Lockheed/Bell AV-56 Cheyenne

Started by CammNut, November 29, 2020, 10:39:31 AM

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When Lockheed encountered development challenges with the rigid rotor of the AH-56 Cheyenne attack helicopter, which led to the fatal crash of a prototype in 1969, the U.S. Army notified the company it would cancel the program if the problem was not solved. Lockheed proposed a redesign of the rotor control system, but Bell quietly stepped forward with an unusual solution: replace the rigid rotor with a tiltrotor propulsion system.

Bell had been looking for an application of the tiltrotor since demonstrating the concept with the XV-3. Applied to the Cheyenne, the tiltrotor not only eliminated the rigid rotor's problems, but increased performance and overcame the persistent weight issues. In effort to avoid Congressional scrutiny, the Army chose not give the redesigned Cheyenne a new designation from the V-series, but instead just renumbered it the "AV-56" in a bid to play down the extent of the changes.

This is my first whiff attempt since I broke my arm this summer, so I kept it simple. I saw some folks here put the Bandai Gundam tiltrotor pack to good use, so I bought one. Then I saw that Atlantis had released the ex-Aurora 1/72 AH-56, so I bought a couple of those. The Bandai tiltrotor looks a bit retro, so I thought it would make a good match to the Cheyenne.

The wings on the tiltrotor pack are quite short, so I created a new wing center section from plastic card. This sits on top of the fuselage where the single turboshaft engine and main rotor pylon were. I eliminated the tailrotor and tail propeller, cut off the Cheyenne's wings and instead added smaller stub wings that would carry the weapons (had I bothered to arm it). I added IR jammers to cover seemingly pointless holes in the Bandai nacelles. The decals are from the kit.


Awesome job!
I could see this in Marine colors escorting MV-22s to the LZ! I know that's playing with the timeline but it would look cool. Just say there was a bunch of airframes forgotten in the back corner of the "boneyard" in AZ.   
Hmmmm....    I have the Cheyenne kit in the stash maybe I should get busy.
" Somewhere, between half true, and completely crazy, is a rainbow of nice colours "
Tophe the Wise


What an excellent job you've made of that, both the model AND the backstory!  ;D :thumbsup:
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



Wow :wub: I  really like that. Marvellous  :thumbsup:
The dogs philosophy on life.
If you cant eat it hump it or fight it,
Pee on it and walk away!!


Phil Peterson

Vote for the Whiffies


[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]


Beautiful work!  That just looks soooo right!   :wub:
So I got that going for me...which is nice....


Ah, the versatile Gundam tiltrotor pack! So many uses...  ;D

Great application, looks pretty sleek and fast.  :thumbsup:



- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..


Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.



I can see a USMC version over Grenada in 1981, or escorting the Jolly Greens at Desert One.


Excellent whif! As Dizzy wrote: that looks pretty sleek and fast.  :thumbsup:

Thanks for sharing with us!

David aka 63cpe

Captain Canada

I love it ! Great build and an even better idea ! I can see a similar build in my future. Cheers !
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
Where's my beer ?


It looks so modern! Great combination of parts. It almost looks like it could be in Avatar...


Thanks for the comments, folks. It's pleasing when whiff comes out "looking right"