American Aircraft Penetrator
Bell UH-1B "Hueys" were stripped down to engine and transmission mounts, controls modified to tandem arrangement and re-covered with armored composite structure, containing troop-carrier compartment for six soldiers, two aft facing gunner turrets on either side of the engine and two forward facing turrets. The aircraft, named the "Penetrator", was also outfitted with stub wings, which unloaded the main rotor in high-speed flight, increasing airspeed, and the aircraft's aerodynamic fuselage minimizes profile drag. The basic model is an all-composite compounded helicopter with a gross take-off weight of 4280kg. To reduce the Penetrator’s drag, all the machine guns, cannons and some rocket launchers are carried internally.
The "Penetrator" offers the feature of a two-seat in tandem cockpit with the pilot positioned in the first seat for unobstructed vision and two forward-firing weapons operator is in the second seat, with the third and fourth weapons operators in seats aft of the main cabin to control rear-facing weapons. This firepower allows the "Penetrator" to perform as an excellent shock assault troop lift gunship with air-to-air, air-to-ground and ground-to-ground capability.
The Penetrator is fitted with a skid undercarriage (or optional retractable tricycle gear), a lower fuselage rear-facing gun turret and two forward-firing cannon. The "Penetrator” has 360 degrees of perimeter firepower and it's composite construction of Kevlar reinforced by Nomex and the angular shape of its design afford the "Penetrator" ballistic resistance to small arms fire and low observability.
The prototype (N3080W ex U.S.Army 63-8508) is powered by a 1300shp Avco Lycoming T52-L-13 turboshaft.
This aircraft was to satisfy South Korean government need for gunship and a troop carrier.
In 1990 American Aircraft fell into insolvency.