Atlas Aviation Alpha XH-1
Relying on their own resources, due to trade embargoes with South Africa, Atlas Aviation produced an experimental tandem-seat attack helicopter. Based on the Aérospatiale Alouette III, the Alpha XH-1 tandem-seat attack helicopter was developed under a Government design and manufacture contract signed in 1981.
The Alpha XH-1 was purely a test-bed for weapon and cockpit systems. It was fitted with a GA-1 Rattler 20mm cannon in a steerable turret, linked to a Kukri helmet-mounted sight. During 1987, the first of two XTP-1 Puma-based test-beds were built and used to evaluate engines, avionics, optronics, weapons and associated control systems for the larger airframe. These test-beds also included the use of locally-produced composite materials used in both airframe and rotor systems.
The XH-1 first flew on February 3, 1985. Engine and transmission systems are from the Alouette III, but apart from the tail boom the airframe is a completely new design. Stub wings for weapons carriage were a projected development, while the gun turret is able to accept an alternative arrangement of four 7.62mm machine guns.