After the "Velos" torpedo bomber biplane of 1926 and the "Chelidon" training-reconnaissance biplane of 1927 for the Hellenic Navy, the State Aircraft Factory (SAF) of Greece manufactured a variant of the British Armstrong Whitworth "Atlas" in 1931 under the same name for the Army Co-Operation role. The aircraft was intended from the outset as a budget-friendly alternative to the original and featured only minor changes to its propeller, wings, and powerplant components. However, its performance was soon found to be lacking and only ten were ever taken into service - these destined to lead a short service life in the period prior to World War 2 (1939-1945).
Both the Navy and Air Force of Greece eventually operated some form of the Atlas biplane.
The localized version retained much of the form-and-function of the original including its over-under biplane wing arrangement with parallel strut works and cabling for strength. The mainplanes were set ahead of the pilot's open-air cockpit while an observer sat to his immediate rear in a slightly raised position armed with a trainable machine gun for point defense. The engine was fitted to the nose in the usual way and this was used to drive a simple two-bladed, fixed-pitch propeller unit in tractor arrangement. Under the forward center mass of the aircraft lay its twin-wheeled undercarriage, the tail supported by a simple skid when ground-running. Alternatively, the aircraft could be affixed with floats for waterborne work if need be. The tail unit incorporated a single, large-area rounded vertical fin and low-mounted horizontal planes.
Beyond the aforementioned rear machine gun was a fixed, forward-firing machine gun for the pilot and support was had for up to 4 x 112lb conventional drop bombs under the wings.
As for the original British Atlas, some 478 units were built in all and these were produced from 1927 until 1933, operating until 1935 with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and until 1942 with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
28.5 ft (8.70 m)
39.5 ft (12.05 m)
10.5 ft (3.20 m)
2,557 lb (1,160 kg)
4,023 lb (1,825 kg)
+1,466 lb (+665 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the SAF Atlas production variant)
1 x Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar IVC 14-cylinder twin-row air-cooled radial piston engine developing 450 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
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