Why does the military name all of the helicopters after native American tribes and names?

Apache, Apach Longbow, Blackhawk, Shinook, Little Bird, Night Hawk, Sea Stallion, UH-1H/N/Y Iroquois, Cobra

11 Answers

  • iraq51
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Respect. Also COBRA in not Native to America in any form.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You asked "why' well that is a good point.

    The long posting, I think is from Army Aviation Digest, or such is fairly accurate.

    It was about 1955 or so when the policy was set out, by the US Army alone. The numerous helicopters, many about forgotten, all had names based upon Native American tribes.

    The 1966 issues with the Cobra is solely due to the DOD

    being in a legal hassle with Piper Aviation which was also naming aircraft after Indians.

    The artices written after 1967 are full of what is basicially "nice" material about the Army seeking approval from the varied tribes, which they did.

    But in the 1950's it was just like naming a baseball or football team after some Native American tribe.

    The Otter and Beaver fixed wings were already made (one from Canada) when the military signed the contracts. they actually flew in Vietnam, amazing span of service. But we also had Sioux, Mohawk and others.

    A few PAR parachute Infantry regiments have native American names or slogans, etc.

    Source(s): Osprey Publishing - Huey Cobra Gunships Me: Army's DUSTOFF Historian 1980's-90's (Those Med-Evac folks)
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  • 1 decade ago

    because they are war hawks. THE GENERAL policy of naming Army aircraft after Indians tribes, chiefs or terms was made official by authority of Army Regulation (AR) 70-28, dated 4 April 1969. The names were authorized for use in public releases and other documents as a ready reference. The Indian names chosen were very popular among Army personnel for many years.

    The Commanding General (CG) of the U.S. Army Aviation Missile Command (AMCOM), located at Redstone Arsenal, near Huntsville, Alabama, had the responsibility of initiating action to select a popular name for an Army aircraft. For this purpose, the CG maintained a list of possible names obtained from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. For brevity the names usually consisted of only one word. When a new aircraft reached the production stage, or immediately before it went into production, the CG selected five possible names. The selection decision was based on the sound, the history, and the relationship of the name to the mission of the aircraft. The names chosen had to appeal to the imagination, without sacrificing dignity, and suggest an aggressive spirit and confidence in the capabilities of the aircraft. They also had to suggest mobility, firepower and endurance. The chosen names were sent to the Trade Mark (™) Division of the U.S. Patent Office to determine if there was any legal objection to their use.

    Some Army aircraft, such as the Bird Dog and Otter, did not have Indian names. Those that did not were named before the policy change of 1969 was enacted. AR 70-28 specified that these would not be changed.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The policy of naming Army aircraft after Indians tribes, chiefs or terms was made official by authority of Army Regulation (AR) 70-28, dated 4 April 1969. However, not all names are directly related to Indians, even if they sound that way.

    LONG BOW is English, that is how they defeated the French.

    Think of Robin Hood. Hardly related to Native Americans.

    CHINOOK means "warm wind" blowing in the Pacific North west. It was chosen for the name of a helicopter because when you get near a Chinook copter, you feel a "warm wind" from the rotor blast.

    LITTLE BIRD got its name because of its small size relative to other copters used by the US ARMY.

    NIGHT HAWK? There is no copter with that name. Perhaps you mean the Nighthawk, which is the nickname for the F117 stealth fighter, which originally only flew at night, thus its name.

    SEA STALLION? How is that related to Native Americans?

    "Sea" is an English word and "stallion" comes from Middle English.

    COBRA comes from the Portuguese language, not related to Native Americans but rather snakes in the far east.

    You did get IROQUOIS and APACHE right, definitely Native American. And you missed KIOWA WARRIOR and LAKOTA.

    • He missed Commanche as well. But it was never standardized for the Military.

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  • 4 years ago

    military helicopters native american tribes names

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  • Watson
    Lv 5
    5 years ago


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  • geegee
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    As a backward apology for the genocide of the tribes. By the way, the American native does not appreciate this one bit! They find it an insult to their heritage.

    I am Part native American, they are not complimented.

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    • Nathan3 years agoReport

      The U.S. Army requested and received permission from the tribes before naming the helicopters. You are a snowflake. I am part Native American also. I am not at all offended.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Probably out of respect

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Because the USA is ashamed of the way we treated the native Americans over 100 years ago.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It is how things are.

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