DALE COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — The aircraft involved in Monday’s crash, the AH-64 Apache, has the reputation of being the world’s most advanced and proven attack helicopter.
The army inducted it back in 1984, and right now, more than 1,200 Apache aircraft are currently in service with the army and international forces.
It was the main attack helicopter flown over Iraq in Desert Storm and Desert Shield — used to knock out tanks.
Now, with Fort Rucker being the place where army pilots are trained, the fort literally has hundreds of these choppers.
They seat two: a pilot and a co-pilot or gunner. And there were, in fact, two people on board when this helicopter went down this afternoon.
It’s currently manufactured by Boeing for the U.S. Armed Forces
The Apache can climb at a rate of about 2,900 feet a minute, with a maximum speed of 173 miles an hour. And it can cruise along just fine at 160 miles an hour.
The helicopter can stay in the air on one tank of fuel for three hours and nine minutes. Quite a feat when you consider it weighs more than five tons, with a maximum take-off weight of a little more than twice that.