Atlas ACE

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Role Trainer
National origin South Africa
Manufacturer Atlas Aircraft Corporation
First flight 29 April 1991
Number built 2

The Atlas ACE is a South African turboprop trainer, that was designed by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation as a contender to replace the North American Harvard in service with the South African Air Force. The aircraft was not selected and only two examples were completed.

Design and development[edit]

The design originated as the 1986 Project Ovid by the government research agency Aerotek, as a composites technology demonstrator.[1] In 1991 the design was entered into a competition to replace the North American Harvard by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation as the ACE (All Composite Evaluator).

The ACE is a tandem two-seat low-wing cantilever monoplane powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop. It has a retractable nosewheel landing gear and a conventional tail unit. The aircraft is constructed from carbon fiber composites.[1]

The prototype was first flown on 29 April 1991, but did not win the competition which was awarded to the Pilatus PC-7.[1]

On 14 January 1995 the prototype was lost in a wheels up landing at Jan Smuts Airport.[1] The second improved aircraft was scheduled to fly, but the design was not developed.


General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 35 ft 5 in (10.8 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft 5 in (10.8 m)
  • Wing area: 193.75 sq ft (18 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3,406 lb (1,545 kg)
  • Gross weight: 4,850 lb (2,200 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney PT6A-25C , 750 hp (559 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 345 mph (555 km/h, 300 kn)
  • Range: 1,266 mi (2,037 km, 1,100 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 33,000 ft (10,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,750 ft/min (838 m/s)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era



  1. ^ a b c d Taylor 1996, p 109


  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1996). Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory. London, England: Brassey's. ISBN 1-85753-198-1.