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Various aviation projects from South Africa

Graugrun

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I saw the top design pic on one of the S.A. military FB sites about a year ago, the bottom pic is new to me... IIRC there were something like five different designs put forward for the requirement. How serious the requirement was, or if they were just unsolicited proposals against an Airforce wish-list, I cannot remember.

There was some discussion regards the wisdom/or need for afterburners on the engines - I certainly think either way that the project was not beyond our capabilities at the time (both in terms of the engine modification and the general design and manufacture of the 'new' aircraft).

I like the top one, looks a little like a mini A-10 Thunderbolt - it would have served as very well in the Bush War/Border War, had it been fully developed, and functioned as originally envisaged.

I will try to trawl through FB and see if I can find the original posting and associated comments...
 

kaiserbill

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Graugrun, it will be interesting to see what you can find out about that project, especially considering there were 5 different designs.
 

kaiserbill

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Also from the Saaf forum is this below.

It was the winning design by teams of student engineers at Atlas (now denel) for an all metal turboprop trainer.
It was called the Atlas Turbo Tutor.
Normally I wouldn't include engineer projects, but the timing is interesting. This was from 1987, when the Atlas Ace (Ovid) all composite trainer was in its infancy...the Ace had started development the year before in 1986, with a first flight in 1991.
I wonder then if this was almost a "backup" study, given to the engineering "student" teams led by an experienced engineer, in case the cutting edge all-composite Ace hit problems?
Engine was to be the PT-6.
 

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hesham

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Wow,nice find Kaiserbill.
 

Graugrun

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Kaiserbill - that is indeed an most interesting find! :eek:

I can only go back on what those in the industry have always told me - there where always two projects that ran concurrently, a low risk and a high risk. This is obviously the low risk version (Ovid being the high risk project).

I have never seen or heard of this one before - thanks for this!
 

kaiserbill

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Hi Graugrun..I remember you mentioned the high risk and low risk system and gave examples.
It was the synergistic timing with the ACE, as well as the stated airframe materials that got my attention.
Thanks!
 

hesham

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kaiserbill said:
Graugrun, it will be interesting to see what you can find out about that project, especially considering there were 5 different designs.
Hi Kaiserbill,

please can you display those all 5 designs.
 

kaiserbill

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Hesham, I unfortunately only have the 2 that I have posted.
I too am very interested to see the other 3 missing ones.
 

hesham

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kaiserbill said:
Hesham, I unfortunately only have the 2 that I have posted.
I too am very interested to see the other 3 missing ones.
OK Kaiserbill.
 

Graugrun

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kaiserbill

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In Reply 157 on Pg 11, there are those 2 pics of an Atlas Implala/MB-326 ground attack study. A couple of small tidbits have come to light from facebook from an engineer that worked on this, amongst some really fascinating info on various ECM work done indigenously, the Cheetah/Mirage F-1 re-engining programme with some great info and pictures , structural and pylon work/design, including a lengthened tailpipe for the Atlas Mk2 Impala, along similar lines to work done in Israel on the A-4 and the USA on the F-104.

This was from the time when a successor to the Impala was started to being looked at. I have wondered before in this thread about what was to follow the Impala. He says that this was studied, including looking at things like the MB -339 and 340, and would talk more about that in the future. I hope he does.

Regarding this concept though, basically, a small team was gathered at Atlas and told to come up with concepts of a more "battle resistant" ground attack aircraft that could carry more ordinance than the Impala, but utilising, as said earlier, as many Impala 2 components as possible, but with 2 of its Viper engines.
Engines, wing, cockpit, instrumentation, most of the fuel systems, and a good proportion of the flight control systems were taken from the Impala Mk 2.

Interestingly, the high winged version bearing some traits to the more recent AHRLAC is not coincidental, as one of the team who worked on that configuration ended up working on the AHRLAC, after working on the Carver project too.
Mention was also made of the fact that they had stacks of reports and documents pertaining to the US Vietnam War experience that led to the A-10, whos design was also looked at. This I guess explains the "small A-10" configuration.

These two were deemed the most promising. There were other configurations as mentioned, including one that (rough translation follows)

"had two short Impala skirts (rompe) with a short wing inbetween, almost like a P-38. I just can't find the drawings."
 

Graugrun

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Very nice info Kaiserbill ;D - hopefully your source will tell us a lot more about this little known project.

Its more than likely that he also knows about a few other little or non-known projects we had going...
 

kaiserbill

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Hi Graugrun.
From what he has written, he knows quite a lot of info..he stated he was in the industry (Atlas/Denel) from the late 70's to the late 90's, which is THE crucial time concerning indiginous projects and developments resulting from the sanctions era. He has released info and some pics on various projects he was involved in, such as ECM integration and the re-engining project.
A few people have requested info particularly on the Carver, but he seems to be taking his time releasing stuff in snippets. He has also alluded to the hectic secrecy from the time period, with some stuff still apparently classified.
 

kaiserbill

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Earlier in the thread, and on the Project Carver thread, various reports popped up about work done to improve the Atar 09K50.
Various reports of single crystal turbine blades and other improvements were mentioned. The writeup on the Carver, which featured comments by the Project Officer on the Carver, mentioned thrust improvements of 10% plus for example, if I remember correctly, as well as better throttle response.
Then there was the Atar Plus programme between South Africa and France.
I have never quite got the chronology correct, but have always had the feeling that these were two seperate projects, with the Atar upgrade later possibly morphing into the less capable "tweaked" Atar Plus joint venture.

Anyway, an interesting picture of a photograph of what i gather is the original upgraded Atar programme.
I really wish the information plaque was legible. :'(
 

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Graugrun

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Another nice find Kaisebill, and yes it is a pity that the info on the plaque is not more legible.

I do have a little info on this project somewhere - Spain was also involved, it was actually a three way country effort.

When I find it I will post more.
 

kaiserbill

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Graugrun, I'm trying to figure out if the ATAR upgrade programme is the same as the ATAR Plus.
It seems to me like they weren't..more than one person intimate with the project has mentioned single crystal work done on the blades for the Upgrade. It also seems the Upgrade was worked upon in the late 1980's (?) as an engine option for the Carver, with an increase in thrust seeming to be a vital aspect, whereas the Plus seems to be a couple of years later and doesn't seem to have involved the blades or a thrust increase. It also meant open collaboration with France and Spain.
This is me surmising of course and I could be wrong.
 

Graugrun

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Good Question Kaiserbill in terms of the ATAR upgrade program and the ATAR Plus program - unfortunately I don't know the answer to it..

On another topic - finally another update on Ahrlac - with info and pics on the 2nd production prototype, interesting that they state they will have the factory busy for the next two years with production orders - so that's at least 24 aircraft that they have firm orders for!

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49065:second-ahrlac-prototype-undergoing-flight-testing&catid=35:Aerospace&Itemid=107
 

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kaiserbill

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Just some follow up snippets of info regarding the ground attack aircraft project that was based on the Aermacchi MB-326/Impala discussed earlier.

The engineer has followed up with a facebook post basically saying that when the Impala based ground attack study was stopped, a two tier follow on was looked at. So this is basically what he has said:

The first involves the Impala follow on. At this stage, Impala production had either ended or was just about to. The MB-339 was looked at to replace the Impala, in a local form. Many of the components and airframe structure of the MB-326/Impala and the MB-339 are shared...enabling a relatively easier local production move.
At the same time, the MB-340 was looked at for the attack role, as a co-development with Italy, with the engineer being part of the South African group studying various configurations in Italy.
At the time he was not privy to the financial or political decisions which led to the ending of it.
He stated that American engines were looked at, as well as the RR Spey. The Spey was chosen as a result of commonality with the South African Air Force Buccaneers.
This engine choice was carried forth when the MB-340 morphed into the AMX joint development between Italy and Brazil.

Personally, I had always thought an MB-339 type development was an obviously logical choice for South Africa to follow Impala production. I was not aware of the integral part South Africa played in the genesis of the MB-340, or conceptual development rather maybe, and its lineage to the AMX.
 

sa_bushwar

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The 4 x Browning 7.62mm Alouette III gunship I suspect was only a prototype. The 1 x 20mm version was commonly used in the South African Bush War. Thought I have seen a photo a long time ago of one being used in Rhodesia? I wonder who's came first and who developed it, SADF or Rhodesia?
 

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bobbymike

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https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/02/06/south-african-firm-ramping-up-mwari-light-attack-aircraft-production/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow
 

Graugrun

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riggerrob

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During the Rhodesian War, the South Africa Air Force "loaned" a few helicopters to the Rhodesian Air Force.
 

hesham

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Hi,

here is a little known SA Project,it was called Allen Safari.
 

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kaiserbill

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Very interesting Hesham.
Any date for this?
The entry above for a different project and company mentions that company was formed in 1969, so this must stem from after 1970 onwards..
 

hesham

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Yes Kaiserbill,but sorry no more Info.
 

riggerrob

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Alternate roles for AHRLIC include surveillance, pipeline patrol and spotting for water-bombers. Several USAF-surplus Bronco 1s spot forest fires and lead larger tankers to drop sites.
 

Graugrun

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NUSNA_Moebius

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Nice pictures.

Love seeing a rough field capable plane being used as such B)
 

sa_bushwar

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