The HA 200, nicknamed el "Saeta" (Arrow) by the Spanish Air Force and "Al Qahira" (the victorious) by the Egyptian Air Force, was a tandem two-seater, low wing monoplane powered by two French built Turbomeca Marboré IIA turbojets of 400 kilograms (880 pounds) thrust each. The engines are independently mounted and exhaust through tailpipes on either side of the fuselage. Aircraft construction is conventional with a semi-monocoque fuselage and cantilever wing and tail structure. The two-seat cockpit for instructor and student is pressurized.
In addition to its capabilities as a trainer, the HA 200 was equipped with machine guns firing from ports over the engine, 8 hard points on the wing for either rockets or 110 pound bombs and auxiliary fuel tanks at the wing tips.
In 1959 HASA reached an agreement with the United Arab Republic for the HA-200 to be manufactured under license. The contract covered the manufacture of 100 aircraft of this type, to be designated HA-200B, at Helwan Aircraft Factory (Factory 36) near Cairo. This represented a two-fold opportunity for the Egyptians, enabling them not only to establish a modern aviation industry in their own country with comparative ease, but also to consolidate their economic relations with Spain. The HA-200B differed from the A version primarily in that it had a 20-mm Hispano-Suiza HS-804 cannon mounted below the nose. To begin with, five machines from the previous series were diverted and converted to HA-200Bs in Seville. The first of these was shipped to Egypt, after which the first Spanish support team led by Francisco Esteva Salom set off for Helwan. Series production began there on 13 May 1960, and it was not long before the first aircraft took off on 1 July. It was nicknamed "Al Qahira" (Cairo, or "the victorious one"). Just three weeks later it made its official debut before President Nasser, who proudly commentated the event himself over loudspeakers. By 1965, 46 production aircraft had been built. One of that yearâ€™s highlights was the parade flight of all 51 HA-200Bs that had been built up to then. The "Al Qahira" was rushed into action when the Six Days' War broke out in 1967. Hardly any details were revealed, but at least two machines were destroyed on the very first day by an Israeli surprise attack on Helwan.
Production of the "Al Qahira" came to an end in 1969 after a total of 95 aircraft had been built (plus the five converted machines from the previous batch). Over 20 of these were reportedly still in operation as liaison aircraft well into the 1990s. It was also in Egypt that the world's lightest supersonic fighter, the HA-300, was finally completed and performed its maiden flight on 7 March 1964. Messerschmitt had begun developing it while at HASA.
- Crew: 2
- Length: 8.97 m (29.4ft)
- Wingspan: 10.4 m (34.1ft)
- Height: 2.85 m (9.4ft)
- Wing area: 17.4 m² (187 ft² )
- Empty weight:2,020 kg (4,444 lb)
- Loaded weight: 3,600 kg (7,937 lb)
- Powerplant: 2× Turbomeca Marboré IIA turbojets of 480 kN (880 lbf ) thrust each
- Maximum speed: 372 knots (429 mph, 690 km/h) at 22,965 ft (3,000 m).
- Service Ceiling : 13,000 m (42,650 ft).
- Combat radius: 1,500 km (932 mi, 810 nm).
- Guns: 1× 20 mm Hispano HS-804 canon.
- Hardpoints: 8 hardpoints
- 4× underwing.
- 2× under-fuselage stations holding up to 2,200 lb (1,000 kg).
- 2× auxiliary fuel tanks.