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Ever heard of the Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche?


The Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche. Note the slender body of this helicopter, which is to prevent, or lessen the possibility of detection, either by radar, or human eyes. There is a chance that this is in West Palm Beach, Florida, as the Comanche's first flight took place there. (No date, location, or elaborate description available. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.) http://forums.pelicanparts.com/showthread.php?t=158658&page=12


The Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche, first flew on January 4th, 1996, was the most rigorously tested, and evaluated helicopter, and it was also the best in the World. Highly maneuverable, the Comanche was intended not as to replace the Hughes Helicopters AH-64 Apache, but play a complimentary role, as a Reconnaissance chopper. However, it does carry light weapons too, obviously for self-defense, and not to carry assaults like the Apache.

Development...

The Comanche was developed due to the demand of a dedicated Reconnaissance chopper that is much more efficient than the one the United States Army already uses, which is the Bell Helicopter Textron OH-58D Kiowa Warrior. The Warrior, only an upgrade version of an observation helicopter of the 1970's, was highly vulnerable, and can be easily detected with radar, or just the naked eye. The Army needed something better. That is the reason why this chopper went on the drawing board, and on January 4th, 1996, the first prototype flew in the air.
The Army had planned to purchase about one thousand, and three hundred RAH-66 Comanches to fill both the Reconnaissance, and Light Attack roles, with the first being operational in 2004. However, it was canceled in favour of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which have already proven themselves in Afghanistan, and Iraq. The cancellation date was February 23rd, 2004. The other reason for its cancellation was the United States Army needed money to repair or improve its aging fleet of helicopters, but by the time the Comanche program was canceled, a total of US $8, oo0, 000, 000 had been spent on it.


One the two Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche prototypes. Probably "the DUKE", or 94-0327. There is a high chance this is in West Palm Beach, Florida, as the first flight of the Comanche took place there. (No date, location, or elaborate description available. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.)
http://www.redstone.army.mil/history/aviation/aircraft/rah-66.jpg

The two only prototypes of the Boeing/Sik
orsky RAH-66 Comanche ever built is now in United States Army Aviation Museum located at Fort Tucker.

Design...

The Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche, intended to be a scout helicopter, is designed to avoid detection as much as possible, as well as be extremely agile. The airframe of the Comanche is state-of-the-art, able to sustain huge strains in maneuvers unimaginable to experienced helicopter pilots. It also has radar-absorbent materials, which reduces even more, its already low radar signature. Reducing even further the chance of being detected is its relatively low engine sound, and infrared signature. Its weapons system, and avionics, present in the newest, and deadliest variant of the Apache Attack Helicopter, the Apache Longbow, while make the enemy quiver, wherever he is.

Specifications. Wikipedia.

General Characteristics...

Crew: 2.
Length: 46.85 ft (14.28 m.).
Rotor diameter: 39.04 ft (11.90 m.).
Height: 11.06 ft (3.37 m.).
Disc area: 1,197 sq ft (111 sq m.).
Empty weight: 8,690 lb (3,942 kg.).
Loaded weight: 10,597 lb (4,806 kg.).
Max takeoff weight: 17,175 lb (7,790 kg.).
Powerplant: 2× LHTEC T800 turboshafts, 1,432 hp (1,068 kW.) each.
Fuselage length: 43.31 ft (13.20 m.).
Rotor systems: 5 blades on main rotor.

Performance...

Maximum speed: 175 knots (201 mph, 324 km/h.).
Cruise speed: 165 kt (190 mph, 306 km/h.).
Range: 262 nmi (302 mi, 485 km.) (internal fuel.).
Service ceiling: 14,980 ft (4,566 m.).
Rate of climb: 1,418 ft/min (7.20 m/s.).

Armament...

1× 20 mm XM301 three-barrel cannon mounted in a Turreted Gun System (500 round capacity.).
Internal bays: 6 Hellfires or 6 Stingers (ATAS.).
Optional stub wings: 8 Hellfire, 16 Stinger or 56 x Hydra 70 2.75 in (70 mm.) air-to-ground rockets.

Century Series Aircraft.

The Century Series. A name given to a certain group of aircraft, altogether six, of the United States.

These early series of aircraft were the first United States supersonic jet fighters that were built for the United States Air Force during the 1950s, and 60s, and their designation number starts from 100 (North American F-100 Super Sabre.), and so on.


A painting of the Century Series Aircraft. By Douglas Castleman.

Below is a list of the Century Series Aircraft...
  • North American F-100 Super Sabre.
  • McDonnel Douglas F-101 Voodoo.
  • Convair F-102 Delta Dagger.
  • Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.
  • Republic F-105 Thunderchief.
  • Convair F-106 Delta Dart.
What makes them unique...
At the time when these aircraft were introduced, they were state-of-the-art in terms of avionics, and preformed exceptionally. The North American F-100 Super Sabre, for example, was the first aircraft in service with the United States Air Force to be able to achieve supersonic speed in level flight. The McDonnel Douglas F-101 Voodoo was the first aircraft in the United States Air Force to reach speeds up to 1 000 mph (1 600 km/h.); The Convair F-102 Delta Dagger was the first aircraft in the world to use area rule in its design; And finally, the North American F-101 Super Sabre, the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, and Convair F-106 Delta Dart, was the first in the Air Force to be armed with nuclear air-to-air missiles, two of which, the F-102, and F-106, was the only aircraft in the United States Air Force at that time, where a nuclear weapon was under the control of a single person, during a mission, that is.

Additional Information...

There are two other groups of aircraft that have been named in a similar situation:


Century Series Aircraft Photo Gallery

A United States Air Force F-100 Super Sabre, apparently in display in the United States Air Force museum. (No date, exact location, or photographer available. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.)
A United States Air Force F-101 Voodoo over Vietnam (No exact date, exact location, and photographer available. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.)
A Florida Air National Guard F-102 Delta Dagger landing, with a parachute to create extra drag. This aircraft is most likely in an airfield somewhere in Florida. It is likely to be operated by the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron. (No exact location, date, and photographer available. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.)
A United States Air Force F-104G Starfighter (S/N 63-13240) banking to the left. This image is from the National Museum of the United States Air Force Archive. (No date, location, or photographer available. I apologize for any inconvenience.)
United States Air Force F-105G Thunderchief in flight on May 5th 1970, most likely over Vietnam. The weapons of the underside of the aircraft include QRC-380 Blisters, AGM-78 Standard A.R.M.s (Anti-Radiation Missiles.), and AGM-45 Shrikes. (No location, and photographer available. I apologize for any inconvenience.)
A United States Air Force F-106A Delta Dart firing an AIR-2 Genie nuclear missile. This aircraft is from California A.N.G. (No photographer, date, or exact location available. I apologize for any inconvenience caused.)

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