Bell AH-1W SuperCobra

Bell AH-1W SuperCobra

About the Aircraft

Bell AH-1W SuperCobra

The Hickory Aviation Museum’s Bell AH-1W SuperCobra, Bureau Number 161017 is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation. HMLA-269 “Gunrunners” flew the helicopter into Hickory from MCAS New River, NC after it was flown during the Sunset Ceremony for the SuperCobra in January 2020. Coordinated by Kregg Kirby.

The Bell AH-1W SuperCobra is a twin-engine attack helicopter based on the United States Army’s single engine AH-1 Cobra. The twin Cobra family, itself part of the larger Huey family includes the AH-1J SeaCobra, AH-1T Improved SeaCobra, and the AH-1W SuperCobra. The AH-1W, the backbone of the United States Marine Corps attack helicopter fleet for decades, has been replaced by the next generation Bell AH-1Z Viper.

National origin United States
Manufacturer Bell Helicopter
First flight AH-1J 1969
Introduction AH-1W 1986
Retired Retired USMC 2020
Status In Service
Primary users United States Marine Corps, Republic of China Army, Turkish Army, Islamic Republic of Iran Army
Produced 1970-1980s
Number built 1,271
Propulsion 2x GE T700-GE-401 Turboshaft Engines
Unit cost US $10.7mil
Bell AH-1W Super Cobra BuNo 161017 Right Side

General Characteristics


Crew: 2 (Pilot and Co-Pilot/Gunner (CPG)
Length: 58 ft (17.7 m) (with bother rotors turning)
Rotor Diameter: 48 ft (14.6 m)
Height: 13 ft 9 in (4.19 m)
Disc area: 1,809 ft² (168.1 m²)
Empty weight: 10,200 lb (4,630 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 14,750 lb (6,690 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-401 Turboshaft Engines
Shaft Horsepower: 1,690 shp (1,300 kW) each
Fuselage Length: 45.7 ft (13.9 m)
Stub Wing Span: 10.9 ft (3.28 m)


Maximum speed: 190 kts (218 mph, 352 km/h)
Service ceiling: 12,200 ft (3,720 m)
Rate of climb: 1,620 ft/min (8.2 m/s)


  • 20 mm M1973 3-barrel Gatling cannon in the A/A49E-7 turret (750 rounds ammo capacity)
  • 2.75 in (70 mm) Hydra 70 or APKWS II rockets – Mounted in LAU-68C/A (7 shot) or LAU-61D/A (19 shot) launchers
  • 5 in (127 mm) Zuni rockets – 8 rockets in two 4-round LAU-10D/A launchers
  • TOW Missiles – Up to 8 missiles mounted in two 4-round XM65 missile launchers, one on each outboard hard point
  • AGM-114 Hellfire missiles – Up to 8 missiles mounted in two 4-round M272 missile launchers, one on each outboard hard point
  • AIM-9 Sidewinder anti-aircraft missiles (total of 2)