What if

Picture Post => Current and Finished Projects => Aircraft => Topic started by: DogfighterZen on March 28, 2020, 01:39:46 pm

Title: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 28, 2020, 01:39:46 pm
"When in the early 1980s, the U.S. Marine Corps sought a new navalized helicopter, but it was denied funding to buy the AH-64 Apache by Congress in 1981. The Marines in turn pursued a more powerful version of the AH-1T. Other changes included modified fire control systems to carry and fire AIM-9 Sidewinder and AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The new version was funded by Congress and received the AH-1W designation. Deliveries of AH-1W SuperCobras totaled 179 new-built helicopters plus 43 upgrades of AH-1Ts.

(https://i.imgur.com/h0MXbU2.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/4Oszxwj.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/yp5Uh6H.jpg)

The AH-1T+ demonstrator and AH-1W prototype were later tested with a new experimental composite four-blade main rotor system. The new system offered better performance, reduced noise and improved battle damage tolerance. Lacking a USMC contract, Bell developed this new design into the AH-1Z Viper with its own funds. By 1996, the Marines were again not allowed to order the AH-64. Developing a marine version of the Apache would have been expensive and it was likely that the Marine Corps would be its only customer. They instead signed a contract for upgrading AH-1Ws into AH-1Zs.

(https://i.imgur.com/pdk0ui1.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/PYMF0Vp.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/ecqXdHX.jpg)

In 1999, the engineers at Bell were paying close attention to what their competitors were doing and decided to try out the Fenestron tail rotor design, also called the Fantail rotor, because of the recent developments that were introduced by Eurocopter on their EC135 helicopter which, had unevenly spaced rotor blades to reduce noise emissions.
Bell helicopters decided to use one of the AH-1W(4B) prototypes that had been on display at the Marine Air Station Yuma Open Air Museum for a few years and modify it to accept a 3rd generation "Fenestron", replacing the standard two blade tail rotor system.

(https://i.imgur.com/ryJrJfn.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/o64QPHg.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/hOOUHe3.jpg)

After the fantail was installed and the conversion was completed in December, 2000 at Bell helicopters Textron facilities at Fort Worth, Texas, initial flight tests were performed in early 2001 by Bell's test pilots. Those flights revealed that performance was better than originally expected in all areas so, it was determined that the prototype, designated AH-1(4B-FNT)W, would be put into squadron service for testing and evaluation of performance and to determine the in-service maintenance procedures and life expectancy of the system, with the US Marine Corps aviation squadron HMM-261 "Raging Bulls" based at MCAS New River, North Carolina.

(https://i.imgur.com/7XfTDUU.jpg)

The "Fanned Cobra", as it would come to be called by it's test pilots and ground crews, flew over 2000 hours, during it's 6 month flight test schedule and performed flawlessly, confirming the effectiveness of the fantail rotor. Data was collected to further study the possibility of the system's integration in the then recent AH-1Z Viper or in future variants of the AH-1. Sadly, the project wouldn't be adopted by the USMC and the study was discontinued shortly after.

(https://i.imgur.com/Qv1KAAU.jpg)

After the 6 month flight test program, in 2001, the "Fanned Cobra" was sent to the Flying Leathernecks aviation museum in San Diego, California, where it can still be seen on display."

Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: chrisonord on March 28, 2020, 02:26:29 pm
That looks  so right  Rui :thumbsup:
It's an obvious  upgrade to  existing  cobras  too don't you  think.  Marvellous
Chris
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: PR19_Kit on March 28, 2020, 02:41:27 pm
All sorts of a mean looking machine. A great job you've done there.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 28, 2020, 04:09:41 pm
That looks  so right  Rui :thumbsup:
It's an obvious  upgrade to  existing  cobras  too don't you  think.  Marvellous
Chris

 Glad you like her, mate!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Indeed, i think most attack choppers look better with the fenestron and i'd love to see Cobras like this in the real world. Not sure how the performance part would be affected but i believe that the more recent fenestron designs have worked out the kinks of the original ones.
Mind you, i will be doing it to one of the AH-1Z Viper kits when i get the chance. :mellow:

All sorts of a mean looking machine. A great job you've done there.  :thumbsup:

Thank you, Kit!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
If it looks mean, then i've accomplished one of my goals with the conversion. It was a handful of work indeed but i'm so glad i've managed to finish it and make it look, IMHO, reasonably good. But the fact is that the Cobra was already a beauty of a chopper from the get go, it is one of my favorite chopper designs... only second to the Blue Thunder... :wub:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: zenrat on March 28, 2020, 04:25:16 pm
As Chris almost says, looks like a bought one.

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 28, 2020, 04:52:41 pm
As Chris almost says, looks like a bought one.

 :thumbsup:

 :o You're too kind, my friend, thank you!  :bow: :bow:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: ChernayaAkula on March 28, 2020, 08:05:06 pm
Very nice model.  :wub: The fenestron looks just right in conjunction with the four-bladed rotor.
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: AeroplaneDriver on March 28, 2020, 09:15:20 pm
The Zulu Cobra is a badass helo.  With a fenestron it is absolutely amazing.  Excellent work!!!
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 29, 2020, 12:49:33 am
Very nice model.  :wub: The fenestron looks just right in conjunction with the four-bladed rotor.

Glad you like it, mate!  :thumbsup: I've always wondered why something like this didn't happen in real life... :-\

The Zulu Cobra is a badass helo.  With a fenestron it is absolutely amazing.  Excellent work!!!

Thank you, mate!  :thumbsup: Don't forget that this is a AH-1W, still a bit different from the Zulu airframe(different nose turret sensors, doghouse, stub wings, etc.) but i'll be doing this same mod on one of the AH-1Z kits when i get them... as a matter of fact, i am waiting for the Kittyhawk kit to be sent to me but the shop were i ordered the kit is not working at the moment and they're only going back to work in the second week of April... :banghead:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: Tophe on March 29, 2020, 01:08:07 am
 :wub: Wow! Great!
The Fenestron tail makes it a perfect mix of US Cobra and French Gazelle! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 29, 2020, 01:17:15 am
:wub: Wow! Great!
The Fenestron tail makes it a perfect mix of US Cobra and French Gazelle! :thumbsup:

Glad you like her, Tophe! And you got that spot on, the Gazelle is a big influence as it's one of my favorite choppers... even more because it was the basis for the Blue thunder, my all time favorite!  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: Dizzyfugu on March 29, 2020, 01:49:06 am
That looks very good and natural, well done!  :lol:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 29, 2020, 04:53:58 am
That looks very good and natural, well done!  :lol:

Glad you like it, Thomas, thank you!  :bow: :bow:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: NARSES2 on March 29, 2020, 07:15:50 am
That really has come out well my friend  :bow:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 29, 2020, 08:12:45 am
Glad you like the little beast, Chris! Came out better than i expected, that's for sure!  :cheers:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: Tophe on March 30, 2020, 02:57:10 am
the Gazelle is a big influence as it's one of my favorite choppers...
Your Super Cobra inspired me too... for my collection of Mustangs. But finding a balance has not been easy. :unsure: ;D
(http://www.kristofmeunier.fr/P-51_profil04_fm.jpg)
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: Old Wombat on March 30, 2020, 03:24:49 am
As Chris almost says, looks like a bought one.

 :thumbsup:

Yup! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: comrade harps on March 30, 2020, 04:21:07 am
Awesome!  :wub:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 30, 2020, 08:54:10 am
Your Super Cobra inspired me too... for my collection of Mustangs. But finding a balance has not been easy. :unsure: ;D
(http://www.kristofmeunier.fr/P-51_profil04_fm.jpg)

Now THAT is something different, Tophe...  :o
And i believe you, finding a balance for that design will not be easy at all... ;D

As Chris almost says, looks like a bought one.

 :thumbsup:

Yup! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Awesome!  :wub:

Glad you like it, gentlemen!  :drink:
I'm really pleased with how it came out and I am the one who has to THANK ALL OF YOU because, if i've managed to do a good job of it, it's because of all i've learnt throughout the years with all you fine people who post on this forum! :bow: :bow: :bow:

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: AndrewF on March 30, 2020, 10:09:00 am
Excellent - looks great and very convincing.
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 30, 2020, 10:35:50 am
Excellent - looks great and very convincing.

Glad to know you like it, thank you, Andrew! :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: Captain Canada on March 30, 2020, 05:48:31 pm
Very nice ! Took me awhile to spot it lol.

 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 30, 2020, 06:27:20 pm
Very nice ! Took me awhile to spot it lol.

 :thumbsup:

 ;D That means it's well integrated.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Like one guy said on FB, it's Blue Thunder's illegitimate child...  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: Tophe on March 31, 2020, 08:32:17 am
Your Super Cobra inspired me too... for my collection of Mustangs. But finding a balance has not been easy. :unsure: ;D
For my collection of Lightnings also, one (or two) Fenestron(s) was a good idea, thanks again! ;D
It gives balance to an asymetric airplane, or this (or equivalent) is mandatory on a helicopter version:
(http://www.kristofmeunier.fr/P38_persp_D_dv.jpg)
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: Mossie on March 31, 2020, 11:54:51 am
The Fenestron looks very much at home on the Cobra.
:wub:
It might just give me the kick up I need to do a Cobra conversion I've been thinking of for the In the Navy GB.
:thumbsup:
Title: Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
Post by: DogfighterZen on March 31, 2020, 05:30:04 pm
The Fenestron looks very much at home on the Cobra.
:wub:
It might just give me the kick up I need to do a Cobra conversion I've been thinking of for the In the Navy GB.
:thumbsup:

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: It does look like it should've had one in real life, doesn't it?
Yeah, go ahead and do it! The cobra's are beautiful choppers and there's no such thing as too many of them. :thumbsup: