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AH-1G Cobra Sighting Station

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This critter walked in my front door this morning. A good friend thought I needed it more than him. It is a sighting station for the front seat of the AH-1G Cobra gunship. I spent a good bit of time behind one of these in 1971-1972 flying with the 101st Avn Bn at Phu Bai, RVN.. The two triggers fired the left and right guns. The left usually being a 40mm and the right a 7.62 mini-gun. That was the normal configuration, however you did find some turrets with two 40mm or two mini-guns depending upon the unit and mission. The turret followed the movement of the sight so where ever you were looking that's where the guns pointed. I suspect there are not a lot of "man caves" here in Alabama with one of these setting around. Sure brought back a lot of memories.

 

Terry

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I'm responding to this post because I've been searching but am unable to find out how a gunner in a Vietnam war era Cobra sighted on targets with the gun turret. Was there some type of a screen / monitor with a crosshair that he looked into? If yes, could he also zoom in? Also, I've read that the later model AC-130's (in Vietnam) had a primitive FLIR. Did the Cobras have somthing like that? So, if a Cobra gunner had none of the above, How the heck did the gunner sight on targets? I would really appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance!

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I'm responding to this post because I've been searching but am unable to find out how a gunner in a Vietnam war era Cobra sighted on targets with the gun turret. Was there some type of a screen / monitor with a crosshair that he looked into? If yes, could he also zoom in? Also, I've read that the later model AC-130's (in Vietnam) had a primitive FLIR. Did the Cobras have somthing like that? So, if a Cobra gunner had none of the above, How the heck did the gunner sight on targets? I would really appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance!

 

Sorry about the delay in responding, sickness in family has occupied my time. The front seat had the turret control. You held the two handles and looked through a set of cross hairs in the box between the handles.

The guns would follow which ever way you pointed the sight. The gunner (front seat pilot) could maneuver the turret or fire the systems to include rockets in the stowed position. The standard turret usually had a 40mm and a 7.62 mini-gun. However you could mix and have two mini-guns, or two 40mm etc. The red triggers operated each gun system independent, so you could fire the mini-gun then the 40mm or both at the same time. Wasn't a good idea to shoot both at the same time because the 40mm had a slow muzzle vol and the mini-gun could set off the 40mm rounds, so we would fire the mini-gun then let up and cut loose with the 40mm to cover our breaks. The red button on the back of the handle was for the 2.75" FFAR rockets. The pilot in the back seat could fire all the gun systems in the stowed position. The back seat was the primary firer of the rocket systems. There was a sight on the console in the back seat which contained graduated cross hairs but most of the time we would turn on the sight, looking through it place a grease pencil X on the front wind screen then turn off the sight and use the X to do our shooting.

The turret did not have a zoom in function but really didn't need it because our engagements were usually close in. We would normally start a gun run at 1000 feet and break off around a couple hundred feet depending on what kind of return fire we were up against. We had no FLIR at that time.

After a while the gunners were so good they didn't really use a sight, they adjusted their fire by watching the tracers or in the case of the 40mm you could actually see the round going down range. The sight became a security blanket to hide behind, even tho it didn't offer any protection one felt like he was hiding behind something when you had it up in front of you. We called the front seat pilot the "bullet catcher".

Hope this answers some of your questions.

 

Terry

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Thank you for the info. It helped me a great deal for a project of mine. And thank you for your service in the Military.

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Hi Terry,

 

Been a while, and I hope all's well with you. Would it be possible to get measurements of the upper and lower arm tubes on your sight? I'm working on converting 67-15654 back to G standard (as much as possible) and I've got a line on a TAT-102B sight. The controller head is identical, but the flex mount is different. We can fabricate the correct size, but I don't have an accurate one to work from, and there are none in the Army system outside of the two installed on the G models Bob has at USAAVNM.

 

Thanks!

Jon


In memory of 1LT Julius C. Goldman, XO of F/330th, 83rd Infantry Division 1944-45.

Come see what's new at the US Army Air Defense Artillery Museum on Facebook: US Army ADA Museum


Looking for P-47 and Tactical Reconnaissance Unit photographs and any items associated with WWII Jewish fighter pilots.

Also seeking photos, documents and associated materials from the 3rd Armored Division and 83rd Infantry Division in January 1945.

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