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Sud-Aviation SA315 Lama

SA315B Lama

When production of the Alouette II ended, after more than 1,300 airframes had been completed, Sud (which later became part of Aerospatiale) concentrated on building the Lama. Initially evolved to meet an Indian armed forces requirement of 1968 and intended primarily for operations in 'hot-and-high' conditions, the basic design of the Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama combines a reinforced Alouette II airframe with SA 316B Alouette III dynamic components, including its Artouste power-plant and rotor system. The SA 315 prototype was first flown on 17 March 1969, received the French Certificate of Airworthiness on 30 September 1970, and given the name Lama in July 1971. Able to lift one tonne on the hook and excellent lifting properties have been put into good effect through-out the world. Although used throughout the world, the Lama was not produced in large quantities, with fewer than 400 built from 1970 to 1982.


SA-315B Lama ZK-HSK


From the outset the SA 315B excelled in load-to-altitude performance. In 1971 arrangements were completed for licence production of the SA 315B by HAL at Bangalore in India. The first Indian-assembled Lama flew on 6 October 1972, with deliveries commencing in December 1973. The HAL-produced Lama is renamed Chetak.
On 21 June 1972 a Lama, with just a pilot on board, set an absolute height record for helicopters of 12442m / 40,814 ft.

The SA315B was available with either the Turbomeca Artouste IIIB of 858 shp or the Artouste IIA of 550 shp.


Aerospatiale SA315B Lama ZK-HDX


The SA 315B Lama can be fitted out for various commercial roles, such as a light passenger transport or for agricultural tasks, while the military variants include conversions for liaison, observation, photography, air/sea rescue (hoist capacity 160kg), transport (maximum external load 1135kg), ambulance (two stretchers and one medical attendant), and other tasks. Its altitude performance makes the SA 315B particularly suited for mountainous districts: the production Lama can transport underslung external loads of up to 1000kg at an altitude of 2500m. Another factor is its universal landing gear consisting of skids with removable wheels for ground handling, provision for floats for normal operations from water and emergency flotation gear, inflatable in the air.

In 1978 agreement was reached between Aerospatiale and Helibras in Brazil for the assembly of SA 315B Lama helicopters, leading to full licence production as the Gaviao, using French components.

SA-315B Lama
Engine: Turbomeca Artouste IIIB, 858 shp     
TBO: 2500 hrs
Rotor diameter: 36.155 ft / 11.02 m    
Seats: 5
Length: 42.388 ft / 12.92 m    
Height: 10.1 ft / 3.09m
Fuselage length: 10.26m             
Underslung load:    1135kg
Max ramp weight: 4300 lb            
MTOW: 4300 lb / 1950.0 kg
Standard empty weight: 2244.7 lb / 1018.0 kg  
Max useful load: 2034 lb
Max landing weight: 4300 lb            
Max sling load: 2500 lb
Disc loading: 4.2 lb/sq.ft        
Power loading: 5 lb/hp
Max rate of climb: 1083 fpm         
Max usable fuel: 1018 lb
Service ceiling: 17,720 ft        
Hover in ground effect: 16,565 ft
Max speed: 113 kts / 210 km/h     
HOGE: 15,100 ft
Normal cruise @ 3000 ft: 103 kts / 190 km/h    
Fuel flow normal cruise: 369 pph
Range: 275 nm / 510 km         
Endurance normal cruise: 2.6 hr
Crew: 1            
Passengers: 4


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