The Bell AH-1 attack helicopter was designed by the famous Bell helicopter company as a clear need arised in the sixties during the Vietnam war. Model 209 was designed with a long thin two seat  two-bladed single engined attack helicopter. It used components like the engine, transmission and rotor system of the Bell well known UH-1 "Huey". The AH-1 was called the Huey Cobra with the AH-1G in 1967. Several version were developed and it was the backbone of the US helicopter attack fleet that saw extensive service in Vietnam. Bell built over 1,100 AH-1G helicopters between 1967 and 1973.

Another version is the twin engined AH-1J as used by the U.S Marine Corps. The engine is a pair of Pratt and Whitney T400 engines in a "Twinpack". It also got a new nose gun turret. The type was also exported and used in Israel and Japan. The later AH-1W was used in wars like the Gulf War. The U.S Army phased out the AH-1 in the nineties. But still, the U.S Marine Corps operates the twin-engined AH-1W Super Cobra and AH-1Z Viper.



This AH-1G with former US ARMY serial 67-15574 was seen at Palm Springs. It has an olive drab colour.

Photographed, 2013 by Cees Hendriks (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland


This AH-1F, U.S. Army S/N: 69-16416 "Sweet Sixteen" is on loan from the United States Army and was seen at March Field Museum at Riverside, CA, USA. (note: photo's names suggest a S but is is a AH-1F).

Photographed, 2014 by Cees Hendriks (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland


This low visibility grey twin engined AH-1W (bu.no 161017) of the USMC VMM-263 was seen at Pensacola air show, Florida USA.

Photographed, November 2014 by Cees Hendriks ,  (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland

AH-1J Sea Cobra

This low visibility grey Sea Cobra AH-1J coded "WR" (bu.no 157784) of the USMC HMA 775 has a shark nose pianted. This helicopter was seen on display at the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, MCAS Miramar, San Diego, California, USA

Photographed, November 2015 by Cees Hendriks , (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland

Several scale models exist of the AH-1. In 1/72 there was a very basic Matchbox kit, later followed by Fujimi and Hasegawa. Copies are from Mastercraft and other. Recently, HobbyBoss and AZ Models issued several nice 1/72 kits.

In 1/48 Revell-Monogram has kits like Italeri, the unknown brand "Seminar" and also Kitty Hawk. In 1/32 scale Revell has a good but basic older type Vietnam AH-1 Huey Cobra and in the 1/35 scale Academy and MiniCraft. In the small 1/144 Mini Wings has kits.



This walk around page was first published November 2014 by M. de Vreeze