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.
Sud-Aviation SA315B Lama Eli-Fly International I-SOCO … flying in Brescia Mountain Area, December 2016.
Second 2016 season new photobook now available on the website, dedicated to Airstar Elicotteri … thanks to Airstar’s ground and flying crews for their help during the time we spent together to realize these photo sessions.
Visit the data page and enjoy the pics of this Lama trough the years … registered in Italy as I-COOP during July 1985 and cancelled in May 2013 to Switzerland as HB-ZMV.
Aerospatiale SA315B Lama Heli-TV HB-ZVV [ex I-IRPI] … now flying in the Ticino Region. August 2016.
Sud-Aviation SA315B Lama Eli-Fly I-SOCO … resting outside Eurotech Hangar in Caiolo (SO), September 2016.
Sud-Aviation SA315B Lama Airstar Elicotteri I-DENY … landing at Capanna Regina Margherita [4559 mtrs], July 2016.
Thanks to Riccardo ZANOLI for these images of Pellisser Helicopter’s Lama I-AMAY after the return in Aosta Valley … the helicopter just completed a “grand visite” maintenance at Eurotech in Sondrio and safely returned at the mainbase in St. Pierre (Aosta).
AIRGREEN … VdA operations 2015. A new dedicated photo page is now available online …
Visit the online Italian Register Database … and the online Lama Photo Page.
Current images and historic views …