12 Facts About AH-56 Cheyenne


Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne was an attack helicopter developed by Lockheed for the United States Army.

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Lockheed designed the AH-56 Cheyenne using a four-blade rigid-rotor system and configured the aircraft as a compound helicopter with low-mounted wings and a tail-mounted thrusting propeller driven by a General Electric T64 turboshaft engine.

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The AH-56 Cheyenne was to have a high-speed dash capability to provide armed escort for the Army's transport helicopters, such as the Bell UH-1 Iroquois.

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Development of the AH-56 Cheyenne continued in the hope that the helicopter would eventually enter service.

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AH-56 Cheyenne directed the Army to determine whether or not any other helicopter could offer an improvement in performance over the UH-1B in the meantime.

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The AH-56 Cheyenne was powered by a General Electric T64 turboshaft engine.

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AH-56 Cheyenne had a two-seat tandem cockpit featuring an advanced navigation and fire control suite.

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The AH-56 Cheyenne demonstrated a stationary hover in a 30-knot crosswind, and at the end of the flight landed on its two forward landing gear, "bowed" to the audience and then gently set the tail landing gear down as it taxied to parking.

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The Air Force asserted that the AH-56 Cheyenne would infringe on the Air Force's CAS mission in support of the Army, which had been mandated with the Key West Agreement of 1948.

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The Department of Defense conducted a study that concluded that the Air Force's A-X program, the Marine Corps' Harrier, and the AH-56 Cheyenne were significantly different that they did not constitute a duplication of capabilities.

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AH-56 Cheyenne program was canceled by the Secretary of the Army on 9 August 1972.

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Lockheed had counted on the AH-56 Cheyenne to establish itself in the helicopter market with its rigid rotor technology, but the ambitious project was unsuccessful.

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