SA-330 Puma helicopter: Aircraft profile
The Aérospatiale Puma is a four-bladed, twin-engined medium transport/utility helicopter.
The Puma was originally manufactured by Sud Aviation of France under the designation SA 330.
The SA 330 Puma was originally developed by Sud Aviation to meet a requirement of the French Army for a medium-sized all-weather helicopter. The helicopter also had to be capable of operating by day and night as well as in a wide variety of climates.
In 1967, the Puma was also selected by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and given the designation Puma HC Mk.1. As a result of this decision, the SA 330 was included in a joint production agreement between Aerospatiale and Westland Helicopters of the UK.
The first of two Puma prototypes flew on 15 April 1965. Six pre-production models were also built, the last of which flew on 30 July 1968.
The first production SA 330 Puma flew in September 1968. Two years later, in 1970, Sud Aviation merged with Nord Aviation and SÉREB to form Aérospatiale, and the helicopter has been associated with that name ever since, though it still retained the "SA" (for "Sud Aviation") model designator. On 25 April 1978 the SA 330J Puma achieved the distinction of becoming the first helicopter outside the (then) Soviet Union to be certified for all-weather operations, including icy conditions.
Production of the SA 330 Puma by Aérospatiale ceased in 1987, by which time a total of 697 had been sold. The Puma was then replaced by an upgraded and improved version, the AS 332 Super Puma.
Portuguese Air Force Puma in support of a Space Shuttle Recovery Exercise at Lajes Field, Azores.
* SA 330A: Prototypes, originally called "Alouette IV".
* SA 330B: Initial production version for the French Army Aviation.
* SA 330 "Orchidee": SA 330 modified to carry an "Orchidee" surveillance system for the French Army.
* SA 330C: Initial export production version.
* SA 330E: Version produced by Westland Helicopters for the RAF under the designation Puma HC Mk. 1.
* SA 330F: Initial civilian export production version with Turbomeca Turmo IIIC4 turboshaft engines.
* SA 330G: Upgraded civilian version with Turbomeca Turmo IVC engines and composite main rotor blades.
* SA 330H: Upgraded French Army and export version with Turbomeca IVC engines and composite main rotor blades. Designated SA 330B by the French Air Force.
* SA 330J: Upgraded civil transport version.
* SA 330L: Upgraded version for so-called "hot and high" conditions.
* SA 330S: Export version for the Portuguese Air Force.
* SA 330Z: Prototype with "fenestron" tail rotor.
Versions by other manufacturers
Atlas Aircraft Corporation Oryx
This is a remanufactured and upgraded SA 330 Puma built for the South African Air Force.
IPTN NAS 330J
This is a version that was assembled by IPTN of Indonesia under the local designation NAS 330J and the Aerospatiale designation of SA 330J. Eleven units were produced.
ICA IAR 330
This is a licence-built version of the SA 330 Puma manufactured by ICA of Romania. Designated as the SA 330L by Aerospatiale.
Westland Puma HC Mk.1
This is the SA 330E version assembled by Westland Helicopters for the RAF.
In American films like Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rambo III, and Red Dawn, modified Pumas played the role of Soviet Mil Mi-24's.
9 SA 330L
* South African Air Force
United Arab Emirates
* Royal Air Force
o No. 33 Squadron RAF
o No. 230 Squadron RAF
o No. 1563 Flight RAF
The Puma is also operated by several civilian operators.
Specifications (SA 330 Puma)
* Crew: 3
* Capacity: 16 passengers
* Length: 18.15 m (59 ft 6 in)
* Rotor diameter: 15.0 m (49 ft 3 in)
* Height: 5.14 m (16 ft 10 in)
* Disc area: 176.71 m² (1,905 ft²)
* Empty weight: 3,770 kg (8,310 lb)
* Max takeoff weight: 7,400 kg (16,300 lb)
* Powerplant: 2× Turboméca Turmo IVC turboshafts, 1,175 kW (1,575 hp) each
* Maximum speed: 258 km/h (139 knots, 177 mph)
* Range: 780 km (430 nm, 500 mi)
* Service ceiling: 4,800 m (15,750 ft)
* Rate of climb: 9.2 m/s (1,810 ft/min)
o Coaxial 7.62 mm (0.30 in) machine guns
o Side-firing 20 mm (0.787 in) cannon
* Various others
More photos: SA-330 Puma helicopter photo gallery
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