The forerunner of the gunship, the Bell 207 Sioux Scout.
The ah-1 Cobra, the world’s first professional helicopter gunship, was developed in the mid-1960s. It was based on the UH-1 Iroquois, and Bell had been working on it since the late 1950s.One of the early experiments was the Bell 207 Sioux Scout, a precursor to the AH-1.The Bell 207 was developed under contract in 1962 as a technical demonstration of the military’s acceptance of the D-225, later known as the AH-1, as a professional high-powered gunship.The 207 was not based on the UH-1, but had a new nose, plus the back half of another classic, the Bell 47, a helicopter developed in the 1940s that did not fly very well, but had the advantage of being simple and reliable, and is still in use today, especially as a trainer.Bell 47 has a stepwise tandem cockpit, the pilot has good vision and weapon operator, this at the time but have progressive design, still in use today, 2 pilots in the crew, weapon operator before, and both have a set of flight control system, to avoid accident when the pilot weapons un-experienced operator to die in vain,But the weapon operator has the weapon handling equipment on the front and the flight equipment on the side.Helicopter dynamics for a lycoming TVO – 435-6 cylinder A1A level of air-cooled engine, it can output 260 horsepower, the rotor and the tail part of a helicopter with bell 47, but bell 207 part such as tail beam installed streamlined enclosure, more conducive to high-speed flight, in fact the machine showing flight performance is really better than bell 47.The weapon configuration is also good. Two M60 7.62mm machine guns are mounted in the electric turret under the nose, which moves with the gunner’s sight. The machine gun moves 200° horizontally and has a pitching Angle of -45°~15°.Short wings are installed high on both sides of the fuselage to help improve the helicopter’s flight performance, and it can also be attached to external fuel tanks, slightly modified to mount rockets, anti-tank missiles and other weapons, machine guns/gun pods, etc.Bell built only one Bell 207, no. N73927, which made its first flight on June 27, 1963, but did not last long and was transferred to the U.S. Army at the end of the year. The Army was so pleased with the aircraft that it asked Bell to quickly develop a full-fledged version with a stronger engine that would become the AH-1.As a technology verification machine, the Bell 207 Sioux Scout was very successful, with many of its basic designs still in place today, though it was weak and was not operational.It is 9.36 meters long and 2.83 meters high. Its main rotor diameter is 11.23 meters. It has a maximum flying speed of 169 kilometers per hour, a cruising speed of 135 kilometers per hour, a maximum ceiling of 5,400 meters, and a maximum range of about 400 kilometers.