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Old 03-08-2012, 03:51 PM
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Default Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne

Appropriate here?
We need a thread on this beauty.

The Lockheed Cheyenne Helicopter 1/4 - YouTube
The Lockheed Cheyenne Helicopter 2/4 - YouTube
The Lockheed Cheyenne Helicopter 3/4 - YouTube
The Lockheed Cheyenne Helicopter 4/4 - YouTube
Lockheed AH-56A Cheyenne Weapon Systems (1967-1972) - YouTube
Lockheed XH-51 and AH-56 Cheyenne - YouTube
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:03 PM
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Hi Travis,

Great video! I remember watching the hovering tests of the Cheyenne at Van Nuys Airport with my Dad. I was standing near the camera man when those films were taken, so those images are exactly the same in my mind's eye.

Historical note: The Santa Paula Airport Manager, Rowena Mason is the daughter-in-law of Sammy Mason, who was the senior test pilot of the XH-51. Rowena and her husband Pete named her son after his grandfather Sammy.

I often wonder if the engineers who work for the toy company that created the Air Hog indoor flying helicopters based their rotor stability system design on the XH-51?

Wayne
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:00 PM
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Wow! Very cool. The Cheyenne is one of my favorite American designs, next to Sikorsky's S-67 "Blackhawk" prototype. I imagine that must have been quite a thrill to see it fly in person.

Some may not know this, but Lockheed had proposed civilian designs based on the AH-56, as airliners and cargo helicopters. Company designation was CL-1026, see attachments:
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:07 PM
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I do recall those drawings some time ago.

Imagine our military flying those compound helos today instead of all the wasted money on the V-22 Osprey program?

Wayne
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:14 PM
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Proposals for Navy combat-rescue, twin-engine, and Marines "twin pack" engine versions:
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:15 PM
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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries also proposed a design based on the AH-56, called the XMH-4M:
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:57 PM
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OK, so I gotta ask... Why don't we see more helis with these "easy flying" rigid rotor systems?

If they answered that question in one of the other videos, I couldn't watch all of the videos due to monthly bandwidth restrictions, only watched the first video...
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:24 AM
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In the early seventies I was into RC helicopters, we had a group that would meet at the LA City fire department helicopter base at Van Nuys airport every Saturday morning.
One of guys that was in our group was an engineer on the Cheyenne rotor system, Don Lodge was his name. Very nice guy and very helpful with our questions. "Ahh the good old days”.
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Old 03-09-2012, 02:14 AM
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Not a very good picture but do you recognize this old model ?
It was my old Revolution 40 by American RC helicopters.
I think it was around 1974 or 1975.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:42 AM
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Dennis,

I had to laugh when I viewed your photo of your Revolution 40 RC Helo. It was taken right next to the LAPD/LAFD Air Maintenance & Operations Facility that was adjacent to the former CA ANG Base (146th TAW) on the west side of Van Nuys Airport. I clearly see "Lulu's Restaurant" in the background and the painted white tires of "Pepe's Go-Kart Land" that was right next to "National Helicopters." Lulu's Restaurant is still there but Pepe's, the original air maintenance facility and the ANG Base are long gone. The empty field is presently the location of a Home Depot. I was at the dedication of the original LAPD/LAFD Air Maintenance & Operations Facility back in 1971 time period and at the new LAFD Air Maintenance & Operations Facility/Station 114 located on the former ANG Base outer ramp and informally called the "Taj Mahal" in 2008.

I didn't know Don Lodge personally, however I may have been introduced to him during the AH-56 hovering tests. His name is familiar to me. In later years, I served with one of the Army Test Pilots that flew the Cheyenne, Robert Maxwell (the creator of the Maxwell System on the UH-1). Bob was a wealth of knowledge in U.S. Army helicopter development and tactics used in Vietnam. Bob started out in the 11th Air Assault Group and then served three tours in Vietnam with the 1st Air Cav Div flying the UH-1C and AH-1G gunships. I spent many an hour sitting with Bob and listening to his experiences and his advice. Bob did like flying the Cheyenne and wish he had that helo in Vietnam.

I flew free-flight airplanes in the Sepulveda Basin prior to the addition of Woodley Ave., Burbank Blvd., and Woodley Park. I then started with RC airplanes but couldn't afford to get into RC helos at that time. I do remember hearing about the RC Helo group that you belong to during that time period. I guess you purchased your "stuff" from Jay at the "Hobby House" from the "Smith Brothers," and perhaps from Tony and Atte at "T&A Hobbies."

Travis,

Like you, I will always like the AH-56 Cheyenne. The Sikorsky X2 is another one that looks just as fun and versatile.

The hanger and ramp at Van Nuys Airport that was used to build and test the AH-56 is presently used by Syncro Aircraft Interiors and the location where the EAA B-17 "Aluminum Overcast" operates out of during it's annual visit to Van Nuys Airport. This year's visit at that location will be April 27 - 29, 2012.

Watching the parts about the XH-51, I recognize many of the locations. The old Oxnard AFB (now Camarillo Airport), NWTC Point Mugu, the Santa Clara River which starts in Acton, CA and flows west through the cities and towns of Santa Clarita, Piru, Fillmore, Santa Paula, Saticoy, and into the Pacific Ocean at Ventura. The bridge that the XH-51 flew under is the old Saticoy Bridge (replaced by a newer one in the 1990s). I've been guilty of flying under that bridge in my Piper Pacer and a few other aircraft in my younger and bold years.

Wayne
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:54 AM
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Do you know the condition of it these days? Like say, flyable perhaps? Been a while since I've read through the history on this bird.
I know that it failed AAFSS requirements and lost to Sikorsky's S-67, which crashed at the Farnborough Airshow.

Here's some great photos from Rotorwash, a friend of mine and member of my forum. He scanned these from the USAAM archives.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:07 PM
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More scans:
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:11 PM
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More yet:

(last two photos show pilot and gunner seats)
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:12 PM
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Airframe strength tests:
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:21 PM
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1.) 30mm Chain gun that was to be used on the AH-56. Not much different from what was ultimately used on the AH-64.

2.) TOW-armed AH-56 photo taken from chase plane at Yuma Proving ground May 22, 1971.

3.) Mockup.

4.) Close-up of the 3-missile TOW launcher, which was very similar to the system used by two UH-1B Hueys in the 1972 Easter offensive at Kantum.

5-6.) A couple of photos of the wind tunnel test bird before the test.

7-8.) And after. Only a couple of injuries resulted from this failure.
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