Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin is a French multi-purpose helicopter developed by Aerospatiale in 1972.
At the end of the 60s of the last century, the leadership of the French aircraft company Aerospatiale took the initiative on the need to design, develop and begin production of new multi-purpose aircraft that can replace the version of the Aerospatiale Alouette III helicopter.
The project of the aircraft model Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin was ready in mid-1970, however, it took the aircraft builders about a year and a half to create this aircraft, and in June 1972, the helicopter made the first test flight, which, although it turned out to be very successful, however, in fact, the aircraft entered mass production only in 1976. The late process of launching the production of Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin helicopters was associated with the need to expand the capabilities of the aircraft, initialized by the management of Aerospatiale.
By its appearance, the Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin aircraft only vaguely resembles the Aerospatiale Alouette III model, in particular, this applies to a large extent to a large glass cockpit.
Onboard the helicopter Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin can accommodate up to 10 people, including 1-2 pilots and 8-9 passengers, which depends mainly on the configuration of the cabin and the version of the aircraft. If necessary, the Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin helicopter can also play the role of a transport air vehicle, carrying onboard its cargo up to 1,420 kilograms of payload, which was very often used.
Despite attempts by French aircraft developers, the Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin helicopter project did not receive much support, as evidenced by a fairly short production period, which lasted from 1976 to 1977. Over the entire production cycle, 36 aircraft of this model were built by French aircraft manufacturers, including, but not limited to, two prototypes.
The propulsion system of the Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin helicopter includes one Turbomeca Astazou XVIIIA gas turbine aircraft engine capable of developing a thrust of 1050 hp, which provided the aircraft with a good load rating. The Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin helicopter can fly at distances of up to 675 kilometers, with a cruising speed of its movement of 275 km \ h.
The modifications available for this aircraft are:
- Aerospatiale SA 360 Dauphin – basic prototype aircraft;
- Aerospatiale SA 360C Dauphin – the main production version, which, depending on the configuration, can be either the nature of a vehicle or a passenger aircraft;
- Aerospatiale SA 360A Dauphin – an experimental version of the helicopter, equipped with a new power plant, but later converted into a version of the Aerospatiale SA 360C Dauphin;
- Aerospatiale SA 361H Dauphin – An improved version of the helicopter with an engine power of 1300 hp.;
- Aerospatiale SA 361HCL Dauphin – military version, created on the basis of the Aerospatiale SA 361H Dauphin version.
- Crew: 1-2 people;
- Capacity: 8-9 people (depending on version);
- Length: 13.2 m.;
- Height: 3,5 m.;
- The diameter of the rotor: 11.5 m. (Depending on version);
- The mass of the empty helicopter: 1580 kg. (Depending on version);
- Maximum take-off weight: 3000 kg. (Depending on version);
- Cruising speed: 275 km \ h. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight speed: 315 km \ h. (Depending on version);
- Maximum flight range: 675 km .;
- Maximum flight height: 4600 m.;
- Powerplant: Turbomeca Astazou XVIIIA (depending on version);
- Power: 1050 hp (Depending on version).