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Encyclopedia - Aerospatiale Super Frelon

The Aerospatiale Super Frelon started out initially as the Frelon(wasp), produced by Sud-Est as the SE 3200. It's rear was extremely short and was fitted with an all-moving horizontal control surface as well as the usual tail rotor. Only two Frelons were built, the first flight taking place on 10 June 1959. Sud Aviation had taken over Sud-Est, and the design process for the SA 3210 Super Frelon began. This version had a more conventional tailboom, but had a six-bladed main rotor(instead of four) and a five-bladed tail rotor(instead of four). The first Super Frelon made its maiden flight on 7 December 1962. The second prototype was used to develop the fully navalised version.

The Super Frelon was operated by the following air forces : Argentina, China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, South Africa and Zaire. Only 2 civilian aircraft were sold.

A number of variants were produced including the SA321F for civilian passenger commuter, the SA321G for anti-submarine. The variant produced in greatest numbers, the SA321Ja served in a number of air forces around the world.

The SA321L was used by the South African and Israeli Air Forces

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Aerospatiale SA 321Gb Super Frelon


Crew : Five (Pilot, co-pilot and 3 Sensor Operators)


Number Of Engines : Three
Max Power Rating : 1,201kW (1,610shp)


Length, Rotors Turning : 23.03m (75ft 6.7in)
Fuselage Length : 19.40m (63ft 7.8in)
Height : 6.76m (22ft 2.1in)
Main Rotor Diameter : 18.90m (62ft)
Main Rotor Disc Area : 280.55m2 (3,019.9sq ft)
Tail Rotor Diameter : 4.00m (13ft 1.5in)


Empty Weight : 6,863kg (15,130lb)
Max Take-off Weight : 13,000kg (28,660lb)
Internal fuel load : 3,211kg (7,079lb)
Maximum external load : 5,000kg (11,023lb)

Landing Gear

Type : Fixed tricycle type with twin wheels on each unit
Wheelbase : 6.56m (21ft 6.3in)
Wheel Track : 4.30m (14ft 1.3in)


Cruising Speed : 134kt (248km/h; 154mph)
Initial Climb Rate : 985ft (300m) per minute
Service Ceiling : 10,170ft (3,100m)

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