to own a helicopter:

VFR (Visual Flying Rules) means you have to keep sight of the ground.
IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) means you can fly above or in the clouds.
A two-seat piston engine VFR is a basic helicopter.
ILS (Instrument Landing System) is what you dial into to get to the ground.
You use a noise-canceling headset for communication.
Autopilot allows you to control the aircraft without moving the controls and is not available in all helicopters.

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