Helicopter History

Historic images, posts, articles and data

Thanks to Emanuele RIZZARDI for sharing this fantastic image shot by his father Tarcisio during mid 70’s. The Agusta-Bell AB47J3B1 Super Ranger operated by Vigili del Fuoco – Regione Trentino – Alto Adige I-TRED was resting at Rifugio Pedrotti, Bocca di Brenta (TN), Year 1975.

Good-Bye BK117 …

The MBB/Kawasaki BK117 (later Eurocopter BK117) helicopter type was in service in Italy since 1989 flying with several operators such as Elilombarda, Aeroveneta, Croce Alata, Avioriprese Jet Executive, Elilario, Alidaunia, Helitalia and Inaer Aviation Italia … but, after 28 years since the first one was registered, the last airworthy BK117 (I-DENI) was cancelled from the Italian Register on date 13 March 2017, heading north back to Airbus factory in Germany.

17 March 1969 …

48 years ago the Sud-Aviation SA315B Lama made the first flight !

1969: SA315 “LAMA”
In 1968, in response to an invitation for bids from the Indian government, the Helicopter Division decided to combine the airframe of an Alouette II with the dynamic components of the Alouette III. The helicopter performed its first flight on March 17, 1969 with Roland Coffignot and Gérard Boutin at the crew.
It was initially planned to land the helicopter on top of the Himalayas. But authorization could not be obtained, and it was then decided that an attempt would be made to set a world record using the aircraft.
On June 21, 1972, Jean Boulet set the altitude record for all categories combined when he climbed to 12,442 meters. This officially certified record still stands today. The turbine also shut down due to the reduction in power, which means that the Lama also recorded the longest auto-rotation in the history of helicopter flying. Until the Ecureuil B3 came along, the Lama was the king of aerial mountain work thanks to the amazing amount of power it could generate for its weight. A total of 447 Lamas would be delivered by Sud Aviation / Aerospatiale. India also was licensed to manufacture the Lama under the name Cheetah.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A%C3%A9rospatiale_SA_315B_Lama

http://www.heli-archive.ch/it/elicotteri/focus-sullelicottero/aerospatiale-sa-315b-lama/

Here one very rare image of the Italian Brantly B-2A ( c/n 138 ) operated by Air Trading Italiana Srl. The helicopter was tested as I-RAIA and subsequently registered as I-AIRL. Fiera di Genova, September 1963. Thanks to Piero ALBISINO for this unique contribution.