Royal Air Force designation: HC Mk1

Medium-sized transport helicopter.


The twin-engined SA 330 Puma was developed initially to meet a French Army requirement for a medium-sized helicopter de manoeuvre, capable of operating by day and night in all weathers and climates. In 1967, the SA 330 was selected for the RAF Tactical Transport Programme, and was included in the joint production agreement between Aerospatiale and Westland in the UK. The first of two SA 330 prototypes flew on 15 April 1965, and the last of six preproduction models on 30 July 1968, followed in September by the first production aircraft. On 25 April 1978, the SA 330J became the first helicopter outside the former Soviet Union to be certificated for all-weather operations, including flight in icy conditions. Equipment for this comprises thermal de-icing of the main rotor blades; thermal anti-icing of the tail rotor blades; special lengthened air intakes to ensure normal air supply into engines regardless of ambient conditions, including protection against sand and sea spray; and installation of weather radar.
A total of 697 SA 330 Pumas had been sold by 1987 when Aerospatiale ceased production to concentrate on the AS 320 Super Puma. Sole source.

SA 330 B: Initial production version.
SA 330 Orchidee: Modified SA 330 for the French Army.
SA 330 C: Initial production version for export.
SA 330 E: Version produced by Westland for the Royal Air Force designated HC Mk 1.
SA 330 F: Initial French-built export civil and military version with Turbomeca Turmo IIIC4 Turboshaft engines.
SA 330 G: Uprated French-built version with Turbomeca Turmo IVC engines and composite main rotor blades. SA 330 H: Uprated French-built export version with Turbomeca IVC engines and composite main rotor blades.
SA 330 L: Uprated French-built "hot and high" version.
Atlas Oryx: Remanufactured SA 330 Puma for South African Air Force. See Atlas Aviation in South African section.
ICA IAR-330: Licence-built version by ICA of Romania.
IPTN NAS-330J: IPTN assembled 11 SA 330 J Pumas under local designation NAS-330J.
Westland HC Mk 1: Westland assembled SA 330 E for the Royal Air Force.


Dassault Electronique: Contract awarded in January 1996 to supply an undisclosed number of Dassault Electronique's EWR-99 Radar Warning Receivers (RWR) for use on French Army Air Corps Puma helicopters.

Denel Aviation: AS 330 Puma conversions. See separate entry in South Africa section.
IAR: IAR-330 Puma 2000. See separate entry in Romania section. Racal Avionics: RAF avionics upgrade. See separate entry in United Kingdom section.
RAF: Possible requirement exists for re-engine programme for the RAF HC Mk 1 Puma with Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft engines.
RAF: Possible requirement exists for additional fuel tanks.

OPERATORS: Versions of the SA 330 are in service with the armed forces of the following countries: Brazil (6); Cameroon (2); Chile (11); Ecuador (2); Ethiopia (1); France (29); Gabon (4); Iraq (10); Ivory Coast (1); Kenya (12); Kuwait (9); Lebanon (9); Malawi (2); Mexico (2); Nepal (2); Nigeria (2); Pakistan (25); Portugal (10); Senegambia (2); South Africa (50); Spain (5); Sudan (12); Togo; United Arab Emirates (8); UK (42) and Zaire (9).


Four-blade main rotor, with a fully articulated hub and integral rotor brake. The blade cuffs, equipped with horns, are connected by link-rods to the swashplate, which is actuated by three hydraulic twin-cylinder servo-control units. Attachment of each blade to its sleeve by two quick-disconnect pins enables blades to be folded back quickly by manual methods. The five-blade tail rotor has flapping hinges only and is located on the starboard side of the tailboom. Mechanical shaft and gear drive. Main gearbox on top of cabin behind engines, has two separate inputs from the engines and five reduction stages. The first stage drives, from each engine, an intermediate shaft directly driving the alternator and the ventilation fan, and indirectly driving the two hydraulic pumps. At the second stage the action of the two units becomes synchronised on a single main driveshaft by means of freewheeling spur gears. If one or both engines are stopped, this enables the drive gears to be rotated by the remaining turbine or the autorotating rotor, thus maintaining drive to the ancillary systems when the engines are stopped. Drive to the tail rotor is via shafting and an intermediate angle gearbox, terminating at a right-angle tail rotor gearbox. Turbine output 23,000 rpm, main rotor shaft 265 rpm. Tail rotor shaft 1,278 rpm. The hydraulically controlled rotor brake, installed on the main gearbox, permits stopping of the rotor 15 seconds after engine shutdown.


Each of the moulded blades is made up of a glass fibre roving spar, a composite glass fibre and carbonfibre fabric skin, with Moltoprene/honeycomb filler. The leading-edge is covered with a stainless steel protective section. The fuselage is a conventional all-metal semi-monocoque structure. Local use of titanium alloy under engine installation, which is outside the main fuselage shell. Monocoque tailboom supports the tail rotor on the starboard side and a horizontal stabiliser on the port side.


Optional blade de-icing system, with heating mat protected by titanium shielding on leading-edge of each main and tail rotor blade.


Messier-Hispano-Bugatti semi-retractable tricycle type, with twin wheels on each unit. Main units retract upward hydraulically into fairings on sides of fuselage; self-centring nose unit retracts rearward. When landing gear is down, the nosewheel jack is extended and the mainwheel jacks are telescoped. Dual-chamber oleo-pneumatic shock-absorbers. All tyres same size (7.00-6), of Dunlop or Kleber-Colombes tubeless type, pressure 6.0 bars (85 lb/sq in) on all units. Hydraulic differential disc brakes, controlled by foot pedals. Lever-operated parking brake. Emergency pop-out flotation units can be mounted on rear landing gear fairings and forward fuselage.


Two Turbomeca Turmo IVC turboshaft engines, each with maximum rating of 1,175 kW (1,575 shp) and fitted with intake anti-icing. Engines are mounted side by side above cabin forward of the main rotor assembly and separated by a firewall. They are coupled to the main rotor transmission box, with shaft drive to the tail rotor, and form a completely independent system from the fuel tanks up to the main gearbox inputs. Fuel in four flexible tanks and one auxiliary tank beneath cargo compartment floor, with total capacity of 1,544 litres (407.7 US gallons; 339.5 Imp gallons). Provision for additional 1,900 litres (502 US gallons; 418 Imp gallons) in four auxiliary ferry tanks installed in cabin. External auxiliary tanks (two each 350 litres; 92.3 US gallons; 77 Imp gallons capacity) are available. For long-range missions (mainly offshore) one or two special internal tanks each 215 litres (56.7 US gallons; 47.25 Imp gallons) can be fitted in the cabin. Each engine is supplied normally by a pair of interconnected primary tanks, the lower halves of which have self-sealing walls for protection against small calibre projectiles. Refuelling point on starboard side of main cabin. Oil capacity 22 litres (5.76 US gallons; 4.8 Imp gallons) for engines, 25.5 litres (6.73 US gallons; 5.6 Imp gallons) for transmission.


Crew of one or two side by side on anti-crash seats on flight deck, with jump-seat for third crew member if required. Door on each side of flight deck on later versions. Internal doorway connects flight deck with folding seat in doorway for an extra crew member or cargo supervisor. Dual controls standard. Accommodation in main cabin for 16 individually equipped troops, six stretchers and six seated patients, or equivalent freight. The number of troops can be increased to 20 in the high-density version. Strengthened floor for cargo-carrying, with lashing points. Jettisonable sliding door on each side of main cabin; or port-side door with built-in steps and starboard-side door in VIP or airline configurations. Removable panel on underside of fuselage, at rear of main cabin, permits loads to be accommodated and also serves as an exit on SA 330L version. Removable door with integral steps for access to baggage racks on SA 330J version. A hatch in the floor below the centreline of the main rotor is provided for carrying loads of up to 3,200 kg (7,055 lb) on an internally mounted cargo sling. A fixed or retractable rescue hoist (capacity 275 kg; 606 lb) can be mounted externally on the starboard side of the fuselage. The cabin can be equipped in 8/9/12-seat VIP, 17-seat commuter or 20-seat high-density layouts, with baggage compartment and/or toilet facilities in the rear of cabin. Cabin and flight deck are heated, ventilated and soundproofed. Demisting, de-icing, washers and wipers for pilot's windscreens.


Two independent hydraulic systems, each 172 bars (2,500 lb/sq in), supplied by self-regulating pumps driven by the main gearbox. Each system supplies one set of servo unit chambers, the left-hand system supplying in addition, the autopilot, landing gear, rotor brake and wheel brakes. Freewheels in main gearbox ensure that both systems remain in operation, for supplying the servo controls, if the engines are stopped in flight. Other hydraulically actuated systems can be operated on the ground from the main gearbox, or by external power through the ground power receptacle. There is also an independent auxiliary system, fed through a handpump, which can be used in an emergency to lower the landing gear and pressurise the accumulator for the parking brake on the ground. Three-phase 200 V AC electrical power supplied by two 15 kVA 400 Hz alternators driven by the port side intermediate shaft from the main gearbox and available on the ground under the same conditions as the hydraulic ancillary systems. 28.5 V 10 kW DC power provided from the AC system by two transformer-rectifiers. Main aircraft battery used for self-starting and emergency power in flight. For the latter purpose, an emergency 400 VA inverter can supply the essential navigation equipment from the battery, permitting at least 20 minutes continued flight in the event of a main power failure. De-icing of engines and engine air intakes by warm air bled from compressor. Anti-snow shield for winter operations.


Optional communications equipment includes VHF, UHF, tactical HF and HF/SSB radio installations and intercom system. Navigational equipment includes radio compass, radio altimeter, VLF Omega, Decca navigator and flight log, Doppler, and VOR/ILS with glide path. Autopilot, with provision for coupling to self-contained navigation and microwave landing systems. Full IFR instrumentation available optionally. The search and rescue version has nose-mounted Bendix RDR 1400 or RCA Primus 40 or 50 search radar, Doppler, and Decca self-contained navigation system, including navigation computer, polar indicator, roller-map display, hover indicator, route mileage indicator and ground speed and drift indicator.

ARMAMENT (optional):

A wide range of armament can be carried, including side-firing 20 mm cannon, axial-firing 7.62 mm machine guns, missiles and rockets.

LENGTH (m) : 18.50
HEIGHT (m) : 5.14
MAX LEVEL SPEED (knots) : 146
MAX RANGE (nm) : 309
MAX RATE CLIMB (m/min) : 552