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.
Some new images of the Aerospatiale AS350B Ecureuil I-LOBA were added at the data sheet. Altitude Srl will now operate this helicopter that is wearing a fresh paintjob performed by Babylo after heavy maintenance.
Sud-Aviation SA318C Alouette II Astazou Sky West Aviation N318FB … Costigliole d’Asti (AT), February 2017. Thanks to Fabio BALDI for the images of this extremely elegant Alouette II, previously operated in Italy as F-GDUN.
Eurocopter AS350B3 Ecureuil Elitellina I-MIAZ … during heli-ski activity in Cheneil (AO), February 2017. Thanks to Stefano GORRET for this great image.
HB319 Alouette III I-HBSA … resting in Abruzzo’s snow covered ladscape. Roccaraso (AQ), loc. “Coppo dell’Orso”, February 2017.
Sud-Aviation SA315B Lama Eli-Fly International I-SOCO … flying in Brescia Mountain Area, December 2016.
Sud-Aviation SA341G Gazelle Heliduebi I-LDAV … resting in Sarnico (BS) during “Riva Raduni 2005” event, June 2005.
Sud-Aviation SA341G Gazelle [RA-….] ex I-LDAV … Vladivostock, July 2015.
Sud-Aviation SA341G Gazelle Ezio Denti Elicotteri I-LDAV ... resting at Milan Malpensa General Aviation, October 1998.
Aerospatiale SA316B Alouette III Vigili del Fuoco Trento I-SINE … resting at Trento Mattarello, April 1990.
Sud-Aviation SA316B Alouette III Elitecnica Italiana I-ELTO … Champoluc (AO), August 1988. Unfortunately this Alouette crashed on date 22 December 2001 at Rocchetta di Vara (SP) – See ASN accident report.