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SA.313 Alouette II
SE.3160 Alouette III
Belgian Navy M-3 RNethAF A-247
RNethAF A-292 RNethAF A-292
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AS350 B Ecureuil
D-HAAK Aérospatiale SA.319B Alouette III Astazou c/n 1959 - LD Helicopters - Emden airfield in Germany - 22 March 1978 Flugplatz Emden (EDWE)

The Aérospatiale SA.319B Alouette III Astazou is a single-engined utility helicopter that can accommodate up to 7 passengers. The Alouette III was derived from the Alouette II featuring a more powerful turboshaft and enlarged cabin. Development of the Sud-Est SE-3160 Alouette III started in the late 50s under Sud-Aviation banner. The first of two prototypes, SE-3160 c/n 001 F-ZWVQ powered by one 550 hp Turboméca Artouste IIIB turboshaft, was flown on 28 February 1959. Four pre-production machines followed the prototypes, and the first production helicopter of this type, SE.3160 c/n 1001, was delivered as UB-6101 to Burmese Air Force on 25 July 1961. In the military role, the Alouette III was used either to transport six fully equipped troops or as an assault helicopter. Certification was achieved on 12 December 1961. The initial SE.3160 Alouette III remained in production until 1969, when it was replaced by the improved SA.316B Alouette III. The Aérospatiale SA.319B Alouette III Astazou was a direct development of the SA.316B, powered with a 870 hp Turboméca Artouste IIIB turboshaft. Over the years, the Alouette III was developed further and remained in production until 1985. Over 1450 helicopters of the different versions of the Alouette III were built, including production under licence in India, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Romania and Switzerland.

On 1 January 1970, Sud-Aviation was merged with a number of other French aerospace companies to form the SNIAS (Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale). From 1984, SNIAS operated under the name of Aérospatiale. The helicopter divisions of MBB from Germany and Aérospatiale from France merged in January 1992 to form the Eurocopter Group. As a result of the merger between the Eurocopter parents Aérospatiale-Matra; DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA) and Construcciones Aeronàuticas Sociedad Anonima (CASA) in July 2000, the Eurocopter group became a division of the new formed EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space company). Taking off into 2014, EADS was rebranded as "Airbus Group". Uniting all its activities under a single brand, its helicopter division Eurocopter was rebranded as Airbus Helicopters on 8 January 2014.

In March 1973, SNIAS SA.319B Alouette III Astazou s/n 1959 was registered D-HAAK in Germany with Rettungsflugwacht F.Stetzler at Stuttgart-Echterdingen. The 1972-built Aérospatiale SA.319B D-HAAK was the first air ambulance helicopter operated by DRF. The helicopter was transferred to Friederich Stetzler / LTD - Luft-Transport-Dienst GmbH & Co. On 22 March 1978, Aéropatiale SA319B Alouette III Astazou D-HAAK was seen with LD Helicopters Offshore titles when leaving Flugplatz Emden for an offshore flight. From Emden, the helicopter was mostly used for crew changes for the exploration platform "Borkum Riff". LD Helicopters was a German company, that was active for a while in the offshore and in Germany as can be seen by the image of a electricity pole at the helicopter, their helicopters were mostly operated "on the wire". Early 1984, registration D-HAAK was cancelled and the helicopter was registered HB-XOO in Switzerland with BOHAG on 19 March 1984. Since, the Alouette III is used by a number of operators, mainly as an Air Ambulance. On 5 September 2006, registration HB-XOO was cancelled as exported to Russia by its last registered Swiss owner, RUAG Aerospace / Intracom General Machinery. In 2006, the helicopter was registered RA-0345G in the Russian Federation.

page last updated: 10-06-2020
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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