Cobra Helicopter

YouTube - Cobra Helicopter

Primary Function:
Rotor Diameter:
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Cruise Speed:
Max. Speed:
Initial Climb:
First Flight:
Year Deployed:
Lycoming T53-L-703
1,623 h.p.
44 ft. 7 in.
13 ft. 8 in.
44 ft.
6,071 lbs.
9,500 lbs.
145 mph
172 mph
1,620 fpm
11,600 feet
357 miles

The Cobra helicopter, from Bell, (officially Bell AH-1 Cobra) is the first dedicated attack helicopter ever produced. It first flew in 1965 and is still in use today. The helicopter got its rotor, transmission, and tail boom from its predecessor.

The Cobra helicopter first saw combat in Vietnam. It was voted one of the most valuable weapons of the Vietnam war by the U.S. Army Association. The attack helicopter is armed with a three barrel 20 mm cannon, and can be equipped with rockets and missiles. Its narrow profile is intended to present the smallest target possible to enemy fire. Missions include armed escort, gunship, and anti-armor.

The United States Forest Service has been using a pair of Cobra helicopter equipped with infrared cameras to see through smoke to the flames of wildfires in order to better attack them.

The Cobra helicopter was the first to have tandem seating for their pilots and gunners. Initial models were armed with either single 40 mm grenade launchers or 7.62 mm mini guns in the nose. They utilize fixed skids, rather than retracts, and a simple tail bumper. In fact, the overall design approach to the helicopter was one that kept development time to a minimum by using existing, uncomplicated parts. Through the years the Cobra has been continually improved. The latest version is propelled by a pair of engines.

Over 1,600 Cobra helicopters were produced with single engines.  To date over 1,200 have been produced with twin engines.

Cobra-Helicopter Vario

Cobra Helicopter

The Vario 9 piece GRP Cobra Helicopter fuselage kit is for gasoline or turbine power and comes with a rear rotor drive shaft. It is 75 in. long and 8 in. wide.

Approach Engineering has a Cobra Helicopter fuselage kit. It is for .60 to .90 size mechanics. Length is 65 in., width is 13 in. and height is 14 in. Construction is balsa and ply. Rotor diameter can be from 57 in. to 61 in.

Approach Engineering has a Cobra Helicopter fuselage kit for 500 size mechanics. It is made from balsa and ply with a length of 51 in., a width of 12 1/2 in., and a height of 10 in. Rotors can be from 45 in. to 48 in. in diameter.