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Bell D245, D255 « Iroquois Warrior », D262 and D280: Road to « Cobra »

yasotay

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Pure conjecture on my part but the 280 appears to be a concept for an assault helicopter based on some of the dynamics and structures that were (or would become) the AH-1. 245 might be an even earlier concept for a dual purpose helicopter based on H-1 dynamics.
 

hesham

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Hi yasotay,

for the Bell D-280 was twin engined Cobra wide-body,and Bell D-245 was
the ealier Cobra concept.
 

Dynoman

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Developed from the UH-1 and following the Indian naming convention of the Bell helicopter series (before Cobra), the Model D255 'Iroquois Warrior' sought to develop a dedicated attack helicopter that was slim, maneuverable, and offered greater visibility and lower cost than existing designs. The initial mockup and the later stepped canopies, pictured below, illustrate the importance given to pilot field of view of the battlefield. The concept evolved into the Bell D262 and competed against the Lockheed AH-56 and Sikorsky Model S-66 for the 1964 Advanced Aerial Fire Support System contract. Bell lost and the D255 and D262 did not emerge from the mockup stage. However, the D255 would heavily influence the general configuration of the Bell Model 209 Cobra, which was developed inhouse with Bell money. After the AAFSS contract fell apart due to technical problems and political bickering, an interim attack platform was needed, and Bell responded with the 209.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Thanks. But the naming of Bell's helicopters after Indian tribes had nothing to do with Bell themselves... it's the standard US Army practice for helos!

Hughes/MDD H-6 Cayuse
Bell H-13 Sioux
Sikorsky H-19 Chicasaw
Vertol H-21 Shawnee
Sikorsky H-34 Chocktaw
Sikorsky H-37 Mojave
Bell H-40 Iroquois
Cessna H-41 Seneca
Vertol H-47 Chinook
Sikorsky H-54 Tarhe
Hughes H-55 Osage
Lockheed H-56 Cheyenne
Bell H-58 Kiowa
Hughes/MDD H-64 Apache
Boeing-Sikorsky H-66 Comanche
Bell H-67 Creek
Bell H-70 Arapaho
American Eurocopter H-72 Lakota


Here's a three-view to complement your pictures:
 

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Triton

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Photograph of the full-size Bell D262 mockup.

Source: Bernstein, Jonathan. US Army AH-1 Cobra Units in Vietnam Osprey Publishing Limited 2003
 

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Triton

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SaturnCanuck said:
Too bad they didn't build this.
If they had built this, would the Bell Model D262 program have been mired in political bickering and technical problems like the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne? Does anyone have technical data or estimated performance of the Model D262 so that we can compare it to the Bell AH-1 Cobra (Model D209)?
 

Stargazer2006

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Triton, you got mixed up here. The Cobra is not D-209, it's the MODEL 209. There are too separate numbering systems at Bell.
 

frank

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And nearly all of their fixed wing a/c except for some reason the DHC manufactured a/c & the Cessna L-19/O-1.


Stargazer2006 said:
Thanks. But the naming of Bell's helicopters after Indian tribes had nothing to do with Bell themselves... it's the standard US Army practice for helos!




Here's a three-view to complement your pictures:
 

cluttonfred

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The Cobra and the Bird Dog are the odd men out, it's true. For the DHC designs (Beaver, Otter, Twin Otter, Buffalo, Caribou) I guess that common sense dictated that they stick with the perfectly good and equally American names that Canadians had already given them. ;)

frank said:
And nearly all of their fixed wing a/c except for some reason the DHC manufactured a/c & the Cessna L-19/O-1.


Stargazer2006 said:
Thanks. But the naming of Bell's helicopters after Indian tribes had nothing to do with Bell themselves... it's the standard US Army practice for helos!




Here's a three-view to complement your pictures:
 

frank

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Excepting the fact I don't think we had any Otter, Beaver, Buffalo or Caribou Indians either.
 

yasotay

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I believe that the "Cobra" was given a non-standard Army naming convention because it was still a derivative from the UH-1 series and not considered a new aircraft at the time. Obviously it quickly turned into a completely different aircraft but at the time the Army took delivery it was an interim aircraft until the AH-56A could be fielded. Like the OH-6A Cayuse which became the ubiquitous "Loach" and now "Little Bird" and "Killer Egg", it would never be called by its' official name as "Cobra" and "Snake" were ingrained into the Army psyche.

Regardless the Cobra was a blast to fly. Sure miss it. :)
 

Stargazer2006

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yasotay said:
I believe that the "Cobra" was given a non-standard Army naming convention because it was still a derivative from the UH-1 series and not considered a new aircraft at the time. Obviously it quickly turned into a completely different aircraft (...) Like the OH-6A Cayuse which became the ubiquitous "Loach" and now "Little Bird" and "Killer Egg", it would never be called by its' official name as "Cobra" and "Snake" were ingrained into the Army psyche.
This is true, actually, because the AH-1 was initially called the "Huey Cobra" in the magazines of those times. This may also explain why it got an "H-1" designation instead of the logical H-7. Interestingly, it was not called the "Iroquois Cobra" because the Huey monicker was already in full fling with the Army, resulting from its HU-1 designation. Same as the F-16 and A-10, which pilots never refer to as the Fighting Falcon and the Thunderbolt II, but rather as the Viper and the Warthog (or simply the Hog).
 

Stargazer2006

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Some info on the inception of the D255 program:

On their own initiative, Bell engineers had designed a mock-up for a dedicated attack helicopter, the Bell Model D255 "Iroquois Warrior". Designed more along the lines of a jet fighter than a helicopter, the D255 featured a fore and aft cockpit layout, small stub-wings and a nose-mounted gun turret.

Though the Army showed some interest, the conventional wisdom favored multi-purpose machines like the UH-1, which provided much more utility than a dedicated attack platform. Events in Vietnam soon changed this way of thinking.
From: Joint Replacement Aircraft: The Case For A Single Multi-Mission HMLA Platform (CSC 1999)
 

Mark Nankivil

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Hi All -

There's a 1962 photo on EPay of the D-255 - see attached.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Original-1962-Bell-Helicopter-Photograph-US-Army-D-255-Iroquois-Warrior-/360494535797?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53ef261475

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

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