Armour Collection B11E298 US Army Bell AH-1G Cobra Attack Helicopter - "F Troop", 4th Cavalry Regiment, Vietnam, 1972 (1:48 Scale)
"If you are in trouble anywhere in the world, an airplane can fly over and drop flowers, but a helicopter can land and save your life."
- Igor Sikorsky, 1947
While the ubiquitous UH-1 "Huey" could perform a variety of roles, it was found to be too slow for the gunship or escort role. Bell Helicopter won the competition for an interim fast armed escort helicopter in March 1966, against the Sikorsky S-61 and the Kaman H-2 Tomahawk, while the Army was waiting for the fielding of the AAFSS AH-56A Cheyenne. The AAFSS program was cancelled in 1972.
Some early model AH-1G Cobras mounted either two M134 "Miniguns" or two M129 grenade launchers in a M28A1 chin-turret (TAT-141). Because of problems with the ammunition feed systems, the twin-gun configuration was discontinued. The Cobra was first employed to Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in August 1967. The Cobra's primary mission was to give fire support to troop carrying "Hueys". The AH-1G Cobra was powered by a single Lycoming T53-L-13 1400 shp turbine engine, and had a speed of 196 mph (170 knots), almost twice the speed of the UH-1 "Huey". The AH-1G Cobra used the M73 reflex sight. The Cobra performed it's job so well it was possible for the first time for "slicks" and gun ships to operated as true air cavalry.
Later models of the AH-1G Cobra, or "Snake", were armed with 2.75 inch (70mm) Folding Fin Aerial Rockets (FFARS) in M158 seven-tube or M200 19-tube rocket launchers, used so effectively at An Loc in 1972. The Cobra had a chin-turret on the M28/M28A1 armament subsystem. The chin-turret mounted the M134 7.62mm "Minigun" and the M129 40mm grenade launcher. The AH-1G could also be armed with the M134 "Minigun" in fixed side-mounting M18/M18A1 gun pod, and the port (left) side mounting M195 20mm automatic gun on the M35 armament subsystem. The AH-1G could also mount the XM118 smoke grenade dispenser. This particular Cobra was attached to the US Army's 4th Cavalry Regiment, which was based at Hue-Phu Bai, Vietnam in 1972. Sold Out!
Historical Account: "Raiders" - The United States 4th Cavalry Regiment was a United States Army cavalry regiment, whose lineage is traced back to the mid-19th century. It was one of the most effective units of the Army against Indians on the Texas frontier. Today, only two elements remain of the original regiment, the 1st and 2nd Squadron of the 4th Cavalry. The 1st Squadron of the 4th Cavalry's official nickname is "Quarterhorse," which alludes its being the only operational element of the old 4th Cavalry. The 2nd Squadron of the 4th Cavalry's official name is "Raiders."
Today the "1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry" and "2nd Squadron, 4th Cavalry" are parts of the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, while the "3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry" serves as part of the U.S. 25th Infantry Division.