Aerospatiale Alouette II & Lama


Country of Origin
Light utility helicopters
Among the first turbine powered helicopters in the world, the Alouette II and Lama remain in service in fairly large numbers worldwide. For a time the most successful western European helicopter in terms of numbers built, the Alouette II was based on the original Sud-Est SE-3120 Alouette which first flew on March 12 1955. Two prototypes were built and these were powered by Salmson 9 piston engines. Production deliveries of the turbine powered SE-3130 (around 1967 redesignated SE-313B) Alouette II occurred from 1957, the first machines bound for the French military. Civil certification was awarded on January 14 1958, although most Alouette II production was for military customers. During production, Sud-Est became part of Sud in March 1957, and Sud was incorporated into Aerospatiale in January 1970. The Alouette II was soon followed by a more powerful Turboméca Astazou powered development. This aircraft was the SA-3180 (around 1967 renamed SA-318C) Alouette II Astazou, and flew for the first time on January 31 1961. Power was supplied by a 395kW (530shp) Astazou IIA derated to 270kW (360shp), which increased the type's maximum speed and max takeoff weight, but otherwise the Alouette II and Alouette II Astazou were similar. The SA-315B Lama was initially developed for the Indian Army as a utility helicopter with improved hot and high performance. Called Cheetah in Indian service, the Lama mated the Alouette's airframe with the larger Alouette III's dynamic components including Artouste IIIB engine. The Lama's first flight was on March 17 1969. Aerospatiale built 407 through to 1989, while Hindustan (HAL) in India continues limited licence production as the SA-315B Cheetah, and seven were produced in Brazil as the Helibras HB-315B Gaviao.
SA-313B Alouette II - One 270kW (360shp) Turboméca Artouste IIC6 turboshaft driving a three blade main rotor and two blade tail rotor. SA-315B Lama - One 650kW (870shp) Turboméca Artouste IIIB turboshaft, derated to 410kW (550shp).
SA-313B - Max speed 185km/h (100kt), max cruising speed 165km/h (90kt). Initial rate of climb 825ft/min. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 5400ft. Range with max fuel 300km (162nm), range with max payload 100km (54nm). SA-315B - Max cruising speed 192km/h (103kt). Max initial rate of climb 1080ft/min. Hovering ceiling in ground effect 16,565ft, out of ground effect 15,090ft. Service ceiling 17,715ft. Range with max fuel 515km (278nm).
SA-313B - Empty 895kg (1973lb), max takeoff 1600kg (3527lb). SA-315B - Empty 1020kg (2250lb), max takeoff 1950kg (4300lb), or 2300kg (5070lb) with external sling load.
SA-313B - Main rotor diameter 10.20m (33ft 5in), fuselage length 9.70m (31ft 10in), height 2.75m (9ft 0in). SA-315B - Main rotor diameter 11.02m (36ft 2in), length overall 12.92m (42ft 5in), fuselage length 10.26m (33ft 8in), height overall 3.09m (10ft 2in). Main rotor disc area 95.4m2 (1026.7sq ft).
Typical seating for five. Lama can lift a 1135kg (2500lb) external sling load.
1303 Alouette IIs, including 360 SA-318Cs, were built for military and commercial customers. Aerospatiale built 407 Lamas, while seven were built in Brazil and more than 240 in India as the HAL Cheetah.
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Aerospatiale Alouette II & Lama
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.