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Aérospatiale Alouette III

The Sud Aviation-developed Aérospatiale Alouette III is a light utility helicopter with a single engine.

Throughout its production, this rotorcraft gained considerable popularity, leading to the manufacturing of over 2,000 units by various licenced companies.

The Alouette III was created as a larger version of the successful Alouette II, incorporating additional seats and various improvements.

It gained popularity with both civilian and military customers, leading to the development of different variants.

One of these was the high-altitude SA 315B Lama, which began operational service in July 1971.

Aérospatiale was the primary manufacturer of the Alouette III, with licenced production also taking place in India, Romania, and Switzerland.

Similar to the Alouette II, the Alouette III served various military purposes, including aerial observation, photography, air-sea rescue, liaison, transport, and training.

It had the capability to be equipped with anti-tank missiles, anti-shipping torpedoes, and a fixed cannon.

In civilian operations, the Alouette III was commonly used for casualty evacuation, crop-spraying, personnel transportation, and carrying external loads.

However, in recent years, many operators have been phasing out their Alouette III fleets and opting for more modern helicopter models.

For instance, the French military plans to replace their Alouette IIIs with the newly developed Airbus Helicopters H160





                         5 passengers                         


10.03 m (32 ft 11 in)


3 m (9 ft 10 in)

Empty weight

1,143 kg (2,520 lb)

Gross weight

2,200 kg (4,850 lb)


1 × Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft

Main rotor diameter

11.02 m (36 ft 2 in)

Main rotor area

95.38 m2 (1,026.7 sq ft)


Maximum speed

210 km/h (130 mph, 110 kn) at sea level

Cruise speed

185 km/h (115 mph, 100 kn)


540 km (340 mi, 290 nmi)

Service ceiling

3,200 m (10,500 ft)

Rate of climb

4.3 m/s (850 ft/min).

Helicopters: An Illustrated History of their Impact-S S McGowen.
How the Helicopter Changed Modern Warfare-W Boyne.
National Air and Space Museum of France.

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