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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."

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.
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
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the SAF Atlas Army Co-operation Aircraft.
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)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the SAF (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas Army Co-operation Aircraft .
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.

4 x 112lb conventional drop bombs carried under the wings.
Notable series variants as part of the SAF (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas family line.
"Atlas" - Base Series Designation.

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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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

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Image of the SAF (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas
Image from the Public Domain; British Atlas pictured.

Going Further...
The SAF (Armstrong Whitworth) Atlas Army Co-operation Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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