During the development of the AH-64A APACHE Attack Helicopter, several technical problems arose. This paper discusses the major difficulties encountered in the airframe, the weapons systems, and the avionics. The airframe challenges involved loads, dynamics, and controllability; the ordnance problems involved wear and accuracy; and the avionics problems involved crew interface. As each of these difficulties was encountered, various options were considered and the solution was selected, taking into consideration the tight time schedule between contract award and first flight, and between first flight and delivery to the customer. Other major considerations were structural integrity, performance, weight limitations and budget limitations.
Originally published in: Proceedings of the 48th Annual Forum of the American Helicopter Society, June 3-5, 1992, pp. 1-18.
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