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Bell AH-1 Cobra

The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a single engine attack helicopter.  

A member of the prolific Huey family, the AH-1 is also referred to as the HueyCobra or Snake.


Single engine

Bell 209

Original AH-1G prototype with retractable skid landing gear.

This model number is also used by the FAA for the civilian registration of former U.S. Army AH-1s used in firefighting service.

AH-1G HueyCobra

Initial 1966 production model gunship for the US Army, with one 1,400 shp (1,000 kW)

Avco Lycoming T53-13 turboshaft.

JAH-1G HueyCobra

One helicopter for armament testing including Hellfire missiles and multi-barrel cannon.

TH-1G HueyCobra

Two-seat dual-control trainer.

Z.14 HueyCobra

The Spanish Navy purchased eight new-build AH-1Gs, designating the type the “Z-14”.

These were equipped with the M35 20 mm cannon system, and were used to support coastal patrol boats.


Eight AH-1Gs with XM26 Telescopic Sight Unit (TSU) and two M56 TOW 4-pack launchers.

AH-1Q HueyCobra

Equipped with the M65 TOW/Cobra missile subsystem, M65 Telescopic Sight Unit (TSU), and M73 Reflex sight.

All future versions will be equipped with the TSU and be equipped to fire the TOW missile subsystem.


AH-1G powered by a T53-L-703 engine without TOW system.


AH-1Q upgrade and TOW system.


The baseline AH-1S is an AH-1Q upgraded with a 1,800 shp (1,300 kW) T53-L-703 turboshaft engine.


A target drone conversion of the AH-1S by Bell-Bristol Aerospace under a joint US and Canada development program started in 1994.

Honeywell further modified the QAH-1S into the Hokum-X by installing systems and hardware to allow it to simulate the Russian Kamov Ka-50 attack helicopter.

Three Hokum-Xs were completed from 1998–2001.


100 production aircraft with composite rotors, flat plate glass cockpit, and improved cockpit layout for nap-of-earth (NOE) flight.

The AH-1P is also referred to as the “Production AH-1S”, or “AH-1S(PROD)” prior to 1988.

These improvements are considered Step 1 of the AH-1S upgrade program.


98 production aircraft with the Enhanced Cobra Armament System (ECAS) featuring the M97A1 armament subsystem with a three-barrelled M197 20 mm cannon.

The AH-1E is also referred to as the “Up gunned AH-1S”, or “AH-1S(ECAS)” prior to 1988.

These improvements are considered Step 2 of the AH-1S upgrade program.

AH-1E aircraft included the M147 Rocket Management Subsystem (RMS) to fire 2.75-inch (70 mm) rockets.


143 production aircraft and 387 converted AH-1G Cobras.

The AH-1F incorporates all Step 1 and 2 upgrades to the AH-1S.

It also featured Step 3 upgrades: a head-up display, a laser rangefinder, an infrared jammer mounted above the engine exhaust, and an infrared suppressing engine exhaust system, and the M143 Air Data Subsystem (ADS).

The AH-1F is also referred to as the “Modernized AH-1S”, “AH-1S Modernized Cobra”, or “AH-1S(MC)” prior to 1988.

Model 249

Experimental demonstrator version fitted with a four-bladed rotor system, an uprated engine and experimental equipment, including Hellfire missiles.

Bell 309 KingCobra

Experimental all-weather version based on the AH-1G single-engine and AH-1J twin-engine designs.

Two Bell 309s were produced, the first was powered by a PW&C T400-CP-400 Twin-Pac engine set and the second was powered by a Lycoming T-55-L-7C engine.





53 ft (16 m) including rotors

Fuselage length

44 ft 5 in (13.5 m)


10 ft 4 in (3.15 m) stub wings


13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)

Empty weight

5,810 lb (2,635 kg)

Max take-off weight

9,500 lb (4,309 kg)


1 × Lycoming T53-L-13 turboshaft,

1,100 hp (820 kW)

Main rotor diameter

44 ft 0 in (13.4 m)

Main rotor area

1,520 sq ft (141 m2)

Blade section

NACA 0009.3 mod


Maximum speed

149 kn (171 mph, 276 km/h)

Never exceed speed

190 kn (220 mph, 350 km/h)


310 nmi (360 mi, 570 km)

Service ceiling

11,400 ft (3,500 m)

Rate of climb

1,230 ft/min (6.2 m/s)


2 × 7.62 mm (0.308 in) multi-barrel Miniguns


2 × M129 40 mm grenade launchers, or one of each, in the M28 turret.

2.75 in (70 mm) rockets, 7 rockets mounted in the M158 launcher


19 rockets in the M200 launcher.

1 x M18 7.62 mm Minigun pod


XM35 armament subsystem with XM195 20 mm cannon.


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