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Aerospatiale SA315B Lama


Light Utility Helicopter


France | 1971



"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."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Aerospatiale SA315B Light Utility Helicopter.
1 x Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine developing 870 horsepower and driving a three-bladed main rotor and three-bladed tail rotor.
Propulsion
121 mph
195 kph | 105 kts
Max Speed
17,717 ft
5,400 m | 3 miles
Service Ceiling
320 miles
515 km | 278 nm
Operational Range
1,080 ft/min
329 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Aerospatiale SA315B Light Utility Helicopter.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
33.6 ft
10.25 m
O/A Length
36.3 ft
(11.05 m)
O/A Width
10.2 ft
(3.10 m)
O/A Height
2,524 lb
(1,145 kg)
Empty Weight
4,850 lb
(2,200 kg)
MTOW
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Aerospatiale SA315B Lama Light Utility Helicopter .
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
Notable series variants as part of the Aerospatiale SA315B Lama family line.
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.


Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/02/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

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.

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Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Aerospatiale SA315B Lama. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 550 Units

Contractor(s): Aerospatiale (Eurocopter / Airbus Helictopers) - France / Helibras - Brazil / Hindustran Aeronautics Limited (HAL) - India
National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Angola National flag of Argentina National flag of Bolivia National flag of Chile National flag of Ecuador National flag of India National flag of Morocco National flag of Namibia National flag of Pakistan National flag of Peru

[ Afghanistan; Angola; Argentina; Bolivia; Chile; Ecuador; El Salvador; India; Morocco; Namibia; Nepal; Pakistan; Peru; Togo ]
Going Further...
The Aerospatiale SA315B Lama Light Utility Helicopter appears in the following collections:
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