Atlas XH-1 Alpha
|First flight||3 February 1985|
|Developed from||Aérospatiale Alouette III|
It was developed from an Aérospatiale Alouette III airframe, retaining that helicopter's engine and dynamic components, but replacing the original cockpit with a stepped tandem one, adding a 20 mm cannon under the chin and converting the undercarriage to tail-dragger configuration.
The XH-1 first flew on 3 February 1985, and soon embarked on a rigorous flight test program to examine the feasibility of a dedicated attack helicopter in southern African conditions. The results were ultimately good enough to convince Atlas and the South African Air Force to go ahead with the development of a dedicated attack helicopter – the Denel Rooivalk.
The XH-1 and Rooivalk are completely different aircraft and share no components. The Rooivalk was developed from the later XH-2 prototype.
- Crew: 2
- Length: 10.56 m (34 ft 8 in)
- Height: 2.73 m (8 ft 11 in)
- Empty weight: 1,400 kg (3,086 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 2,200 kg (4,850 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft, 410 kW (550 hp)
- Main rotor diameter: 11.02 m (36 ft 2 in)
- Main rotor area: 95.4 m2 (1,027 sq ft)
- Maximum speed: 200 km/h (124 mph; 108 kn)
- Range: 550 km (342 mi; 297 nmi)
- Guns: 1 × Vektor GA-1 Rattler 20mm cannon in a chin turret with 1,000 rounds
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alpha (SAAF).|
- Air International June 1986, p.599.
- "An Alpha From Atlas". Air International, June 1986, Vol.30 No. 6. p. 299. ISSN 0306-5634.