BELL HELICOPTER - TEXTRON AH- 1J SEACOBRA The COBRA series attack helicopter was a development of the UH-1B/C IROQUOIS helicopter, combining its basic transmission, rotor system, and engine with a new streamlined fuselage designed for maximum speed, armament load, and crew efficiency.

The first flight of the prototype single engine attack version, the Bell Model 209 HUEY COBRA, was flown on 7 September 1965. After further studies, testing, and evaluation, contracts for two production U. S. Military versions were announced, a single engine AH-1G HUEY COBRA for the United States Army (USA) and a two engine AH-1J SEA COBRA for the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Fleet deliveries of the AH-lG HUEY COBRA started in mid-1969 for both the USMC and USA. The USMC had acquired 38 of the AH-lG's for transition training and initial deployment, pending the Fleet delivery of their AH-lJ's that started in mid-1970. By 1975, a total of 69 SEA COBRAS were in the USMC inventory. Variants of the COBRA series for both the USMC and USA have continued over the years with improved reliability, capability, survivability, and performance. The USMC fleet deliveries of the AH- 1T IMPROVED COBRA started in 1977 and the AH-lW SUPER COBRA in 1986. Testing, evaluations, demonstrations, and investigations of Fleet problems on all USMC series COBRAS and updates have been ongoing here at Patuxent River since 1965.

Our display helicopter, AH-1J BUNO 159227, joined the USMC inventory on 30 April 1975 and was accepted at Naval Weapons Center (NWC) VX-5, China Lake, California, on 15 May 1975. This Seacobra arrived at Patuxent River in July 1978. It spent its entire operational life involved in test and evaluation work at the former Rotary Wing Aircraft Test Directorate. Throughout its test career, it was heavily instrumented for specific system evaluations. It participated in survivability and weapon system evaluations, and was a part of the COBRA series aircraft based here for the investigation of Fleet problems and other high-priority evaluations. BUNO 159227 accumulated a total of 3,138.4 testing and evaluation support flight hours during 10,249 flights. Its last flight was in June 1996, and it joined the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum aircraft stable in April 1997.

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