Strange Bird?

davidkroberts

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We saw this one as a static display on Fort Campbell today while going to GL to get my towbar. I had never seen anything like it. The side says its a AH-56A maybe sometype of experimental that is maybe based on the HIND gunbship design. It had a push prop in the rear along with the tail rotor. The main rotors looked conventional but it had small wings on each side and looked as if it required a rolling start and stop. Also had retractable gear, all in all itwas a neat rig
 

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davidkroberts

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did a wiki search on it and it seems it is called the Cheyenne. It was intended to be used as an armed escort for the UH-1 helos around 1969ish. This is one of 10 prototypes. Politics and some questionable technical issues grounded the program in the early 70's and the design eventually led to the development of the Apache
 

M813rc

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It did work as a conventional helo, (vertical TO/landing capabilities). The stub wings were to unload the main rotor at higher speeds, as was the pusher. It was fast, so the wings were to help with/lessen the odd aerodynamic issues you get with the differential speeds of the advancing and retreating main rotor blades (the one rotating toward the direction of flight, and the one headed for the tail) as speed increased. It was capable of reaching the maximum speed at which rotors are aerodynamicaly feasable.
From the few videos I have seen it was nimble and QUICK.
Would have been cool to see what it developed into once they worked the bugs out of the technology. The airframe was probably a bit ahead of the technology needed to adequately control it. It was a valuable learning experience though.

There used to be one on display at Ft Polk, I saw it when we went through there doing exercises with the Army back in the '80s. I was told it got scrapped, hope that isn't true.

Cheers
 
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