The result of the Huse victory: how the American AH-64 Apache helicopter was created

The result of the Huse victory: how the American AH-64 Apache helicopter was created

The massive use of "Shilok" at one time influenced not only the tactics of using helicopters, but also had a significant impact on the helicopter industry as a whole. One of the main results of these changes was the introduction of the AH-64 Apache helicopter.

In 1972, the Pentagon launched a program known by the acronym AAH (Advanced Attack Helicopter). According to the technical specifications of the competition, the developers were instructed to use the XT-700 twin-shaft gas turbine engine, which at that time was already used on transport helicopters. In addition, the weapons of the new product were regulated - it was assumed that the new helicopter would be equipped with a 30-mm cannon and the TOW ATGM, which had previously shown itself well on Cobra helicopters.

Bell and Huse entered the second round of this competition in June 1973 and received contracts to develop flying prototypes. At the same time, Bell presented a prototype known as the YAH-63A, and Huse presented a helicopter presented under the symbol YAH-64.

Throughout 1976, there was a competition between these prototypes as part of comparative tests, after which the victory of the Huse prototype was announced, which became the AH-64 Apache. During the tests, which continued after winning the competition, the YAH-64 managed to fly more than 2400 hours, after which in December 1981 the Americans decided to begin serial production of this helicopter.

The plant, specially built for this purpose, produced the first Apache helicopter on September 30, 1983. However, just three months later, Huse was sold to McDonnell Douglas Corporation, whose specialists made 147 changes to the production process, reducing the cost of each helicopter produced by 1%. The average selling price of an Apache helicopter was $14,5 million at the time. By the start of production of the Apache, the TOW ATGM was replaced by the new Hellfire ATGM.

This helicopter was a classic single-rotor machine with a tail rotor that serves to control and balance the reaction torque of the main rotor.

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  1. +3
    11 July 2024 14: 01
    Which "Huse"? Maybe it’s still worth writing correctly: “Hughes”?
    1. +1
      11 July 2024 14: 31
      Quote: Robocat
      Which "Huse"? Maybe it’s still worth writing correctly: “Hughes”?

      just “hey” and that’s all.
      1. +2
        11 July 2024 17: 24
        Quote: Aerodrome
        just "hey" and that's all

        Hiis... wink