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Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne

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P&W T64-GE-16
3,922 h.p.
54 ft. 8 in.
13 ft. 9 in.
51 ft. 3 in.
11,740 lbs.
25,880 lbs.
225 mph
252 mph
3,000 fpm
20,000 feet
2,800 miles

Lockheed AH-56 CheyenneLockheed AH-56 Cheyenne

The Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne was slated to become the world's fastest production attack helicopter, with a speed of just over 250 mph. It was conceived in 1966 as a heavily armed, extremely maneuverable escort helicopter.

Rather than depend on its rotor for lift, thus limiting its top speed, the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne had a 26 foot wing that supported the helicopter at speed. With its wing, the AH-56 Cheyenne was classified as a compound rotorcraft, rather than a true helicopter. Its rotor was feathered during high speed runs, with forward thrust provided by a propeller in the tail.

Armament of the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne consisted of either a 7.62 mm minigun or 40 mm grenade launcher in the nose, a 30 mm cannon under its mid-section, anti tank missiles and rockets under its wing. The weapons system was computer assisted using doppler radar and laser imaging. For extended range, two fuel tanks could be mounted under the fuselage.

The Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne had a crew of two, sitting in tandem, with the pilot in the rear cockpit seat, and the gunner/co-pilot up front. This arrangement provided excellent all around visibility for the gunner.

The main landing gear of the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne was lengthened in order to have enough ground clearance for its 30 mm cannon turret. The landing gear retracted into the wing. A wheel under the rear fin supported the tail. With a full load, it was intended that the Cheyenne use a short take off roll to get into the air.

When the first Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne prototype took to the sky with successful results in September of 1968, a total of 375 production helicopters were ordered by the U.S. Army. However, further testing showed that the helicopter had stability problems when flown at speeds in excess of 200 mph.

On March 12, 1969 the main rotor of a Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne prototype came into contact with its aft fuselage resulting in a fatal crash. A wind tunnel test of a second prototype in September of 1969 found that the problem still was not cured and resulted in significant damage to the aircraft. Nevertheless, prototype testing continued through August 9, 1972 when the project was canceled. It was over cost, stability problems were never fully resolved, and by this time, more advanced, less costly, but slower helicopters were already on the drawing board.

Ten Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne helicopters were built. All were prototypes. Four can be seen on display at museums around the United States.

Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne
Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne from Schulter. It is 53 1/2" long and uses a 51" rotor.

You can find plans by Jim Ryan for the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne in the Dec. 2011 issue of Model Aviation magazine.

We received the following email from Randall Smith:  "I saw the post on your website concerning the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne and wanted to share this with you. I currently am producing fuselages and parts for the AH-56 Cheyenne. There are a couple of photos attached so you can see what they look like. The AH-56 Cheyenne kits are available in very limited quantities since they are hand laid epoxy fuselages made from an original fuselage from the early 80's. They will be listed on my website at www.vintageheliparts.com in the near future. I can be contacted directly at smith8888@msn.com for more information or through the email link on my website. There is also a build thread of one of the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne kits on ScaleRCHelis.com under the current scale projects heading.
Best regard - Randall"

You can find the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne photos that Randall sent to us posted first below.

Apparently Schluter sold quite a few Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne kits during the 1980's. Although the company is out of business, many are still in circulation.

We are happy to see that Heliooldie.de is selling the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne canopy, plans, and assembly instructions from Schulter.  This is a great looking helicopter and we hope that more companies offer it in the future.

We received the following inquiry from Santos F.
Hi, I would like to find out if the following Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne parts are available; canopy, tail fins, wings decal set nose cone and cooling shroud side adapters. My email is:
sfont29821@aol.com and mivaner@aol.com. my telephone numbers are (347)865-8062 and (718) 476-7516."

If you can help, please reply directly.

Scale RC Helis.com has a posting by drkite with pictures and a description of his Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne. It is in the process of being rebuilt so that it can fly.

Richard Morgan started a thread at Run Ryder about building his own Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne.

Jim Ryan is building a 450 size of the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne. You can find the build thread he started in RC Groups.

The Unwanted Blog has downloadable line drawings for sale of the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne for those who may want to use them to build the rc helicopter.

Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne
Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne by Vintage Heliparts.

Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne
Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne sold by Heliooldie.de

Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne
Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne from a Schluter kit.

Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne
Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne in U.S. Coast Guard colors and equipped with skids was recently seen for sale on eBay

There is a post by sarge of RC Groups mentioning the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne.

There is a video at Helicopter Scale Models posted by Jim Ryan. It is of the mechanics to be used in his Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne being tried.

The Horizon RC Flyers website has a link in it to a picture of a Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne.

There is a post to You Tube from dynamicpara about the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne.

Kendincos.net has a video on it about a budget rc. A sidebar on the page shows a related video about the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne.

Avery Davis posted to Mindspring.com about the Summitsoft rc helicopter simulator and the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne.

There is a post to Scale Models U.K. from Paul about the Lockheed AH-56 Cheyenne made by Schulter.

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