What is name of this highlighted part of helicopter and what is its use?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Guessing angle-of-attack sensor combined with sideslip sensor, i.e. a vane that pivots in 2 axes? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


According to this cutaway it is called "low speed omnidirectional air data sensor system probe". Albeit overcomplicated, the name should be anyway self explaining.

The helicopter in the picture is a Bell AH-1 Cobra and, funnily enough, those kind of sensors are sometimes called cobra probe due to their shape.

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    $\begingroup$ Is it possible to know whether it is a pivoting vane (possibly in both pitch and yaw), or is fixed? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ The round tail fin assembly tells you it's an articulating vane that weathervanes. It would almost certainly have freedom of movement vertically and laterally, allowing precise speed measurements at a range of yaw and pitch angles. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 4:03

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