Originally designed by Hughes Helicopters and designated the Hughes Model 77, the AH-64 resulted from the US Army Advanced Attack Helicopter Competition. It was developed beginning in the 1970s by Hughes Helicopters as a replacement for the Bell AH-1 Cobra. The prototype YAH-64 first flew in 1975.

The primary mission for the Apache was as a tank killer to deter the Soviet threat to Europe at that time. The first production Apache was delivered to the U.S. Army in January 1984 and first saw combat in 1989 during Operation Just Cause in Panama. Armaments included the Hellfire anti-tank missile, Hydra 70mm unguided rockets and a 30mm chain gun mounted under the nose.

The AH-64A is still in service, but has been largely replaced by the AH-64D Longbow Apache which entered service in 1997. Its missions have expanded to also include armed reconnaissance, armed escort, and close combat support.


Data on design, manufacture and status

Latest or last design authority: The Boeing Company
Originally designed by Hughes Helicopters

Latest or last primary manufacturer: The Boeing Company
Originally manufactured by Hughes Helicopters

Parent type: Boeing AH-64 Apache

Aircraft status: Operational


Primary flight and mechanical characteristics

VTOL type: Helicopter

Lift devices: 1 Single main rotor

Dedicated control device: 1 Tail rotor

Crew required: 2 in Tandem arrangement

Landing gear: Wheels (non-retractable)

Key Characteristics

Data on key physical features

Aircraft Details

Data on aircraft configuration, weights, flight performance and equipment


References and sources used

AH-64 Apache Overview
Provides information on AH-64A/D/Longbow

Helicopter Performance, Stability, and Control
Raymond W. Prouty
Krieger Publishing Company (2001 edition), December 2001

McDonnell Douglas (Hughes) AH-64 Apache
Lyle Monson and Kenneth Peoples
Aerofax, Arlington TX, 1986 (page 13)
Aerofax Minigraph 18

Technology Advances in the AH-64 Apache Advanced Attack Helicopter
Amer, Kenneth and Prouty, Raymond
AHS Forum 39, 1983 (page 550)
Meeting paper or Presentation

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