Author Topic: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra  (Read 960 times)

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Offline DogfighterZen

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Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« 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.





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.





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.





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.



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.



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."

"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline chrisonord

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #1 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
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 02:41:27 pm »
All sorts of a mean looking machine. A great job you've done there.  :thumbsup:
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

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

Regards
Kit

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #3 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:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline zenrat

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2020, 04:25:16 pm »
As Chris almost says, looks like a bought one.

 :thumbsup:
Fred

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Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #5 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:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2020, 08:05:06 pm »
Very nice model.  :wub: The fenestron looks just right in conjunction with the four-bladed rotor.
Cheers,
Moritz


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Offline AeroplaneDriver

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2020, 09:15:20 pm »
The Zulu Cobra is a badass helo.  With a fenestron it is absolutely amazing.  Excellent work!!!
So I got that going for me...which is nice....

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #8 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:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline Tophe

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #9 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:
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #10 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:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2020, 01:49:06 am »
That looks very good and natural, well done!  :lol:

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #12 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:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"

Offline NARSES2

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2020, 07:15:50 am »
That really has come out well my friend  :bow:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline DogfighterZen

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Re: Bell AH-1(4B-FNT)W SuperCobra
« Reply #14 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:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"