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Aerospatiale SA315B Lama

Light Utility Helicopter

Aerospatiale SA315B Lama

Light Utility Helicopter

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



Combining the performance and capabilities of the Aerospatiale Alouette III with the framework of the Aluoette II gave rise to the SA 315B Lama Hot-and-High light helicopter.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: France
YEAR: 1971
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Aerospatiale (Eurocopter / Airbus Helictopers) - France / Helibras - Brazil / Hindustran Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - India
PRODUCTION: 550
OPERATORS: Afghanistan; Angola; Argentina; Bolivia; Chile; Ecuador; El Salvador; India; Morocco; Namibia; Nepal; Pakistan; Peru; Togo
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Aerospatiale SA315B Lama model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 33.63 feet (10.25 meters)
WIDTH: 36.25 feet (11.05 meters)
HEIGHT: 10.17 feet (3.1 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 2,524 pounds (1,145 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 4,850 pounds (2,200 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine developing 870 horsepower and driving a three-bladed main rotor and three-bladed tail rotor.
SPEED (MAX): 121 miles-per-hour (195 kilometers-per-hour; 105 knots)
RANGE: 320 miles (515 kilometers; 278 nautical miles)
CEILING: 17,717 feet (5,400 meters; 3.36 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,080 feet-per-minute (329 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



Typically none. Armed military models by HAL of India have mounted weapon pods fitted with 1 x 12.7mm heavy machine gun and 3 x 70mm rockets.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• SA 315B "Lama" - Base Series Designation
• HB 315B "Gaviao" - SA 315B produced by Helibras of Brazil.
• "Cheetah" - SA 315B produced by HAL of India
• "Lancer" - Armed combat version by HAL of India; reinforced cockpit panels, armoring and weapons support.
• "Cheetal" - HAL modernized version of the Lancer; Turbomeca TM333-2M2 engine; increased performance and capabilities.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Aerospatiale SA315B Lama Light Utility Helicopter.  Entry last updated on 6/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The SA 315B "Lama" was developed by Aerospatiale of France during the 1960s specifically to meet a military requirement by the Indian and Nepali armies for a "Hot-and-High" performer to operate in the more unforgiving parts of the region (namely the mountainous sectors). The result was the SA 315B "Lama" which essentially became an offshoot of the company's successful Alouette II light utility helicopter coupled with the power and performance capabilities of the Alouette III. The Lama went on to see global popularity in its own right and was in widespread use at its peak under the national flags of many operators including the Indian Air Force (IAF).

First-flight by way of a prototype was had on March 17th, 1969 and series introduction occurred in July of 1971. The helicopter remains in service today (2017) with several global operators though numbers are dwindling some with each passing year.

As built, the SA 315B featured a minimum operating crew of one and could carry up to four passengers in relative comfort (or and external cargo load of 2,500lb). Overall length was 33.6 feet with a width of 36 feet and a height of 10 feet. POwer was from a Turbomeca Artouste IIIB series turboshaft engine developing 550 horsepower (derated from 870 horsepower) and performance included a maximum speed of 120 miles per hour, a range out to 320 miles and a service ceiling of 17,715 feet. Rate-of-climb measured 1,080 feet-per-minute.

Externally the helicopter was given a very workmanlike appearance. The cockpit was enclosed in a light framework with heavily glazing that offered excellent vision and gave the helicopter a insect-like appearance. Immediately aft of the cabin was the engine installation which drove both the three-bladed main rotor and three-bladed tail rotor (the latter via a shaft). The tail rotor was set to the starboard side of the aircraft and served to counter the torque effect cause by the main rotor spin. The tail unit was exposed, made up of a basic frame of connected struts and this helped to keep the helicopter lightweight and inexpensive. The undercarriage was of a simple four-point skid assembly which allowed for landings virtually anywhere, even rugged terrain. The skids could also employ cargo holders along their length to give the small helicopter a limited equipment transport capability.

Beyond manufacture of the helicopter by French-based Aerospatiale, the Lama was also produced under local license by Brazil under Helibras (now a subsidiary of Airbus Helicopters) and by India under the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) brand label.

Major variants were the original SA 315B production model fitting the Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine. The Brazilian contribution became the HB 315B "Gaviao" which was a copy of the SA 315B. Indian models were the HAL "Cheetah" (SA 315B) and the HAL "Lancer", the latter which was a light armed combat model incorporating such features as armament support, reinforced cockpit glass and armor protection for basic survivability. The Lancer was introduced in the 1990s. The HAL "Cheetal" then followed the Lancer as a modernized form and was in 2006. This version was powered by the Turbomeca TM333-2M2 series turboshaft engine which increased overall performance.

The Lama series held the world air record for absolute altitude by a helicopter at 40,814 feet from the period spanning June of 1972 until July of 2017.




MEDIA







Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (121mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
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  MSK
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  TKY
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  SYD
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  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Aerospatiale SA315B's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
550
550

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue