Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The AgustaWestland Apache is a licence-built version of the Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter for the British Army. The first eight helicopters were built by Boeing; the remaining 59 were assembled by Westland Helicopters (now part of AgustaWestland) at Yeovil, England from Boeing-supplied kits. Changes from the AH-64D include Rolls-Royce engines, a new electronic defensive aids suite and a folding blade mechanism allowing the British version to operate from ships.
The AH-1 was the backbone of the United States Army's attack helicopter fleet, but has been replaced by the AH-64 Apache in Army service. Upgraded versions continue to fly with the militaries of several other nations. The AH-1 twin engine versions remain in service with United States Marine Corps as the service's primary attack helicopter. Surplus AH-1 helicopters have been converted for fighting forest fires. The United States Forest Service refers to their program as the Firewatch Cobra. Garlick Helicopters also converts surplus AH-1s for forest firefighting under the name, FireSnake