with apologies to douglas adams.


Whoever designed the Apache was told, “Make it look mean. Give it angles, and facets, and ordnance racks, and a big-ass cannon underneath. Wrap it in armor plating, and then paint it flat green. Make it obvious to anyone walking up to it that this is not a traffic chopper, or the corporate shuttle to LaGuardia. Think of a LifeFlight helicopter, and then draw up the opposite.”

(Yes, I’m posting fluff, and sporadic fluff at that.)

(Yes, I’m still finishing up the novel–see previous item.)

Can someone please, please, pretty please petition the President to add eight more hours to the day?  (Also, have him eliminate three states.  We have too many nowadays.)


13 thoughts on “with apologies to douglas adams.

  1. Mike says:

    One of my favorite aircaft also. It’s not actually a cannon underneath, though. The round podlike things up front are the TADS/PNVS systems (target acquisition and night vision stuff – think terrain following in the dark!). The particular aircraft in your photo carries Hellfire missiles on the inside of the side weapons pods and 2.75 inch rockets on the outside. That’s a fairly typical load out, although sometimes they carry Hellfire/Longbow missiles if the aircraft is equipped with the Longbow navigation system (this on eisn’t). I worked as an engineer on TADS/PNVS and Hellfire missiles. Makes me proud to have been a small part of it every time I see one of them in flight.
    And, yea, it does look mean – what better look to have in an attack helicopter!!

  2. Marko says:

    The AH-64 carries a M230 30mm chain gun underneath. You can see it just in front of the undercarriage–the barrel points up at an angle.

    The Longbow system on the -D Apaches is the millimeter-wave fire control radar system. All the -D models are called “Longbows”, even when they don’t wear the radome, because they all have the plumbing required. (The radome on the rotor mast is removable and switchable from bird to bird.) They fly ’em in the sandbox without the radomes because there’s no armor threat from the insurgents.

  3. Phil says:

    Ah, one of my all time favorites- the book and the chopper. Been fond of the Apache ever since I played Gunship on our old 286 as a kid.

    I like your account. But then, they also could have just said “Take sheer, terrorizing, complete death, armor it, and make it fly.”

  4. “…petition the President to add eight more hours to the day? (Also, have him eliminate three states. We have too many nowadays.)

    well, they don’t call him the “lightbringer” for nothing…

    but better than expelling states (three ain’t enough), some of us could just create a new one; oh, wait…that’s been done, just ask all the light-skinned folks in costa rica about their ancestors from oh, about 150 years ago.


  5. crankylitprof says:

    What do you mean, eliminate? The Zero added seven while he was campaigning!

  6. Jason says:

    GUNSHIP! I used to love playing that on the computer. Microprose ruled.

    Regarding the FCR, when they are using it, not all aircraft in the flight need to have it installed. They can share the radar data between them. It’s a fun aircraft…The closest thing to some sort of RoboTech vehicle we have.

    I hope Apache Block III survives the looming Obama budget.

  7. Lissa says:

    I was going to mention the 57 state thing, but Cranky beat me to it 🙂

  8. ZerCool says:

    Beat by a longshot to the 57 states…

    But it’s worth noting that the cannon on that baby is optically slaved to the pilot’s helmet … where he’s lookin’ is where he’s killin’!

  9. Crucis says:

    OK, I missed the reference to Douglas Adams. I tried to read one of his books and tossed it.

  10. lenf says:

    Crucis, You’ve got to start with ‘The Hitchikers Guide to The Galaxy’.
    Don’t panic.
    Will a suspension of disbelief.
    Then sit back and enjoy the ride.
    Kind of like living in Obamaland but without the looming disaster.

  11. MarkHB says:

    It’s a lovely machine. I’d give a toe or two to fly one. But not a vertebra or two, which I believe would be the required sacrifice to scrunch me into the blamed thing’s cockpit.

    Oh, well. Those who can – do. Those who can’t – simulate.

  12. mts says:

    I don’t know, but I started with The Long dark Tea Time of the Soul, and found it a good way to get into his writing.

    If Hawaii secedes like it looks like it may, then presto, there you go. One down. California can function well on its own, and we still have Washington and Oregon for western ports. And Illinois, do we have a use for Illinois anymore, now that they’re exporting their problems to the rest of the country?

  13. Eric Hammer says:

    “Take sheer, terrorizing, complete death, armor it, and make it fly.”

    I believe that would actually be the design concept for the A-10 Thunderbolt. Note that the Apache does not, traditionally, bear a leering, toothed maw and predatorial eyes 😉

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