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SA.313 Alouette II
SE.3160 Alouette III
RNethAF A-247 RNethAF A-292
RNethAF A-499 D-HAAK
Aérospatiale AS350 B
N35YY N353CE
H-81 Sud-Est SE.3160 Alouette III c/n 1381 - RNethAF SAR Flight "Fred" - Leeuwarden AFB in Holland - 26 April 1990 lifeliner helicopters

The Aérospatiale SE-3160 Alouette III 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 SE.3160 Alouette III started in the late 50s under Sud-Aviation banner. The first of two prototypes, Sud-Est 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 Alouette III was developed over the years 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 Aerospatiale 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.

The SAR (Search and Rescue) flight of the Royal Netherlands Air Force was established in 1959 as part of the 298sqdn and operated eight Alouette II helicopters for their SAR and TAR tasks. In 1966, the Alouette II was replaced by five Alouette III helicopters. The SAR flight was based at Ypenburg, with one of the helicopters stationed at Terschelling. On 23 September 1968, the SAR flight moved to Soesterberg and the TAR task was replaced by a photography task. On 30 June 1977, the SAR-flight moved to Leeuwarden and the photography task was dropped. The 1966-built Sud-Est SE.3160 Alouette III s/n 1381 was testflown in Marignane as F-WKQC. On 8 July 1966, this Alouette III was delivered as H-81 "Fred" to the SAR flight. After the four remaining Alouette III helicopters of the SAR Flight of the Royal Netherlands Air Force were replaced by three Agusta Bell AB-412SP in 1994, the H-81 was withdrawn from use on 18 March 1994. Alouette III H-81 was sold to the Pakistan Navy as "138" on 9 August 1994.
On 26 April 1990, the SAR-flight Sud-Est SE.3160 Alouette III H-81 "Fred" was seen at Leeuwarden AFB in the Netherlands.

page last updated: 06-04-2005
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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