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This AH-1G Looks Vicious Working Gate Guard Duty Outside New York VFW
My trip to the Glenn H Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York, was an absolute gem. But it was while looking across the road from a gas station down the street from the museum that I got my biggest surprise.

This AH-1G Looks Vicious Working Gate Guard Duty Outside New York VFW

Bell Cobra VFW 14710Bell Cobra VFW 14710Bell Cobra VFW 14710Bell Cobra VFW 14710Bell Cobra VFW 14710Bell Cobra VFW 14710Bell Cobra VFW 14710Bell Cobra VFW 14710
It's all too easy to get caught up in filling up my car to get back on the road for a grueling drive back home. Even so, as I filled my car's tank at a station in the little village of Bath, New York, my eye couldn't help but make out a vaguely familiar-looking silhouette of an all-time great American attack helicopter, staring right back at me from across the street of NY State Route 54. "No way," I thought to myself. "I'm way too far away from the museum for this to be an exhibit."

But don't be fooled. It wasn't a trick of the eye or another exhibit at the museum. It's an all too real, remarkably well preserved Bell AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter, sitting as gate guard outside the Steuben County, New York Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 14710.

It's a Vietnam-era light attack helicopter, one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable choppers in the world. Apart from the venerable H-1 Huey, the very same utility helicopter the Cobra is derived from. Facts and details about this particular Cobra are a bit difficult to come across, but we can infer at least a little bit about its makeup by looking up its serial number, 0-15086.

We were able to determine this is a venerable AH-1G series Cobra chopper, one of the earliest variants based on the Model 209 prototype to see service during the Vietnam War starting in the mid-1960s. The type was built until 2001, when the larger, faster Suepr Cobra took its place. The type would go on to serve admirably with the armed forces of the United States, Japan, Korea, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, and even Israel.

Powering these deadly helicopters in their early days was a 1,400 shaft-horsepower (1,000 kW) Avco Lycoming T53-13 turboshaft engine. It could propel this Cobra and all its variants up to a top speed beyond 170 miles per hour (276 kph). It's propelled by a single twin-bladed main rotor, as well as the tail rotor.

Not only was the Cobra one of the fastest helicopters around, but even today, it's also by far one of the scariest. Lots of attack helicopters put on public display have their weapons, and their military markings removed so as to appear more sanitized for the public at large.

But this is a VFW we're talking about here, and these people sure do love to show off the hardware. The same twin 7.62 mm (0.308 in) multi-barrel miniguns are still as prominent as ever underneath the chin of this helicopter, seemingly ready to open fire at a moment's notice. Although it's safe to say they haven't been fired since the Nixon administration.

Moving to the winglets of this bird, provisions for 2.75-inch (70 mm) rockets in groups of either seven or 19 are both prominently on display, as is the iconic shark mouth known the world over for its use with the Cobra helicopter and a handful of other military aircraft.

Of course, years of exposure to harsh Central New York winters and sweltering summers have left the airframe of this beast looking a bit worse for wear. Still, it only adds to the barn find aesthetic we've all grown to love in cars. Only recently found out it also fits old warbirds just as well.

Check back soon to see more awesome cars, trucks, airplanes, and whatever else has a motor and wheels right here on autoevolution.

 
 
 
 
 

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