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SAF Chelidon (Swallow)


Advanced Trainer / Reconnaissance Biplane Prototype


Greece | 1927



"SAF managed just a single prototype of its Chelidon biplane - the aircraft arriving too late in the 1920s to impress even the Greek Navy."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/27/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
During the 1920s, Greece took its first tangible steps towards an indigenous aeroplane manufacturing capability with the establishment of its State Aircraft Factory (SAF). its first offering became the "Velos" of 1926 based in the Blackburn "Dart" torpedo bomber biplane. Following this modestly successful debut was the "Chelidon" (translating to "Swallow") of 1927 which was developed, again with assistance from Blackburn, to satisfy a Hellenic Navy requirement - this time for a two-seat advanced trainer / reconnaissance platform. However, despite some eighteen units ordered by the Navy service, only a single prototype ever materialized.

After just eight weeks of design and development work, the aircraft was unveiled for its first flight on February 20th, 1927. Key design features included its single-bay biplane wing arrangement, twin tandem seating, and Salmson 9AC 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine of 120 horsepower installed at the nose. The engine drove a two-bladed propeller in typical fashion and ground-running was accomplished through a "tail-dragger" arrangement featuring a fixed twin-wheeled support at forward center mass and a simple skid at the rear. Like the Velos before it, the Chelidon was designed as configurable, from a land-based plane to seaplane and back again as needed.

As finalized, the aircraft sported a running length of 19 feet and a wingspan of 26.9 feet. Maximum speed, as tested, reached 93 miles-per-hour, suitable for the roles envisioned of the machine. Future serial production was to involve the Armstrong Siddeley "Lynx" engine for improved power and performance but was not to be.

Before the end of 1926, the Hellenic Navy committed to an order for eighteen of the type until it was found, through additional testing, that the design was more-or-less obsolescent when compared to contemporaries of the day. As such, the sole completed prototype example was relegated to training for SAF company personnel and managed to survive until 1938 before being given up for good.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the SAF Chelidon Advanced Trainer / Reconnaissance Biplane Prototype.
1 x Salmson 9AC 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine developing 120 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Propulsion
93 mph
150 kph | 81 kts
Max Speed
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the SAF Chelidon Advanced Trainer / Reconnaissance Biplane Prototype.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
19.0 ft
5.80 m
O/A Length
26.7 ft
(8.15 m)
O/A Width
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the SAF Chelidon (Swallow) family line.
"Chelidon" - Base Series Name; single prototype example completed and flown before program cancellation.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the SAF Chelidon (Swallow). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): State Aircraft Factory (SAF) - Greece
National flag of Greece

[ Greece (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (93mph).

Graph Average of 75 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Production Comparison
1
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
RECONNAISSANCE
X-PLANE
TRAINING
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The SAF Chelidon (Swallow) Advanced Trainer / Reconnaissance Biplane Prototype appears in the following collections:
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