Sud-Aviation SE-3160 Alouette III. 2010.

Kraków 2010-12-01

Sud-Aviation SE-3160 Alouette III = Aerospatiale Alouette III.

The French Alouette III helicopter is a light multi-role helicopter used in civil and military aviation in many countries. The helicopter was one of the first to be powered by a single turbine engine. The Alouette III helicopter was developed by Sud Aviation, which was formed by the merger of SNCASE (Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Sud Est) and SNCASO (Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Sud Ouest), on March 1, 1957. In 1970, Sud Aviation merged with Nord Aviation to form Aerospatiale.

Sud-Aviation SE-3160 Alouette III. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Sud-Aviation SE-3160 Alouette III. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Sud-Aviation SE-3160 Alouette III. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Sud-Aviation SE-3160 Alouette III. 2022 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

The predecessor of the helicopter family was the Sud-Est Aviation SE-3120 Alouette, which was powered by a piston engine. Its first flight took place on July 31, 1951. The Alouette III helicopter is the successor of the Aérospatiale Alouette II helicopter, already with a turbine engine. The helicopter received a larger cabin and thus became more capacious. It can accommodate two pilots and three passengers.

The Alouette III prototype, SE-3160, made its first flight on February 28, 1959. The helicopter has a metal structure with a very large glazing. Visibility from the helicopter is very good. The helicopter received a three-point wheeled landing gear with a front wheel. Serial production started in 1960.

The Alouette III helicopter is powered by a French Turboméca Artouste IIIB turbine engine with a power of 570 hp (425 kW). The first version of the SA-316A (SE-3120) was produced until 1969. The second version of the SA-316B received more durable drivetrains and a higher maximum take-off weight. The next version of the SA-319B received a more powerful engine, which allowed to increase the helicopter's lifting capacity. Both SA-316B and SA-319B versions remained in mass production until 1983. The most helicopters were used by: France 1,500 copies, Romania 200 copies, Switzerland 24 + 60 copies built in Switzerland and India 300 copies and in 2020 the helicopter was still being produced there. Alouette III helicopters were and are in service with 39 countries.

The Swiss Air Force bought in 1964, in France, the first 9 Alouette III helicopters. Another 15 were bought in 1966, and in the period 1972 - 1974, 60 copies were produced under license at the F+W Emmen plants. In the Swiss aviation, Alouette III helicopters were used for liaison, transport, rescue and pilot training tasks. The museum copy, serial number 1079, side number V-257, was produced in 1973 at the F+W Emmen plant in Switzerland. In 2010, it was transferred to the collection of the Polish Aviation Museum by the Swiss Air Force.

Data T-T Alouette III:

There is room for 5 people in the fuselage. Fuselage length 10.03 m. Height 3.09 m. Rotor diameter 11.02 m. Curb weight 1,108 kg. Total weight 2,200 kg. Top speed 210 km/h. Practical ceiling 3,300 m. Range 490 - 540 km.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman