The latest version of light attack helicopter AH-1 Cobra, AH-1Z Super Cobra, has
completed its envelope expansion testing in Patuxent River naval air station.
The envelope expansion testing shows how high and how fast the AH-1Z aircraft
can go. These flight test provides data to form the basis for the platform's
During this phase of flight testing, the AH-1Z reached a 16,000-foot altitude,
took to 220 knots and maneuvered to -0.3 to 3.5 G's.
To date, the AH-1Z has accomplished 400 flight test hours during 24 months of
EMD. The obtained data demonstrates good dependability, reliability and
maintainability, especially compared to the AH-1W. The average AH-1W fleet
utilization rate is 300 hours-per-year.
Now the 3 AH-1Z test aircraft will enter external stores jettison testing to
demonstrate the aircraft capability to safely and effectively rid itself of
anything attached to its six hard points when an emergency or malfunction
In addition, the AH-1Z recently supported cockpit mapping for the Top Owl
helmet-mounted display, manufactured by Thales Group.
The AH-1Z will supersede the AH-1W in the USMC inventory, improving combat
capabilities of the Marines attack helicopter units.
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