Atlas XH-1 Alpha

Atlas XH-1 Alpha

infobox Aircraft
name = XH-1 Alpha
type = Prototype
manufacturer = Atlas Aviation
Denel Aerospace Systems

caption = Alpha XH-1
designer =
first flight = 3 February 1985
introduced =
retired =
status = Retired
primary user =
more users =
produced =
number built = 1
unit cost =
developed from =
variants with their own articles =

The Alpha XH-1 was a prototype attack helicopter built by Atlas Aviation (now Denel Aerospace Systems) of South Africa, which used it as a concept demonstrator for the then-planned Rooivalk project.


It was developed from an Alouette III airframe, retaining that helicopter's engine and dynamic components, but replacing the original cockpit with a stepped tandem one, adding a 20 mm cannon on the nose and converting the undercarriage to tail-dragger configuration.

The XH-1 first flew on 3 February 1985, and soon embarked on a rigorous flight test program to examine the feasibility of a dedicated attack helicopter in southern African conditions. The results were ultimately good enough to convince Atlas and the South African Air Force to go ahead with the development of a dedicated attack helicopter - the AH-2 Rooivalk.

It should be noted however that the XH-1 and Rooivalk are completely different aircraft and share no components (the Rooivalk was developed from the later XH-2 prototype).

The sole XH-1 was retired sometime in the late 1980s and was handed over to the South African Air Force Museum, where it remains to this day.


;flag|South Africa|1928
*South African Air Force

pecifications (XH-1)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=copter
jet or prop?=prop

ref={name of first source}
crew=2 (pilot and gunner)
length main= 10.56 m
length alt= 34 ft 7 in
span main= 11.02 m
span alt= 36 ft 2 in
height main= 2.73 m
height alt= 8 ft 7 in
area main=
area alt=
empty weight main= 1,400 kg
empty weight alt= 3,086 lb
loaded weight main=
loaded weight alt=
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 2,200 kg
max takeoff weight alt= 4,850 lb
more general=

engine (prop)=Turbomeca Artouste IIIB
type of prop=turboshaft
number of props=1
power main= 410 kW
power alt= 550 shp
power original=

max speed main= 200 km/h
max speed alt= 108 kts, 124 mph
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 550 km
range alt= 297 nm, 344 mi
ceiling main=
ceiling alt=
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=
* 1 × Vektor GA-1 Rattler cannon in a chin turret with 1,000 rounds

ee also

* Aérospatiale Alouette III
* Denel AH-2 Rooivalk‎

similar aircraft=
* AH-1 Cobra

sequence=XH-1 -

see also=

* List of attack aircraft
* List of helicopters


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