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The Aerospatiale SA-360/361/365C Dauphin

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Photo © Anton Heumann

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Photo © Willem Honders
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SA-360 - One 785kW (1050shp) Turboméca Astazou XVIIIA turboshaft driving a four blade main rotor and Fenestron shrouded tail rotor.
SA-365C - Two 505kW (680shp) Turboméca Arriel turboshafts driving a four blade main rotor and 11 blade Fenestron shrouded tail rotor.

SA-360 - Max cruising speed 278km/h (150kt), economical cruising speed 245km/h (132kt). Initial rate of climb 1770ft/min. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 7380ft. Range with max fuel 650km (351nm).
SA-365C - Max cruising speed 260km/h (140kt). Initial rate of climb 1653ft/min. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 15,000ft. Range 545km (295nm).

SA-360 - Basic operating 1555kg (3428lb), max takeoff 3000kg (6613lb).
SA 365C - Empty equipped 1806kg (3980lb), max takeoff 3400kg (7495lb).

SA-360/361 - Main rotor diameter 11.50m (37ft 9in), fuselage length 10.98m (36ft 0in), height 3.50m (11ft 6in).
SA-365C - Main rotor diameter 11.68m (38ft 4in), length (inc main rotor) 13.32m (43ft 9in), fuselage length 10.98m (37ft 7in).

Standard accommodation for 10, including one pilot, in three seat rows, with pilot and two passengers in front row, four passengers in centre row and three passengers in rear row. Max seating for 14. Executive configurations can seat four to six passengers. As an air ambulance accommodates four stretcher patients and a medical attendant.

Production of the SA-360, SA-361 and SA-365C ceased in 1981. Approx 40 SA-360s and 50 SA-365Cs built.

Mid size utility helicopters


The single engine SA-360 Dauphin and twin engine SA-365C Dauphin 2 were developed as replacements for the Alouette III.

The prototype SA-360 first flew on June 2 1972 and was powered by a 730kW (980shp) Turboméca Astazou XVI turboshaft. After 180 development flights a more powerful 785kW (1050shp) Astazou XVIIIA was substituted, and weights were fitted to the rotor tips to reduce vibration and to eliminate ground resonance. The first prototype flew in this new configuration on May 4 1973, following a second prototype built to the new standard which had flown for the first time that January. The first production aircraft, designated the SA-360C, flew in April 1975.

The SA-361 is a more powerful variant with improved hot and high performance and a greater payload capability. Although prototypes were built, the SA-361 was not taken into production. A military variant of the SA-361, the SA-361H, was offered fitted with up to eight HOT anti tank missiles, but was also not ordered into production.

The twin engine SA-365C Dauphin 2 meanwhile was announced in early 1973. First flight was on January 24 1975. It features twin Arriel turboshafts and a new engine fairing, a Starflex main rotor hub and a higher max takeoff weight. Production deliveries began in December 1978.

SA-360 and SA-365C production ceased in 1981 in preference for the much improved SA-365N (later AS-365N), described under Eurocopter.

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.