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Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne and derivatives

TomS

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F-14D said:
famvburg said:
I remember when the USAF was talking of giving the USA A-10s a few years back. I still have an unfinished, OD painted A-10 model waiting on Army decals, etc., to finish. Regarding the statement of the Army not being allowed to build runways, what about Army bases that already have runways? Why couldn't they be based at these bases?
Well, they could do that, but think about it: How are we going to get the enemy to only operate near those particular bases?. In some cases we might even have to provide transportation for them to CONUS so that we can attack them! ;)

Because Air Force A-10s only operate from US Air Force bases overseas. Really? Pretty much any time the US military operates overseas, it borrows airbases from in-theater allies, adapts existing non-military facilities, or builds bases from scratch. And when the USAF does that, thanks to the miracles of jointness, such bases are often used by multiple services anyway.
 

F-14D

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sferrin said:
Abraham Gubler said:
yasotay said:
Another piece of the Warthog to the Army legend has it that one of the deal killers was that there were no personnel positions going to the Army with the aircraft. The Army was not ready to rob other organizations within the Army for the number of personnel needed to support the A-10. It is very hard to remove one person from an organization let alone hundreds (witness the pain for the Army now with drawdown). The Army did not have the personnel accounts to support the A-10 and the USAF was darn sure not going to give the Army and of its people.
Sure but the US Army did/does have independent air combat brigades. Surely these formations could convert some of their attack helicopter battalions to A-10 battalions if they really wanted the plane?
Who's tankers would they use to deploy A-10s overseas? USN and USMC use their own.
Aha...another "string".
 

TomS

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sferrin said:
Who's tankers would they use to deploy A-10s overseas? USN and USMC use their own.

No, they don't. The USN doesn't even own any strategic tankers (it leases a couple from Omega, but generally not for operations). On the rare occasion that USN aircraft deploy by air (rather than on a carrier), they get dragged along by a USAF tanker, just like everybody else.


The Marines do have their KC-130s, but those aren't really for strategic deployments either -- too slow to keep pace with a stream of fast jets over long distances, for starters.
 

F-14D

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TomS said:
F-14D said:
famvburg said:
I remember when the USAF was talking of giving the USA A-10s a few years back. I still have an unfinished, OD painted A-10 model waiting on Army decals, etc., to finish. Regarding the statement of the Army not being allowed to build runways, what about Army bases that already have runways? Why couldn't they be based at these bases?
Well, they could do that, but think about it: How are we going to get the enemy to only operate near those particular bases?. In some cases we might even have to provide transportation for them to CONUS so that we can attack them! ;)

Because Air Force A-10s only operate from US Air Force bases overseas. Really? Pretty much any time the US military operates overseas, it borrows airbases from in-theater allies, adapts existing non-military facilities, or builds bases from scratch. And when the USAF does that, thanks to the miracles of jointness, such bases are often used by multiple services anyway.
The key is that Army would want to have such assets operate more organically with their troops and be under their control. This would not necessarily be from a large base way in the rear. They'd need rapid response from on-call a/c that would be able to respond to a fluid situation, not take an hour to get there and have the same priorities they did, so the assets would be and stay there when needed. They'd want their relatively forward bases to have this capability, but that would require runways, which they wouldn't be allowed to build.

Also, don't forget, even if all this was resolved, Army would not be allowed to develop a replacement when the time came, so why bother?
 

Stargazer2006

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F-14D said:
Besides , if they actually were going to give up attack helicopter battalions, they'd be better served (here it comes) by Harriers, which USAF would never let them have.
F-14D said:
Also, don't forget, even if all this was resolved, Army would not be allowed to develop a replacement when the time came, so why bother?
The Air Force grew up as part of the Army and eventually got separated from it in 1948. After that, most commentaries make it seem like it is the Army which was submitted to the Air Force... But who is in charge of the U.S. armed forces, anyway? Isn't it the DoD which has the ultimate say in procurement? (the Hornet example was quoted above). Isn't it the President who is the Commander in Chief? Is the U.S.A.F. a law by its own, or are they not obliged to comply with whatever gets decided above? In other words, if a Secretary of Defense, backed by his President, decided on a fixed-wing aircraft procurement for the Army and allocated a budget for that, what would the U.S.A.F. have to say?
 

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F-14D

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Stargazer2006 said:
F-14D said:
Besides , if they actually were going to give up attack helicopter battalions, they'd be better served (here it comes) by Harriers, which USAF would never let them have.
F-14D said:
Also, don't forget, even if all this was resolved, Army would not be allowed to develop a replacement when the time came, so why bother?
The Air Force grew up as part of the Army and eventually got separated from it in 1948. After that, most commentaries make it seem like it is the Army which was submitted to the Air Force... But who is in charge of the U.S. armed forces, anyway? Isn't it the DoD which has the ultimate say in procurement? (the Hornet example was quoted above). Isn't it the President who is the Commander in Chief? Is the U.S.A.F. a law by its own, or are they not obliged to comply with whatever gets decided above? In other words, if a Secretary of Defense, backed by his President, decided on a fixed-wing aircraft procurement for the Army and allocated a budget for that, what would the U.S.A.F. have to say?
This may be taking us too far off topic, this nuance is discussed elsewhere on the forum. Simply put, USAF has traditionally had the most effective lobbying effort within DoD and generally Congress. Yasotay in his post http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,941.msg144646.html#msg144646 touched on this.

I'll just use his C-27J example to illustrate, in very simplified form, this effectiveness:

1. Army has need for light intratheater transport, smaller than C-130 that can get into more areas that is more economical and faster than helicopters.

2. USAF says no need for such a thing, Their C-130s can do it.

3. It turns out that C-130s can't because of type of airfield, cost and USAF availability (C130s are stretched thin). USAF then recommends a "joint" program.

4. DoD agrees, and since majority of users and majority of aircraft will be Army, puts Army in charge.

5. Selection takes place with C-27J as Joint Cargo Aircraft. Services are to use common aircraft, each service buys its own.

6. Questions raised as to why AF is paying twice as much as Army for planes that are pretty much identical for some radios and paint. "Fixit" strategy for this problem announced: AF is put in charge of program.

7. New Program Management Office announces that number of JCAs for both services to be drastically reduced, especially Army's.

8. Reduction gives rise to AF position that program is not that economical given reduced numbers.

9 Procurement was terminated at the numbers already under contract. A couple of weeks ago it was announced that delivered C-27Js are to be sold off Not to worry. After all, we were always told there was no need for such a thing and USAF C-130s can do it all. Army Guard, though, can still feel free to stand up the units that were to operate the JCA, it's just that they'll have no aircraft.


Now this is waaay overly simplified and off topic except as an illustration of the way things work. The AH-56 also was affected by this. It wasn't the only reason the aircraft died, but it was one of the big ones.
 

F-14D

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Many thanks to Stingray for his cool graphics and pushing us back towards topic.
 

yasotay

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Indeed I would like to add my thanks to Stingray for those great new photos.

Final comment on USA/USAF at odds; F-14D is spot on.
 

Stargazer2006

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Sorry to all for the digression, thanks to Ray (rotorwash on SRF) for his ever amazing Fort Rucker material, and thanks to F-14D for the explanation!
 

Abraham Gubler

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GeorgeA said:
GE film on the AH-56 turret system
Great video. Love the introduction, you don't see that kind of thing anymore.
 

F-14D

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Recently visited Edwards AFB and their museum. Among the displays were an excellent series of models of aircraft that had at least some of their test program at Edwards. One was a beautiful example of the AH-56A. Of course, AF revisionism was involved somewhere along the line: The Cheyenne was painted silver and the markings were "U. S. Air Force".
 

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Or, it's the one model they had lying around.
 

F-14D

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GeorgeA said:
Or, it's the one model they had lying around.
Oh, I dunno, I've seen this kind of thing before. Up at the McClellan museum they had an A-7E which the Navy donated. While the museum was on an active AFB, the Command would only allow the a/c to be displayed if it was repainted into USAF colors. Maybe the same thing happened at Edwards at the time they acquired this model.
 

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I have Lockheed factory models of the Cheyenne in Army green, Navy blue and Air Force silver. I've also seen one in USMC colors. Models were sales tools, and the various finishes existed to plant a seed in the mind of procurement officers in each branch of the military. Not that it helped in the end.
 

Stingray

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Sorry, but I haven't kept up on the AH-56's whereabouts post project cancellation. Does anyone know the condition of the prototypes? Like, are they still airworthy, or have they been neglected all these years?
 

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I have a feeling that one is a gate guardian somewhere. I dont see why any would be kept airworthy...
 

GTX

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Supposedly:

No. 2 66-8827 is on display at Fort Polk, Louisiana,
No. 5 66-8830 is stored at Army Aviation Museum, Fort Rucker, Alabama,
No. 6 66-8831 is on display at Fort Campbell, and
No. 7 66-8832 is on display at Army Aviation Museum, Fort Rucker.
 

Rigid Rotor

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GTX said:
Supposedly:

No. 2 66-8827 is on display at Fort Polk, Louisiana,
No. 5 66-8830 is stored at Army Aviation Museum, Fort Rucker, Alabama,
No. 6 66-8831 is on display at Fort Campbell, and
No. 7 66-8832 is on display at Army Aviation Museum, Fort Rucker.
You're correct on all of these. They are all in varying condition and states of completeness, although none have the Swiveling Gunners Station (SGS) in its complete state, which is a real shame.

- 66-8827: Has a partial SGS, and was lovingly restored a few years ago prior to being put back on display in a different area of the base. Although I didn't physically assist in the restoration, I provided help to the team in regard to photos of markings, stencils, etc. It is one of the most complete of them all, and the restoration gave it a fresh paint scheme (though in a gloss finish for better weather resistance and preservation).
- 66-8830: Probably the most complete of them all, but sadly not displayed. The last I saw of it, it was being stored (thankfully, indoors) with its wing detached. If the museum ever manages to get funding for another building, it will hopefully be placed back on display.
- 66-8831: Displayed outdoors, with no plans to move it indoors or be repainted. It could really use a new paint job (last painted in 1988, I believe). Notably, this is the only airframe that wore any sort of disruptive camouflage scheme at any point in the program (long since removed).
- 66-8832: Of them all, this one is in the worst condition. It's still sitting outdoors at Ft. Rucker, and it's not even on display anymore. One person has reported that the tail rotor blades were, inexplicably, cut off; not removed, but actually cut off. I have no idea why that would ever be done.
 

Rigid Rotor

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Orionblamblam said:
*Boom* goes the business model
Scott, I cannot recall off the top of my head which one you have available, but I can tell you that the samples Stingray has posted are from the Lockheed manual. The Army manual is different, more of the standard military format (without so many photos). I have them both.

All, it's worth noting that the one Scott (Orionblamblam) has available is very good, with all of the pages having been cleaned up nicely - very bright and clear. That's worth mentioning if you have any desire to print any of the images in a hi-res format for framing, etc.

Stingray, thanks for contributing to this thread. The Cheyenne is always a hot topic, and one that's very dear to my heart. Keep it coming...
 

Stargazer2006

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Thanks a lot for sharing, Travis. Fascinating helicopter as always!
 

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30mm wecom xm 639 tp

cartridge weight: 401 gr
projectile weight: 193 gr
powder weight: 40 gr

DTIC : "Fourth aircraft/stores compatibility symposium proceedings" page 17
 
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