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The SA3160 Alouette III was a development of the successful Alouette II. The Alouette III had a larger cabin and a stronger engine. The tailboom was completely covered and the tail rotor improved. The development of the Alouette III started at the end of the fifties. The first of two prototypes built made it maiden flight February 28, 1959. It was equipped with an Turbomeca Artouste IIB turbine engine rated 550 hp. The first production machine built made its maiden flight more than two years later in July 1961.
The military version of the Alouette could take six men with outfit, also it could be used as attack helicopter.
In its original form, the production of the Alouette III retained until 1969. The first user was the Air force of Birma, which received its first aircraft in 1961.
An improved version remained in production until 1985, under the designation SA-316B. This model made its maiden flight in June 1968 . Main difference with the previous model was the improvement of the gearbox of the main rotor. Also a larger payload could be carried.
The SA319B, was identical, but equipped with an other engine, the Astazou 3, which consumed less fuel, but has the same power.
An other development was the experimental SA-319D, which purpose was testing and improving the Astazou XIV engine.
In 1972 the SA-316C was released, which was equipped which a stronger Artouste IIID engine. only few of this model were produced.
Over 1900 examples were built, including aircraft built under licence in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Pakistan, India and Romania.
In 1970 the Sud-Aviation factory merged with a couple of other French aircraft factories. The new firm was called SNIAS (Société Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale SA). From 1984 this group was called simply Aerospatiale.
Aerospatiale merged in 1992 with the German MBB to Eurocopter Group.
|Length with rotor||10,03 m||Height:||3,00 m|
|Main rotor||11,02 m||Tail rotor||1,91 m|
|Empty weight:||1143 kg||Max. start weight:||2100 kg|
|Max. speed:||210 km/hr||Cruising speed:||185 km/hr|
|Engine type:||One Turbomeca Artouste IIB rated 550 hp|
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