Few failed helicopter procurements are as celebrated and mourned as the Lockheed AH-56A Cheyenne. This revolutionary compound helicopter was created in response to the Army’s request for a fast, heavily armed escort and attack helicopter. The Cheyenne was among the very first helicopters to boast an integrated avionics suite that included weapons, communications and navigation systems as well as a pilot’s helmet with night vision and weapons pointing capabilities. Retractable landing gear, stub wings, a “rigid rotor”, a four-bladed tail rotor and a three-bladed pusher propeller contributed to a 240 mph performance. The program never went into production and was cancelled in 1972.
Read the bio of Irv Culver, inventor of Lockheed's rigid rotor.