The prototype of the Alouette II first took to the skies on the 12th of March 1955. A simple, cheap to produce and robust aircraft, it had exceptional performances and rapidly took over several world records for range and especially altitude of helicopters: it reached a record altitude of 8.209m only two month after its maiden flight! This was made possible by the use of a then new gas turbine engine that allowed high performance at a low engine weight.
In 1961, a new version with the more powerfull Astazou II-turbine (390 kW) was introduced, improving the speed and payload of the helicopter. A navalised version, used by the French Navy from 1955 to 1997, was developed by replacing the skids with wheels (and, in some cases, fl oats; these, however, proved impractical).
Used for liaison duties, training and light transport or transport of up to 4 passengers (plus the pilot), the Alouette was another very popular French helicopter design, with some 1300 aircraft built and used in by the armies or air forces of 46 countries.
At least one navalised Alouette II is still kept in airworthy condition by a French collector.
|Empty weight||895 kg|
|Maximum take off weight||1 600 kg|
|Engine||1 Turbomeca Artouste IIC6|
Our Alouette II is the fifth production aircraft (serial number 3130-05). It is an Alouette Marine, the navalised version of the Alouette conceived to operate from the small flight decks of navy ships. Its skids have been replaced by a wheel undercarriage, for easier handling on the ships.
The helicopter arrived by road at our collection from a location in the Dordogne region in May 2005. It has been restored by our helicopter team.