The AH-65 Cheyenne was a tandem attack helicopter made by Lockheed for the United States Army. It first took flight in 1967 but development was cancelled.
After the Bell UH-1 Iroquois (the “Huey”) proved the effectiveness of helicopter attack vehicles in the Vietnam War, it became apparent that there was a need for a dedicated attack helicopter. During the Vietnam war itself the AH-1 Cobra fulfilled that role and could be brought to service quickly since it was developed from the Huey as a basis. Still, the US wanted a pure attack helicopter and ordered prototypes of the Cheyenne.
The Cheyenne was designed to be fast, heavily armed and heavily armored. The helicopter was long, slim and had retractable gear. This relatively small and light aircraft was powered by a General Electric T64-GE-16 turboshaft engine. By the end of the development program it was outputting 3922 horsepower to the rigid four-bladed main rotor. The same power plant also drive the anti-torque rotor and the unique pusher-propeller at the end of the tail boom which was meant to give the Cheyenne a serious speed advantage.
As with most modern pure attack helicopters, the two crew members sit in tandem to allow for the narrow profile of the helicopter.
The Cheyenne was a swiss-army knife of weaponry. It had a 30-mm XM140 belly turret and a 40-mm XM129 grenade launcher in the nose. The launcher could also be changed for a 7.62 mm minigun. Under each wing there are six hardpoints to mount weaponry. These include TOW anti-tank missiles or 2.75 inch rockets.
The Cheyenne could also get this ordnance on-target with some of the most advanced targeting technology of the time. Notably it had night-vision equipment and a helmet-operated gun sight.
Only 10 units were ever built before the program was closed, but if the Cheyenne ever entered service it would have likely strongly improved the air-superiority of the US at the time. If we look at the modern day Apache, which is a clear successor, the potential of this attack helicopter design cannot be in dispute.