- Aircraft History, Specification and Information -
Aérospatiale Alouette II / Lama

The Alouette II is a light helicopter originally manufactured by Sud Aviation and later Aérospatiale, both of France. The Alouette II was the first production helicopter to use a gas turbine instead of a conventional heavier piston engine.

It was mostly used for military purposes in observation, photography, air/sea rescue, liaison and training but it has also carried anti-tank missiles and homing torpedoes. As a civilian helicopter it was put to use as a casualty evacuation (with two external stretcher panniers), crop-spraying and flying crane (with a 500kg external sling load).

Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama Helicopter - HB-XSW - Air Zermatt - Zermatt Heliport, Switzerland (LSEZ)
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama
HB-XSW (cn 2563)
Air Zermatt
Photo taken May 21, 2005
Zermatt Heliport, Switzerland (LSEZ)
Photo Copyright and Thanks to
Joost De Wit - www.AviaSpotters.nl
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama Rotorcraft - OE-EXU - Wucher Helicopter
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama
OE-EXU (cn 2478)
Wucher Helicopter
Photo taken May 21, 2005
Ludesch Heliport, Austria (LOIG)
Photo Copyright and Thanks to
Tino Dietsche - www.AirPics4You.ch
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama - HB-XPL - Helikopter Service Triet AG - Off-Airport Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama
HB-XPL (cn 2560)
Helikopter-Service Triet AG
One of the last Taxi Flights this day at the Ski Races Lauberhorn. The famous Eiger Northwall in the Background.
Photo taken January 13, 2007
Off-Airport - Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland
Photo Copyright and Thanks to
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama Helicopter - EC-EOF - TAVASA Trabajos Aereos Vascongados SA
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama
EC-EOF (cn 2261)
TAVASA Trabajos Aéreos Vascongados SA
Photo taken January 29, 2005
Madrid Cuatro Vientos Airport, Spain (LECU / LEVS)
Photo Copyright and Thanks to
Manuel Pancorbo
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama Helicopter - HB-XTN - Trans Heli Switzerland
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama
HB-XTN (cn 2407)
Trans Heli
Photo taken July 2007
Flanthey, Switzerland
Photo Copyright and Thanks to
Julien Ritz - www.helidropzone.ch
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama Helicopter - I-EFLY - ETI 2000
Aerospatiale SA-315B Lama
I-EFLY (cn 2497)
ETI 2000
Photo taken July 15, 2005
Off-Airport - Val Pelline (AO), Italy
Photo Copyright and Thanks to
Damiano Gualdoni - www.dgualdo.it

Operational history
Although Sud-Est's previous helicopter design, the SE 3120 Alouette, broke helicopter speed and distance records in July 1953, it was too complex an aircraft to market successfully. With the records falling, the French government started showing interest but with their financial backing the state gave an ultimatum that within 2 years a helicopter had to be in production otherwise all activities around rotary wings would cease. SNCASE came up with 7 turbo-engine helicopters designs: X.310A - X.310G. Earlier Joseph Szydlowski, the founder of Turboméca had successfully managed to develop the Artouste, a 260 hp single shaft turbine engine derived from his Orédon turbine. The X.310G design was chosen and together with the Artouste engine was fast tracked towards production as the SE 3130 Alouette II.

The SE 3130, first flew on March 12 1955 and within 3 months a pre-series Alouette II flown by Jean Boulet set a new helicopter altitude record of 8,209 m on June 6 then on June 13 pushed the record even further to 10,984 m.

The Alouette II made the news on July 3 1956 when it became the first helicopter to perform a mountain-rescue by evacuating a mountaineer who had suffered from cardiac arrest at over 4,000 m and again on January 3 1957 the Alouette II was called upon to rescue the crew of a crashed Sikorsky S-58 which was searching for missing mountaineers Jean Vincendon and François Henry on Mont Blanc.

The Alouette II gained its domestic certificate of airworthiness on 2 May 1957.

Production started initially to fulfil orders from the French armed forces and civilian customers, but by the time production ended in 1975 with over 1500 Alouette II's had been built and in use in over 80 countries including 47 armed forces. It is also licence built in Brazil, Sweden, India and in the United States.

In 1963 the Alouette II became the first commercially operated turbine helicopter in the USA.

Indian Hindustan Aeronautics Limited license-built SA 315B Lamas, called Cheetahs in Indian service, regularly deployed at 7500 meters (24,600 ft.) to forward observation outposts and air bases of the Indian Air Force in the Himalaya mountain ranges.

In 2005, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration discovered that approximately 80 Alouette helicopters had been imported contrary to policy. Due to the heightened awareness of national security and the undocumented maintenance by governmental entities such as Foreign Border Patrol and Foreign Military agencies the use of these aircraft for civilian purposes may be reserved to experimental certification and not useful for day-to-day or commercial purposes.

- SE 3130 Alouette II - After 1967 called SA 313B Alouette II

- SE 3131 Gouverneur - VIP version which led up to the Alouette III

- SE 3140 Alouette II - Proposed version, it was going to be powered by a 298 kW (400hp) Turbomeca Turmo II engine. None were ever built.

- HKP 2 Alouette II - Swedish licence version of the SE.3130

- SE 3150 Alouette Astazou - It has a 550 shp Turboméca Astazou IIA shaft turbine (derated to 360 shp) and strengthened transmission system of the Alouette III

- SE 3180 Alouette II - After 1967 called SA 318C Alouette II derived from the SE 3150

- HAL Chetak - Indian licence version of the SE.3180

- SA 315B Lama - Derived from the SE 3150, it was designed for high altitude operations using a 650kW (870shp) Turboméca Astazou IIIB turboshaft, derated to 410kW (550shp). This derivative still holds the absolute altitude record for all types of helicopters since 1972: 12,442 m.

- HAL Cheetah - Indian licence built version of the SA 315B Lama.

- HAL Lancer - modified and updated version of Cheetah.

- HB 315B Gaviao - Brazilian licence built version of the SA 315B Lama.

- Angola
- Argentina
- Austria (16)
- Belgium (39)
- Benin
- Biafra - few helicopters were used by the Biafran Air Force
- Bolivia
- Brazil
- Cambodia (8)
- Cameroon
- Central African Republic
- Chile
- Côte d'Ivoire (2)
- Djibouti
- Dominican Republic (2)
- Ecuador
- El Salvador
- Finland (2)
- France (363)
- Germany (267)
- Guinea-Bissau
- India (over 250 built under license as the HAL Cheetah)
- Indonesia (3)
- Israel (4)
- Laos (2)
- Lebanon (3)
- Mexico (2)
- Morocco (14)
- Netherlands (8)
- Pakistan (12)
- Peru (6)
- Portugal (7)
- Romania (2)
- Senegal
- South Korea
- South Africa: South African Air Force (7)
- South Vietnam
- Sweden (25)
- Switzerland (30)
- Togo
- Tunisia (8)
- Turkey
- United Kingdom (17)
- Zaire (3)

Specifications (Alouette II)

General characteristics
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 4 passengers
- Length: 9.70 m (31 ft 10 in)
- Rotor diameter: 10.20 m (33 ft 6 in)
- Height: 2.75 m (9 ft 0 in)
- Disc area: 81.7 m² (879.4 ft²)
- Empty weight: 895 kg (1,975 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 1,600 kg (3,525 lb)
- Powerplant: 1× Turboméca Artouste IIC6 turboshaft, 410 kW (550 hp)

- Maximum speed: 185 km/h (99.9 knots, 115 mph)
- Range: 565 km (305 nm, 350 mi)
- Service ceiling 2,250 m (7,380 ft)
- Rate of climb: 4.2 m/s (825 ft/min)

Last updated May 05, 2008
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Aérospatiale Alouette II".