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SAF (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas


Army Co-operation Aircraft


Greece | 1931



"Greek industry produced just ten of the Armstrong Whitworth Atlas - the localized versions found to be wanting for performance."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/28/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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).

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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 Atlas Army Co-operation Aircraft.
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.
Propulsion
84 mph
135 kph | 73 kts
Max Speed
15,420 ft
4,700 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
395 miles
635 km | 343 nm
Operational Range
855 ft/min
261 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the SAF Atlas Army Co-operation Aircraft.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
28.5 ft
8.70 m
O/A Length
39.5 ft
(12.05 m)
O/A Width
10.5 ft
(3.20 m)
O/A Height
2,557 lb
(1,160 kg)
Empty Weight
4,023 lb
(1,825 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the SAF (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas Army Co-operation Aircraft .
STANDARD:
1 x 0.303" (7.7mm) Vickers Machine Gun in fixed, forward-firing mounting for pilot.
1 x 0.303" (7.7mm) Lewis Machine Gun on trainable mounting in rear cockpit for rear-facing gunner.

OPTIONAL:
4 x 112lb conventional drop bombs carried under the wings.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the SAF (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas family line.
"Atlas" - Base Series Designation.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the SAF (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 10 Units

Contractor(s): State Aircraft Factory (SAF) - Greece / Armstrong Whitworth - UK
National flag of Greece

[ Greece ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (84mph).

Graph Average of 75 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
10
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
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the SAF (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas
Image from the Public Domain; British Atlas pictured.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
RECONNAISSANCE
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 (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas Army Co-operation Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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