EUROCOPTER (AEROSPATIALE) ALOUETTE III

Turbine-driven general purpose helicopter.

PROGRAMME:

Alouette III helicopter was developed from the Alouette II, with larger cabin, greater power, improved equipment and higher performance. The prototype flew for the first time on 28 February 1959, and a total of 1,455 Alouette IIIs had been delivered for civil and military operation in 74 countries by 1 May 1985 which was the final year of production by Aerospatiale, although Brasov of Romania continued manufacturing the SA 316B for a short period. All Romanian production has now ceased. Those aircraft delivered before 1969 were designated SE 3160. The subsequent Artouste-engined SA 316B has strengthened main and rear rotor transmissions, higher AUW and increased payload. It flew for the first time on 27 June 1968; first deliveries were made in 1970, and this version received FAA Type Approval on 25 March 1971. The SA 319B, with Astazou engine, is described separately, but is included in the total sales figure above. The sale of Alouette IIIs to India, Romania and Switzerland included licence agreements for manufacture of the aircraft in those countries. Quantities involved were 250 in India, 180 in Romania and 60 in Switzerland. In 1977, an SA 316B operated by Trans North Turbo Air for the Canadian Park Service evacuated a mountain climber, suffering from pulmonary edema and frostbite, from a point at the 4,235 m (13,900 ft) level on the east ridge of Mount Logan. This is thought to be the greatest height at which a hoist rescue has been effected.

VERSIONS:

SE 3160 Alouette III: Initial model with one Turbomeca
Artouste IIIB 570 shp (derated from 870 shp) engine.
SA 316B Alouette III: Designation applied after 1970 for Alouette III with Turbomeca Artouste engine.
SA 319B Alouette III Astazou: Designation applied to Alouette III with Turbomeca Astazou engine. For more details see separate entry in this section.
IAR 319B: Licence-built version manufactured by IAR-Brasov in Romania.
hAL Chetak: Licence-built version manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India.

UPGRADES:

Oxley Avionics Ltd: Awarded contract in December 1995 to design, manufacture and supply Night Vision Goggle (NVG) kits for the Swiss Army Aerospatiale 316B Alouette III helicopters. Kits consisted of NVG-compatible components including filters, lamp assemblies and dimmer units.
Swiss Aircraft and Systems: Installed NVG systems on Swiss Army SA 316B alouette III helicopters. See also separate entry in Switzerland section.

OPERATORS:

Versions of the SA 316B are in service with the armed forces of the following countries: Algeria (6); Argentina (6); Burundi (4); Congo (2); Ecuador (5); France (55); Guinea-Bissau (2); Ireland (8); Lebanon (6); Libya (10); Malta (3); Pakistan (7); South Africa (50); Switzerland (52); Tunisia (5); Zaire (5) and Zimbabwe (25).

DESIGN FEATURES:

Three-blade main and anti-torque rotors. All-metal main rotor blades, of constant chord, on articulated hinges, with hydraulic drag-hinge dampers. Rotor brake standard. Welded-steel tube centre-section, carrying the cabin at the front and a semi-monocoque tailboom. The tail unit is a cantilever all-metal fixed tailplane, with twin endplate fins, mounted on tailboom. Main rotor driven through planetary gearbox, with freewheel for autorotation. Take-off drive for tail rotor at lower end of main gearbox, from where a torque shaft runs to a small gearbox which supports the tail rotor and houses the pitch-change mechanism. Cyclic and collective pitch controls are powered.

LANDING GEAR:

Non-retractable tricycle type, manufactured by Messier-Hispano-Bugatti. Nosewheel is fully castoring. Provision for pontoon landing gear.

POWER PLANT:

One 649 kW (870 shp) Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine derated to 425 kW (570 shp). Fuel in single tank in fuselage centre-section, with capacity of 575 litres (152 US gallons; 126.5 Imp gallons), of which 573 litres (151 US gallons; 126 Imp gallons) are usable.

ACCOMMODATION:

Normal accommodation for pilot and six persons, with three seats in front and a four-person folding seat at rear of cabin. Two baggage holds in centre-section, on each side of the welded structure and enclosed by the centre-section fairings. Provision for carrying two stretchers athwartships at rear of cabin, and two other persons, in addition to pilot. All passenger seats removable to enable aircraft to be used for freight-carrying. Provision for external sling for loads of up to 750 kg (1,650 lb). One forward-opening door on each side, immediately in front of two rearward-sliding doors. Dual controls and cabin heating optional.

OPERATIONAL EQUIPMENT (military version):

In the assault role, the Alouette III can be equipped with a wide range of weapons. A 7.62 mm AA52 machine gun (with 1,000 rounds) can be mounted athwartships on a tripod behind the pilot's seat, firing to starboard, either through a small window in the sliding door or through the open doorway with the door locked open. The rear seat is removed to allow the gun mounting to be installed. In this configuration, maximum accommodation is for pilot, co-pilot, gunner and one passenger, although normally only the pilot and gunner would be carried. Alternatively, a 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon (with 480 rounds) can be carried on an open turret-type mounting on the port side of the cabin. For this installation all seats except that of the pilot are removed, as is the port side cabin door, and the crew consists of pilot and gunner. Instead of these guns, the Alouette III can be equipped with four AS 11 or two AS 12 wire-guided missiles on external jettisonable launching rails, with an APX-Bezu 260 gyrostabilised sight, or 68 mm rocket pods.

LENGTH (m) : 12.84
HEIGHT (m) : 3.00
MAX T-O WEIGHT (kg) : 2200
MAX LEVEL SPEED (knots) : 100
MAX RANGE (nm) : 267
SERVICE CEILING (m) : 3200
HOVERING CEILING (m) : 2850
MAX RATE CLIMB (m/min) : 260