Helicopter: Sud-Aviation SE-3160 Alouette III
France / Switzerland
The Alouette III is a single engine utility helicopter designed by Sud-Est company in France as a further development version of the Alouette II, the first production turbine powered helicopter. The Alouette III is larger, seats seven instead of five persons and features wheels instead of landing skids. The prototype first flew in February 1959. The first version was SE-3160 (SA-316A), powered by Turbomeca Artouste III turboshaft engine, rated at 570 hp, built till 1969, superseded by the SA-316B with strengthened transmission and increased takeoff weight and SA-319B, powered by Turbomeca Astazou XIV engine, rated at 600 hp. More than 1,500 were built, most in the SA-316B version. In many countries they are still in service. License production was undertaken by Romania (as IAR-316B), India (as HAL Chetak) and Switzerland.
The Swiss Air Force purchased the first nine Alouette III helicopters in France in 1964. The next fifteen were purchased in 1966 and between 1972 and 1974 60 helicopters were built under license at F+W Emmen works. In the Swiss Air Force the Alouette III helicopters are used for liaison, transport, rescue and basic training duties.
The helicopter on display, serial number 1079, tail number V-257 was built in 1973 by F+W Emmen. It was donated by the Swiss Air Force.