Bell’s AH-1 Cobra was the first dedicated helicopter gunship to reach frontline service anywhere in the world. Developed as a private venture by the manufacturer, and based on the mechanics of the ubiquitous UH-1 Huey, the Cobra proved a huge success once introduced into combat with the US Army in 1966. Built as a key weapon in the Advanced Aerial Fire Support System concept of 1965, the AH-1 was one of the few aircraft to reach the combat zone after actual combat experience went into its design. The AH-1 helped reduce the losses being suffered by vulnerable troop transport helicopters by providing effective fire suppression during airmobile operations. This book explores its history, technology and crew.