Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche

Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche

The Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche traces back to 1980s Sikorsky's LHX (Light Helicopter Experimental) program. It was to be the centerpiece of the U.S. Army's aviation modernization plan with the main goal of replacing the entire OH-58s and AH-1 Cobras fleet. A twin-turbine, two-seat (tandem) armed reconnaissance helicopter featuring an all-composite, low-observable airframe designed to evade detection by radar, infrared and acoustic sensors with projected missions of armed reconnaissance, light attack and air combat. The Comanche had Stealth characteristics achieved by retractable undercarriage and weapons stubs, an angular shape and engine exhaust slots under the fuselage. The propeller hub was entirely covered, and the tail rotor was a ducted fan.
  • 1983 : LHX program initiated
  • Jun 1985 : Sikorsky and Boeing teamed for LHX
  • Apr 1991 : Prototype contract go-ahead
    Jun 1991 : S-76B N3124G tailfan testbed at Paris airshow
  • Jan 1992 : Preliminary design review
  • May 1995 : First prototype rolled out
  • Jan 1996 : First flight
  • Nov 2005 : Expected Initial production

  • Feb 23, 2004 : US Army requests Comanche termination

    After 20 years, the US Army cancelled the program in 2004 and give Bell a contract to build the ARH-70 Arapaho based on the Bell 407

  • Development

    2 Comanches Fly Together For First Time May 10, 1999
    Army sign pre-production MOU May 20, 1999
    RAH-66 at the Paris Air Show Jun 12, 1999
    $3.1 Billion proposal to US Army Aug 23, 1999
    Electrical power equipment for the RAH-66 Mar 28, 2000
    US Army wants 1213 Comanche helicopters Apr 04, 2000
    Harris Corp to provide RAH-66 avionics Aug 17, 2000
    Comanche survivability system selected Oct 26, 2000
    New RAH-66 Comanche empennage Nov 27, 2000
    RAH-66 with new Empennage Dec 21, 2000
    Program Termination

    US Army wants fewer Comanches Sep 25, 2002
    US Army requests termination Feb 23, 2004
    US Army terminates Comanche Feb 24, 2004
    Bell Submits Bid for ARH Jun 24, 2005
    Bell awarded with 368 ARH Jul 29, 2005

      RAH-66 Comanche News

    RAH-66 Comanche on Display at Fort Rucker

    RAH-66 Comanche on Display at Fort Rucker

    17-Feb-17 - A Boeing/Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche, one of the two built, is on display at the US Army Aviation museum at Fort Rucker, Alabama for limited time until they replace it on the floor with an Apache :(

    Specifications RAH-66 Comanche

    Engine 2 x RR CTS800 1361 shp
    Capacity 2
    Length (m) 14.28
    Height (m) 3.37
    Blades 5
    Rotor diam. (m) 11.9
    Disc area (m2) 111
    Weight (kgs) Empty: 4200     Max: 7900
    Speed (km/h) Cruise: 306     Max: 324
    Range (km) 485
    Ceiling (m) 4500
    Rate/Climb (m/min) 273

      List of Operators of RAH-66 Comanche

      Global Distribution of RAH-66 Comanche


    Construction Numbers

    C/N Built as Year History
    66-001 US 94-0327
    66-003 US 95-0001

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