Aerospatiale Alouette II & Lama

  • CountryFrance
  • TypeLight utility helicopters
  • PowerplantsSA-313B Alouette II - One 270kW (360shp) Turboméca Artouste IIC6 turboshaft driving a three blade main rotor and two blade tail rotor. SA-315B Lama - One 650kW (870shp) Turboméca Artouste IIIB turboshaft, derated to 410kW (550shp).
  • PerformanceSA-313B - Max speed 185km/h (100kt), max cruising speed 165km/h (90kt). Initial rate of climb 825ft/min. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 5400ft. Range with max fuel 300km (162nm), range with max payload 100km (54nm). SA-315B - Max cruising speed 192km/h (103kt). Max initial rate of climb 1080ft/min. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 16,565ft, out of ground effect 15,090ft. Service ceiling 17,715ft. Range with max fuel 515km (278nm).
  • WeightsSA-313B - Empty 895kg (1973lb), max takeoff 1600kg (3527lb). SA-315B - Empty 1020kg (2250lb), max takeoff 1950kg (4300lb), or 2300kg (5070lb) with external sling load.
  • DimentionsSA-313B - Main rotor diameter 10.20m (33ft 5in), fuselage length 9.70m (31ft 10in), height 2.75m (9ft 0in). SA-315B - Main rotor diameter 11.02m (36ft 2in), length overall 12.92m (42ft 5in), fuselage length 10.26m (33ft 8in), height overall 3.09m (10ft 2in). Main rotor disc area 95.4m2 (1026.7sq ft).
  • CapacityTypical seating for five. Lama can lift a 1135kg (2500lb) external sling load.
  • Production1303 Alouette IIs, including 360 SA-318Cs, were built for military and commercial customers. Aerospatiale built 407 Lamas, while seven were built in Brazil and more than 240 in India as the HAL Cheetah.

Alouette II and Lama were one of the first turbine powered helicopters that remain in active service in considerable numbers over the world.

Alouette II was built using the base model Sud-Est SE-3120 Alouette which had its maiden flight on March 12 1955. At its famed peak, it was the bestselling of all west produced helicopters. The twin prototype models were fuelled by Salmson 9 piston engines. Alouette II was made available for use of French armed forces in 1957 and certification for civil use was obtained in January, 1958.

Sud-Est was acquired by Sud in March, 1957 and later both were purchased by Aerospatiale in January 1970. The SA-3180 was built from the experience of the Alouette II and was driven by a relatively powerful Turboméca Astazou (later renamed as SA-318C in 1967). Its maiden flight was on January 31 1961. The Alouette II and Alouette II

Astazou did not differ much except for a 395kW (530shp) Astazou IIA derated to 270kW (360shp) in the Alouette II that led to an increased speed and takeoff weight.

The Indian army used the SA-315B Lama as a utility aircraft with improvements over hot and high performance. It was known as the Cheetah in India. The Lama was unique because it incorporated the twin competencies of the Alouette's airframe with the larger Alouette III's dynamic components including Artouste IIIB engine. The Lama flew for the first time on March 17 1969. Production numbers indicate 407 units that were produced by Aerospatiale till 1989, Hindustan (HAL) in India continues limited licence production and named as the SA-315B Cheetah, and seven were produced in Brazil as the Helibras HB-315B Gaviao.

Pictures of Aerospatiale Alouette II & Lama