1681. The AH-64 Weight and Balance – A Technical History


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L Lucero: 1681. The AH-64 Weight and Balance – A Technical History. 1985.



The AH-64 ‘Apache’ Advanced Attack Helicopter (AAH) is in production and is currently entering the U.S. Army inventory. The beginning of the 1970’s saw the introduction into the military requirement, of criteria in many areas which previously had not been strictly defined, such as crashworthiness, ballistic tolerance and fail safety. The first aircraft to be designed to these criteria were UTTAS and the AAH. To achieve the many advanced characteristics desired by the U.S. Army, many technology advances were incorporated in the design of the Apache. Since the original design in 1973 several configuration changes have been made to solve various technical problems which were not evident until the aircraft entered its flight test program. This paper covers the changes to the weight empty as the designers sought the best compromise between good performance on the one hand and low weight, low cost, and simplicity on the other. The effects on weight and balance of the new criteria, the technology advances and solutions to developmental problems are presented with details on solutions to specific weight engineering problems.
The analysis of the various primary and secondary problems and their successful solutions represent a body of experience which should be of value to those developing the next generation of helicopters. Hughes Helicopters approach to weight control resulted in delivery of production vehicles which are 300 pounds [136 Kg] under the contractually guaranteed Weight Empty.


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