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Agusta A.101

During the 1960s, Italy embarked on the development of the Agusta A.101, initially known as the AZ.101, a sizable transport helicopter.

Despite initial interest from the Italian armed forces, no potential buyers materialised, leading to the project’s abandonment in 1971.

The A.101 followed a conventional design, featuring a single-rotor configuration, tricycle undercarriage, and triple turboshaft engines for propulsion.

Notably, the fuselage boasted a rear loading ramp and two spacious sliding troop doors.

As part of its final development stage, the A.101 underwent a 3 m (10 ft) fuselage extension and an engine upgrade to the more potent General Electric T58.

These modifications significantly enhanced its performance.

However, the Italian government ultimately chose to pursue variants of the SH-3 Sea King, manufactured under licence by Agusta, rather than continuing with their own design.

Today, the sole prototype of the A.101 is preserved at the Museo Agusta in Cascina Costa.



The original concept by Filippo Zappata exhibited in model form at the Milan Trade Fair in April 1958, also designated AZ.101, acknowledging Zappata’s role in the design process.

Power was to have been supplied by three 750 hp (559 kW) Turbomeca Turmo engines.


The sole prototype powered by three 1,400 hp (1,044 kW) Rolls-Royce Gnome H.1400 turboshaft engines


A projected up-rated version, stretched by 3 m (10 ft), with tricycle undercarriage and powered by three General Electric T58 turboshaft engines.






Up to 36 pax / 18 stretchers with 5 attendants, and a 5,000 kg (11,000 lb) payload


20.19 m (66 ft 3 in) including tail-rotor.


4.64 m (15 ft 3 in) rotor blades folded.


6.56 m (21 ft 6 in) to top of rotor head.

Empty weight

6,850 kg (15,102 lb)

Gross weight

12,400 kg (27,337 lb)

Max take-off weight

12,900 kg (28,440 lb)

Fuel capacity

2,000 L (530 US gal; 440 imp gal) in fuselage side fairings


3 × de Havilland H.1400 Gnome turboshaft engines,

1,000 kW (1,400 shp) each for take-off

1,250 shp (930 kW) maximum continuous

Main rotor diameter

20.4 m (66 ft 11 in)


Maximum speed

217 km/h (135 mph, 117 kn) at MTOW

Cruise speed

201 km/h (125 mph, 109 kn) at MTOW


378 km (235 mi, 204 nmi) at MTOW

Service ceiling

2,950 m (9,680 ft) at MTOW

Hover ceiling IGE

1,400 m (4,600 ft) at MTOW

Hover ceiling OGE

600 m (1,970 ft) at MTOW

Rate of climb

9.7 m/s (1,910 ft/min) at MTOW

VFR and IFR instrumentation with provision for autostab and autopilot.


Airlife’s Helicopters and Rotorcraft-R W Simpson.

Jane’s Encyclopedia of Aviation-M J H Taylor.

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