Aerospatiale SA-360/361/365C Dauphin

  • CountryFrance
  • TypeMid size utility helicopters
  • PowerplantsSA-360 - One 785kW (1050shp) Turboméca Astazou XVIIIA turboshaft driving a four blade main rotor and Fenestron shrouded tail rotor. SA-365C - Two 505kW (680shp) Turboméca Arriel turboshafts driving a four blade main rotor and 11 blade Fenestron shrouded tail rotor.
  • PerformanceSA-360 - Max cruising speed 278km/h (150kt), economical cruising speed 245km/h (132kt). Initial rate of climb 1770ft/min. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 7380ft. Range with max fuel 650km (351nm). SA-365C - Max cruising speed 260km/h (140kt). Initial rate of climb 1653ft/min. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 15,000ft. Range 545km (295nm).
  • WeightsSA-360 - Basic operating 1555kg (3428lb), max takeoff 3000kg (6613lb). SA 365C - Empty equipped 1806kg (3980lb), max takeoff 3400kg (7495lb).
  • DimentionsSA-360/361 - Main rotor diameter 11.50m (37ft 9in), fuselage length 10.98m (36ft 0in), height 3.50m (11ft 6in). SA-365C - Main rotor diameter 11.68m (38ft 4in), length (inc main rotor) 13.32m (43ft 9in), fuselage length 10.98m (37ft 7in).
  • CapacityStandard accommodation for 10, including one pilot, in three seat rows, with pilot and two passengers in front row, four passengers in centre row and three passengers in rear row. Max seating for 14. Executive configurations can seat four to six passengers. As an air ambulance accommodates four stretcher patients and a medical attendant.
  • ProductionProduction of the SA-360, SA-361 and SA-365C ceased in 1981. Approx 40 SA-360s and 50 SA-365Cs built.

The Alouette III series was replaced by the single engine driven SA-360 Dauphin and twin engine driven SA-365C Dauphin 2.

The SA-360 prototype variant soared into its maiden flight on June 2 1972 and was fuelled by a 730kW (980shp) Turboméca Astazou XVI turboshaft. After comprehensive testing in more than 180 development flights, a more powerful 785kW (1050shp) Astazou XVIIIA was substituted, and additional weights were also added to the rotor tips to minimize vibration and to eliminate ground resonance. This first prototype aircraft flew in its new developmental design on May 4 1973, closely following a second prototype built to the new standard which had flown for the first time that January. SA-360C was the first commercially produced model and had its maiden flight on April 1975.

Another powerful version is the SA-361 with better hot and high performance and enhanced payload carrying ability. SA-361 remained limited to prototype versions and was not built commercially. SA-361H, a military variant was also conceptualised and was fitted with up to eight HOT anti tank missiles, but also remained limited to testing stage.

SA-365C Dauphin 2 driven by twin engines was announced in early 1973 and flew for the first time on January 24 1975. It incorporated twin Arriel turboshafts and a new engine fairing, a Starflex main rotor hub and a higher max takeoff weight. Production deliveries began in December 1978.

SA-360 and SA-365C production ceased in 1981 in preference for the much improved SA-365N (later AS-365N), described under Eurocopter.

Pictures of Aerospatiale SA-360/361/365C Dauphin