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Posted: 9/27/2011 9:44:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2011 9:46:05 PM EDT by KA3B]
http://www.verticalmag.com/news/articles/the-super-cobra-moves-forward.html

The long-awaited Bell AH-1Z “Zulu” — the latest and greatest in a long line of AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter models — will soon undergo its first operational deployment with the 11th Marine Corps Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.





Link Posted: 9/27/2011 9:46:04 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:21:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2011 10:22:46 PM EDT by junker46]
What happens to the designation for any future mods? Are these remans? Yep...
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:29:03 PM EDT
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:29:29 PM EDT
I could have some fun in that
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:31:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By junker46:
What happens to the designation for any future mods? Are these remans? Yep...
Some are, some aren't. They are planning to buy 58 new build models as part of the 189 aircraft buy.

Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:32:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By alexanderredhook:
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?
Because the USMC is devoted to hover taxiing, wheels are for Army aviators.

Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:35:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By alexanderredhook:
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?


Because they are cheap, and barely ever break.
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:37:05 PM EDT
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:40:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
Originally Posted By alexanderredhook:
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?


Because they are cheap, and barely ever break.


Id have guess because they are lighter...but cheap and durable counts also.
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:40:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.

12 Billion dollars for 349 aircraft? $34 MILLION per aircraft? That's hardly a "fraction of the cost" and they are basically squandering far more $$ than they would have spent buying navalized Apaches (already in service with the UK) and Seahawk/blackhawk variants.
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:49:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2011 10:51:56 PM EDT by PugglePod9000]
Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.

12 Billion dollars for 349 aircraft? $34 MILLION per aircraft? That's hardly a "fraction of the cost" and they are basically squandering far more $$ than they would have spent buying navalized Apaches (already in service with the UK) and Seahawk/blackhawk variants.


I think Chairborne is confused.
The original idea was to rework the "W" Cobra airframes into "Z" models...
(to save $$$)

That idea was dropped.

They are all-new construction.

Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:51:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2011 10:55:30 PM EDT by Charging_Handle]
Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.

12 Billion dollars for 349 aircraft? $34 MILLION per aircraft? That's hardly a "fraction of the cost" and they are basically squandering far more $$ than they would have spent buying navalized Apaches (already in service with the UK) and Seahawk/blackhawk variants.


I was under the impression that these aircraft were to be significantly less expensive than the Blackhawk and Apache. I honestly can't see why they would be that expensive! Granted, the price tag for a new build Apache or Blackhawk is probably far greater than it was just a decade or so ago, but even then I can't see either of those costing $34 million. Why the hell are the Yankees and Zulus so expensive? Most of them are going to be rebuilt from N and W models. So you are starting with a basic airframe. Then they are getting new engines, transmissions and all the modern electronic goodies. But how could a rebuild of an existing helicopter cost more than a new build Hawk or Apache? Even factoring in development costs, you'd think it would be relatively minimal, since it is a modification of an existing aircraft, not a completely new aircraft.

ETA: Just read the reply above. So now they are doing totally new builds instead of refurbs? That would certainly explain the sky high price tags. But it seems to totally screw up the reasoning for modifying existing birds (expense). If they are going to have to buy totally new birds,and if they cost as much or more as new Hawks and Apaches, then why the hell not just buy the latter?

Let me guess, this is the work of our brilliant government?
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:53:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.

12 Billion dollars for 349 aircraft? $34 MILLION per aircraft? That's hardly a "fraction of the cost" and they are basically squandering far more $$ than they would have spent buying navalized Apaches (already in service with the UK) and Seahawk/blackhawk variants.


I think Chairborne is confused.
The original idea was to rework the "W" Cobra airframes into "Z" models...
(to save $$$)

That idea was dropped.

They are all-new construction.


http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/awst/2010/10/18/AW_10_18_2010_p28-261809.xml
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 10:55:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2011 10:59:54 PM EDT by PugglePod9000]
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:...Most of them are going to be rebuilt from N and W models. So you are starting with a basic airframe. Then they are getting new engines, transmissions and all the modern electronic goodies. But how could a rebuild of an existing helicopter cost more than a new build Hawk or Apache? Even factoring in development costs, you'd think it would be relatively minimal, since it is a modification of an existing aircraft, not a completely new aircraft.



This is simply not true.

I worked on the flight test/R&D for this bird.
The plan to rebuild the old birds was scrapped mid-way through.

The airframe, as it was at the end of the flight-test program, was waaaaay different than on the first Z-model. (airframe #59001)

I know, I built it and worked for years on it.
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 11:00:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:...Most of them are going to be rebuilt from N and W models. So you are starting with a basic airframe. Then they are getting new engines, transmissions and all the modern electronic goodies. But how could a rebuild of an existing helicopter cost more than a new build Hawk or Apache? Even factoring in development costs, you'd think it would be relatively minimal, since it is a modification of an existing aircraft, not a completely new aircraft.



This is simply not true.

I worked on the flight test/R&D for this bird.
The plan to rebuild the old birds was scrapped mid-way through.


Then they should have bought Apaches and Blackhawks. It was sound logic to refurbish and upgrade the current Hueys and Cobras to give them near Blackhawk and Apache performance at a much reduced cost. It doesn't make good sense to spend more to get less, which is basically what they are now doing.
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 11:04:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:Then they should have bought Apaches and Blackhawks. It was sound logic to refurbish and upgrade the current Hueys and Cobras to give them near Blackhawk and Apache performance at a much reduced cost. It doesn't make good sense to spend more to get less, which is basically what they are now doing.


That may well be true.

There are a lot of differences between the Apache and the Cobra.
Maybe a Marine-spec Apache build would have been a more economically viable option.

Link Posted: 9/27/2011 11:10:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2011 11:26:32 PM EDT by OLY-M4gery]
Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:Then they should have bought Apaches and Blackhawks. It was sound logic to refurbish and upgrade the current Hueys and Cobras to give them near Blackhawk and Apache performance at a much reduced cost. It doesn't make good sense to spend more to get less, which is basically what they are now doing.


That may well be true.

There are a lot of differences between the Apache and the Cobra.
Maybe a Marine-spec Apache build would have been a more economically viable option.



The USMC has experience running AH-1's. If they switched to the AH-64 then all their pilots, gunners, and mechanics would need to be re-trained.

Next, the AH-1Z is simpler than the AH-64. It has 90% of the performance, but will have a higher availablity rate, with less maint hours per flight hour than an AH-64.

Finally, there is still a lot of parts commonality between the AH-1 and UH-1. There is none between the AH-64 and the UH-60. With the A/UH-1 combo the Marines have to pack up fewer parts to support both aircraft than if the switched to the AH-64 and UH-60.

So from a support standpoint the A/UH-1 upgrade creates less need to retrain and requires a smaller logistical footprint to support.

––––-ETA––––––––––––


All 4, AH-1, AH-64, UH-1, and UH-60 use the same engines.
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 11:10:44 PM EDT
Sikorsky couldnt meet the demand for navalized crashhawks. So behind were they that the Navy had to buy some Army model 'hawks for shore based squadrons (told to me by a Navy sea hawk pilot)
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 11:25:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DvlDog:
Sikorsky couldnt meet the demand for navalized crashhawks...


Navalizing is a HUGE requirement.

Everything on the bird has to tolerate salt spray.

Getting aluminum and salt to play well together over, what, a thirty year arframe life? ...That has got to be challenging.

Link Posted: 9/27/2011 11:45:28 PM EDT
I want one...
Link Posted: 9/27/2011 11:47:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:...Most of them are going to be rebuilt from N and W models. So you are starting with a basic airframe. Then they are getting new engines, transmissions and all the modern electronic goodies. But how could a rebuild of an existing helicopter cost more than a new build Hawk or Apache? Even factoring in development costs, you'd think it would be relatively minimal, since it is a modification of an existing aircraft, not a completely new aircraft.



This is simply not true.

I worked on the flight test/R&D for this bird.
The plan to rebuild the old birds was scrapped mid-way through.

The airframe, as it was at the end of the flight-test program, was waaaaay different than on the first Z-model. (airframe #59001)

I know, I built it and worked for years on it.


This is why I come to arfcom.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 12:59:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.

12 Billion dollars for 349 aircraft? $34 MILLION per aircraft? That's hardly a "fraction of the cost" and they are basically squandering far more $$ than they would have spent buying navalized Apaches (already in service with the UK) and Seahawk/blackhawk variants.


The Brit Apaches were 35 million pounds sterling a piece, so a bit more than the 34 million US dollars the Zulus cost. Not to mention the transition cost and the loss in commonality with the UH-1Y.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 1:16:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Helo-Tech:
I want one...

I want one following me around everywhere I go.


Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:50:43 AM EDT
That is bad ass looking that's for sure.................
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:55:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DvlDog:
Sikorsky couldnt meet the demand for navalized crashhawks. So behind were they that the Navy had to buy some Army model 'hawks for shore based squadrons (told to me by a Navy sea hawk pilot)


There is truth in that statement. Hawks are in high demand and Sikorskys is jumping through hoops to meet that. FMS and DoD are all wanting more
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:56:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By R0N:
Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.

12 Billion dollars for 349 aircraft? $34 MILLION per aircraft? That's hardly a "fraction of the cost" and they are basically squandering far more $$ than they would have spent buying navalized Apaches (already in service with the UK) and Seahawk/blackhawk variants.


The Brit Apaches were 35 million pounds sterling a piece, so a bit more than the 34 million US dollars the Zulus cost. Not to mention the transition cost and the loss in commonality with the UH-1Y.


So about twice the cost of the Zulu Cobra. WOW.

Something else people forget, the UH-1Y is not a direct parallel to a UH-60. The USMC's mission for the UH-1Y is different.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:58:27 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dport:
Originally Posted By R0N:
Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.

12 Billion dollars for 349 aircraft? $34 MILLION per aircraft? That's hardly a "fraction of the cost" and they are basically squandering far more $$ than they would have spent buying navalized Apaches (already in service with the UK) and Seahawk/blackhawk variants.


The Brit Apaches were 35 million pounds sterling a piece, so a bit more than the 34 million US dollars the Zulus cost. Not to mention the transition cost and the loss in commonality with the UH-1Y.


So about twice the cost of the Zulu Cobra. WOW.

Something else people forget, the UH-1Y is not a direct parallel to a UH-60. The USMC's mission for the UH-1Y is different.


Correct, 60s fall somewhere between the Huey and the Phrog in the USMC old helo structure.

Link Posted: 9/28/2011 4:58:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By USMC6177:
Originally Posted By DvlDog:
Sikorsky couldnt meet the demand for navalized crashhawks. So behind were they that the Navy had to buy some Army model 'hawks for shore based squadrons (told to me by a Navy sea hawk pilot)


There is truth in that statement. Hawks are in high demand and Sikorskys is jumping through hoops to meet that. FMS and DoD are all wanting more


Hence the stupid location of the MH-60S's tail wheel. I've seen more than one pilot about put his tail wheel into flight deck nets. Stupid, stupid, stupid location for a navalized helo.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:03:33 AM EDT
Originally Posted By alexanderredhook:
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?


Because if you take them off, the helicopter will fall over when you land. The real issue is weight and reliability. When I worked on them, we never had a pair of skids fail.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:11:46 AM EDT
I always liked the Cobra better than the Apache. Maintenance crews liked the Cobra much better also. Simplier to maintain.

Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:14:55 AM EDT
Originally Posted By alexanderredhook:
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?


Landing gear is complicated and requires daily upkeep. Not to mention struts and tires improperly serviced can and have killed a lot of guys. Skids are great if you can get away with them.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:15:23 AM EDT
It's beautiful!
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:16:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By USMC6177:
Originally Posted By alexanderredhook:
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?


Landing gear is complicated and requires daily upkeep. Not to mention struts and tires improperly serviced can and have killed a lot of guys. Skids are great if you can get away with them.


Plus skids worked fine up until the Blackhawk was adopted.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:19:39 AM EDT
That is an awesomely mean looking piece of war fighting hardware. Fuck yeah!
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:20:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By JMD:
Originally Posted By USMC6177:
Originally Posted By alexanderredhook:
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?


Landing gear is complicated and requires daily upkeep. Not to mention struts and tires improperly serviced can and have killed a lot of guys. Skids are great if you can get away with them.


Plus skids worked fine up until the Blackhawk was adopted.


For light attack they are the best choice because the operating weight will always be pretty consistant. The assault/cargo helos have to have wheels so they can do stuff like max gross running take offs.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:26:56 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.

12 Billion dollars for 349 aircraft? $34 MILLION per aircraft? That's hardly a "fraction of the cost" and they are basically squandering far more $$ than they would have spent buying navalized Apaches (already in service with the UK) and Seahawk/blackhawk variants.


Which cost is that and which cost are you comparing it to?
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:38:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By USMC6177:
Originally Posted By JMD:
Originally Posted By USMC6177:
Originally Posted By alexanderredhook:
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?


Landing gear is complicated and requires daily upkeep. Not to mention struts and tires improperly serviced can and have killed a lot of guys. Skids are great if you can get away with them.


Plus skids worked fine up until the Blackhawk was adopted.


For light attack they are the best choice because the operating weight will always be pretty consistant. The assault/cargo helos have to have wheels so they can do stuff like max gross running take offs.


I didn't know that. So when they are loaded to full spec, they actually do something like a STOL lift-off?
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:43:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By metalsaber:
It's beautiful!


Best Ad Ever
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:43:30 AM EDT
Cool
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:44:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PugglePod9000:
Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:...Most of them are going to be rebuilt from N and W models. So you are starting with a basic airframe. Then they are getting new engines, transmissions and all the modern electronic goodies. But how could a rebuild of an existing helicopter cost more than a new build Hawk or Apache? Even factoring in development costs, you'd think it would be relatively minimal, since it is a modification of an existing aircraft, not a completely new aircraft.



This is simply not true.

I worked on the flight test/R&D for this bird.
The plan to rebuild the old birds was scrapped mid-way through.

The airframe, as it was at the end of the flight-test program, was waaaaay different than on the first Z-model. (airframe #59001)

I know, I built it and worked for years on it.
Its really cool the amount of people like you who post on Arfcom Did you guys build whole new airframes too? I know Boeing is doing a little of both on F model Chinooks, you can turn in a plane and they will use whats still good and they offer completely new ones.

Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:48:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By HullBreach:
Originally Posted By USMC6177:
Originally Posted By JMD:
Originally Posted By USMC6177:
Originally Posted By alexanderredhook:
I love the Cobra, but why does it still have skids?


Landing gear is complicated and requires daily upkeep. Not to mention struts and tires improperly serviced can and have killed a lot of guys. Skids are great if you can get away with them.


Plus skids worked fine up until the Blackhawk was adopted.


For light attack they are the best choice because the operating weight will always be pretty consistant. The assault/cargo helos have to have wheels so they can do stuff like max gross running take offs.


I didn't know that. So when they are loaded to full spec, they actually do something like a STOL lift-off?


It depends on how much gas they have on board but as a rule you can get off the ground with a running take off with a weight that would overtorque on a straight VTOL.

Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:53:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SnoopisTDI:
Originally Posted By metalsaber:
It's beautiful!


Best Ad Ever


Link Posted: 9/28/2011 5:54:20 AM EDT
Sweeeeet!
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:11:56 AM EDT


Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:
I think the Y model Huey and the Z model Cobra were an excellent idea. With those rebuilds, you basically get a brand new aircraft that replicates the performance and capabilities of the Blackhawk and Apache, respectively, for a fraction of the cost.

12 Billion dollars for 349 aircraft? $34 MILLION per aircraft? That's hardly a "fraction of the cost" and they are basically squandering far more $$ than they would have spent buying navalized Apaches (already in service with the UK) and Seahawk/blackhawk variants.


The Brits didn't navalize anything,the Army Air Corps just fly them from ships the same way the French Armee de Terre flies their Tigers and Gazelles off their assault ships. That would NEVER fly with the Marines as the aircraft would have to live on the ships for extended periods of time and they really weren't built for it...not to mention assholes like me would then ask "why exactly do we need the Marines if Army pilots can fly Army helos off of Navy boats?"



Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:38:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SnoopisTDI:
Originally Posted By metalsaber:
It's beautiful!


Best Ad Ever


That ad isn't doing much for our .gov's 'Muslim Outreach" program. Nosiree!

TC

P.S.––Love the ad!

Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:47:15 AM EDT
Does that helo have an APU?
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:51:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rick-James:
Does that helo have an APU?


Pretty sure it relies on battery power for start up. I could be wrong however as that is Attack and I know not of thier dark magic.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 6:52:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By outofbattery:


if Army pilots can fly Army helos off of Navy boats?"



They can, and do. i remember a destroyer that had a -58 det on it, with crossed sabres painted on it and someting like '3/77th Airfield, elevation 9 ft.' I was on CVN 71 and the Army was onboard for a few weeks.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 7:08:50 AM EDT
Thank you for the new background on my work computer. I got to see an Apache for the first time this weekend. Beautiful helicopter. Way bigger in life than I had imagined. That being said I <3 the cobras.
Link Posted: 9/28/2011 7:19:50 AM EDT
Glad it got over the teething problems. A buddy of mine works for FLIR and said they should have adopted the turret ball from the UH1Y that they sell, but LM got the contract and it was having all kinds of problems. Better than the Apache optics, but very expensive.

Marines stuck with the Cobra because it has a more versatile weapons load than an Apache (TOWs are a little better in a maritime environment than Hellfire, plus the 20MM is more accurate than the 30MM) –– but I still think they should have bought MH60S instead of the Y, though that would threaten the V22 program and the supposed value of the whole Huey "upgrade" program.

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