Drawing: Cobra Drawing: Cobra

Image: U.S. Marines AH-1Z Cobra Helicopter

U.S. Marines AH-1Z

Patuxent River, Maryland, USA, 14 June 2001 — Lt. Gen. Fred McCorkle, deputy commandant for Marine Aviation, prepares for his first flight aboard the new AH-1Z Super Cobra attack helicopter at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. From the front cockpit, the veteran CH-46 pilot manned the controls and familiarized himself with some of the aircraft's capabilities during a 45-minute orientation flight. The Marine Corps' current fleet of AH-1W Cobras and UH-1N Huey utility helicopters are currently being upgraded by manufacturer Bell Helicopter Textron. The AH-1Z will feature triple the range and twice the ordnance payload capacity of the existing Cobra, making it the most advanced attack helicopter in the world. Both aircraft will be more than 85 percent identical, sharing a new four-bladed rotor system, fuselage, engine, and cockpit displays. The commonality will save billions of dollars in engineering, operating and support costs over the lifetime of the helicopters.

Photo courtesy of Naval Air Systems Command

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