Aircraft Corporation Penetrator
The AAC (American Aircraft Corporation) Penetrator was a prototype
attack helicopter developed in the '90s. It was based on a tried and
tested Bell UH-1B Iroquois"Huey" platform, but was reconfigured
with tandem pilot seating, integrated weaponry and a more aerodynamic
The AAC Penetrator featured an armored composite body, and its 4-man
crew had a 360 degree field-of-fire thanks to side and rear machine
guns operated by gunners seated towards the rear of the fuselage.
In addition it could also carry six soldiers.
The angular design of the AAC Penetrator was intended to reduce the
helicopter's radar signature - although it was never fully tested
against contemporary systems - while also acting as deflective shielding
against small arms fire.
The Penetrator was armed with two forward-facing 20mm machine guns
housed under the cockpit, 2 side and rear facing 12.7mm machine guns,
and could carry up to 2,500 lbs (1,134 kgs) of additional ordinance
in the form of rockets and missiles.
The 1,300 horsepower Avco Lycoming T53-L-13 turboshaft engine allowed
for a top speed just under 195 mph and a 3.5 hour mission endurance.
The AAC Penetrator was originally developed for both the US military
and South Korean military, however after the prototype was built and
tested, neither showed any serious interest in purchasing a production
model. The American Aircraft Corporation eventually canceled the project,
and the aircraft was renamed the Aerocraft Stealth Star 204 SS.
Amazingly the prototype still exists, and was restored by the enthusiast
Robert Laura in the early 2000s. It is currently available for rent
or purchase and is primarily used as a film prop.