Aerospatiale Alouette III
The Alouette III series was an improvement over the Alouette II and for sometime was the most bestselling variant of Aerospatiale company and built a record in numerical sales. However, it lost out to the Ecureuil after the 80’s.
Alouette III can be traced back to the Sud-Est SE-3120 Alouette piston powered prototypes on which the Alouette II was also modelled. The first prototype flew on July 31 1951. The maximum variants sold of the Alouette series, the III flew as the SE-3160 on February 28 1959.
Alouette III incorporates a larger design over the Alouette II and can seat seven passengers and the initial variant was powered by the TurbomÃ©ca Artouste turboshaft. It was produced until 1969 and later replaced by an improved SA-316B with strengthened transmission and a greater max takeoff weight, but the same Artouste III turboshaft.
Further design improvements paved way for the SA-319 Alouette III Astazou which is powered by a 450kW (600shp) TurbomÃ©ca Astazou XIV turboshaft. It had improved hot and high performance courtesy the enhanced and powerful economically efficient Astazou engine. SA-319 was produced as the SA-319B.
SA-319B and SA-316B were produced simultaneously for two decades in the 70’s and 80’s. Hindustan (HAL) of India is continuing with production of the Alouette III renamed as the Chetak (first as SE-3160, later as SA-316B) and is intended for use of armed forces primarily but is also used by the government and civil customers. In Romnia, ICA of Brasov produced SA-316Bs as IAR-316Bs after acquiring license, and 60 SE-3160 were built in Switzerland by F+W Emmen. Other SE-3160 were assembled by Fokker and Lichtwerk in the Netherlands.
The Alouette III has been employed in a number of utility roles, and many armed military versions have been produced.
Pictures of Aerospatiale Alouette III