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Encyclopedia - Aerospatiale Alouette II

The Alouette II was probably the first true light multi-purpose helicopter. It originated as the Sud-Est SE 3120 Alouette (which means ‘Lark’), which was a three-seat helicopter designed for agricultural purposes. The SE 3120 first flew on 31 July 1952, powered by a Salmson 9NH radial engine. The airframe was then completely redesigned to accommodate the Turboméca Artouste turboshaft, developing 269kW (360shp), and was designated the SE 3130. This aircraft first flew on 12 March 1955, and three production aircraft were manufactured in 1956. Receiving its French Certificate of Airworthiness on 2 May 1956, it was soon in demand on the international market.

The Alouette II proved to be a very good performer at high altitude, and from 9-13 June 1958 set an altitude record of 36,027ft (10,981m). By September 1960 a total of 598 Alouette II’s had been ordered, and was even being assembled by Republic in the USA and by Saab in Sweden.

Another variant of the Alouette II was developed with the more economical Astazou IIA turboshaft engine, featuring a new centrifugal clutch. The first prototype flew on 31 January 1960 and was designated as the SA 3180. Production as the SA 318C started in 1964, with the first deliveries taking place in 1965. The SA 318C had a slightly higher level speed, improved range and was capable of lifting heavier loads.

By the spring of 1975 production of the Alouette II ceased, after the number of Alouette II’s reached 1,300.

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Aerospatiale SA 313B Alouette II


Country of Origin : France


Number Of Engines : One
Powerplant type : Turboméca Artouste IIC6 turboshaft driving a three blade main rotor and two blade tail rotor.
Max Power Rating : 270kW (360shp)


Fuselage Length : 9.70m (31ft 10in)
Height : 2.75m (9ft)
Main Rotor Diameter : 10.20m (33ft 5in)


Empty Weight : 895kg (1,973lb)
Max Take-off Weight : 1,600kg (3,527lb)


Max Speed At Cruising Level : 100kt (185km/h; 116mph)
Maximum Range : 162nm (300km; 188mi)
Range with maximum payload : 54nm (100km; 63mi)
Initial Climb Rate : 825ft (252m) per minute
Hover In Ground Effect : 5,400ft (1,646m)

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