Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama is a French military multi-purpose helicopter designed in 1969 by Aerospatiale.
French design engineers, together with a group of talented designers, began designing an aircraft model Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama in the mid-60s. The initial base for the creation of this aircraft was the Aerospatiale Alouette II helicopter model, which turned out to be very unpopular but had some potential, which was subsequently embodied in the model of the Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama aircraft.
To ensure high maneuverability and increased functionality, the design of the Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama helicopter is small and light enough, however, with all this, the use of a powerful power plant allows the helicopter to take on board a large number of people, or carry out small-sized but heavy transportation cargo, which in some cases is indispensable.
The aircraft, the Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama, made its first take-off in March 1969, and two years later, this aircraft was officially introduced to the general public.
Even though the helicopter is also effective for civil aviation applications, this model is not used here due to the lack of demand per se. Experts believe that, if the helicopter had a more modernized appearance, the model would almost certainly become in demand.
Despite the outwardly small dimensions of the cockpit of the Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama aircraft, up to five people can be accommodated onboard the helicopter, including one pilot and four passengers. In addition to transporting people on board, the helicopter can also be used to transport various kinds of cargo, provided that the maximum lifting mass of the aircraft of this model is not exceeded.
In some cases, the Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama helicopter is also used as an independent combat unit, in particular, the following weapons can be used onboard:
- Large-caliber 12.7 mm. machine gun;
- A set of 6 unguided missiles to combat ground targets.
The power plant of the Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama helicopter consists of one Turbomeca Artouste IIIB gas turbine aircraft engine, which is capable of developing a thrust of 870 hp, which allows the aircraft to accelerate to a cruising flight speed of 190 km \ h. The maximum distance that the Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama helicopter can fly is limited to 515 kilometers, however, this figure may depend on the modification of the aircraft.
- Aerospatiale SA 315B Lama – the basic production version of the aircraft, equipped depending on the time of production of gas turbine-type power plants with a thrust from 550 to 870 hp;
- Aerospatiale HB 315B Gaviao – An improved version of the aircraft, made in Brazil;
- Aerospatiale HAL Cheetah – A modified version of the helicopter, manufactured by Indian aircraft manufacturers;
- Aerospatiale HAL Lancer – A modernized version of the helicopter, equipped with armor and weapons;
- Aerospatiale HAL Cheetal – A modernized version equipped with an aircraft engine brand Turbomeca TM333-2M2, and with an increased range and speed of flight.
- Crew: 1 person;
- Capacity: 4 people (depending on version);
- Length: 10.24 m.;
- Height: 3.1 m.;
- The diameter of the rotor: 11.02 m. (Depending on version);
- The mass of the empty helicopter: 1020 kg. (Depending on version);
- Maximum take-off weight: 2300 kg. (Depending on version);
- Cruising speed: 190 km \ h. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight speed: 215 km \ h. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight range: 515 km. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight height: 7000 m.;
- Powerplant: Turbomeca Artouste IIIB (depending on version);
- Power: 870 hp (Depending on version).