Posted on Jul 14, 2017
Major-General Ed Browne and the Apache Helicopter ProgramThe long title of General Brown's presentation was "Successfully Managing the Apache Program through Corporate Intrigue and a Watchful Congress". Major General Ed Browne, retired, served as the program manager for five aircraft, including the Apache Program Manager from 1976 to 1982.  At the time, the Army’s “Big Five” were all competing for limited funds: Apache, Blackhawk, Patriot, Bradley, and Abrams. The Apache (AH-64) an Advanced Attack Helicopter (AAH), received its name in keeping with the Army’s traditional use of American Indian tribal names for its helicopters. General Browne shared that he loved Indian lore, and  he told the story of how Jeronimo had said, “I should have fought until I was the last man alive.” With the Apaches judged to be the “meanest” and most fearsome fighters, the name seemed appropriate for this particular helicopter. Browne had to submit three names, so he submitted: Apache, Apache, Apache. After he gained approval from the Apache chief, the AH-64 became the Apache in 1981. Browne engaged in remarkable negotiations between Hughes Helicopter and Congress, to get the helicopter built the way it needed to be built, and it  got approved for full-scale production in 1982.  One of the revolutionary features of the Apache that Browne discussed, besides its tail design, was its helmet mounted display, which, among other things, allowed either the pilot or gunner to “slave” the guns to their helmets, making the gun track their head movements and point where they looked! Great presentation.