AS315 Lama

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1. The Original

The Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama is a French single-engined helicopter developed to meet hot and high operational requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. It combines the lighter Aérospatiale Alouette II airframe with Alouette III components and powerplant.

The helicopter was licence-built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in India as the Cheetah; an upgraded variant powered by the Turbomeca TM 333-2M2 engine is known as the HAL Cheetal.

Design and development

Originally designed to meet an Nepalese Army Air Service and Indian Air Force requirement for operation at in hot and high conditions, the Lama combines the Artouste powerplant and rotor system of the Alouette III with a reinforced Alouette II airframe. First flown on 17 March 1969, the SA 315B received its French airworthiness certificate in 1970 and was introduced as the Lama in July 1971. As with the Alouette series, the Lama can be fitted for various roles, such as light passenger transport or agricultural tasks. The military variants include liaison, observation, photography, air/sea rescue, transport and ambulance duties. The SA315B is particularly suited to mountainous areas due to its performance and can carry underslung loads of up to 1000 kg (2,205 lb).

A significant number of SA 315B Lamas were manufactured under license in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), under the name Cheetah. More than three decades after production in India began, HAL was still receiving export orders for the original Cheetah.[1] Along with the Alouette III, the Cheetah was a key product for HAL, experience from manufacturing the type aided HAL's development of more advanced indigenous helicopters like the HAL Dhruv.

In 2006-2007, HAL proposed a modernised variant to the Indian Army, designated as Cheetal, fitted with a more powerful Turbomeca TM 333-2M2 engine, promoting its capabilities for operating in high altitude environments, such as the Siachen Glacier. In 2009, due to issues with the newly introduced HAL Dhruv helicopter, the Indian Army increased operations on their older Cheetah/Cheetal helicopters to meet the temporary shortfall. In February 2013, it was announced that the Indian and Nepalese Armies had signed a 300 crore (~US$55 million) contract to procure a further 20 Cheetals.

Operational history

The Lama was designed specifically for high-altitude performance and during demonstration flights in the Himalayas during 1969, an SA315B carrying a crew of two and 120 kg of fuel landed and took off at the highest altitude then recorded, 7,500 m (24,605 ft). On 21 June 1972 a Lama with a single pilot (Jean Boulet) aboard established a helicopter absolute altitude record of 12,442 m (40,814 ft), immediately followed by an inadvertent record for the longest ever autorotation when the engine flamed out at the peak altitude of the flight. Days before, pilot and aircraft set a similar record with higher weight.

Following in the aftermath of the records set by the helicopter, a major order was placed by the Indian government in 1971. The Indian order included an arrangement for the indefinite license production of the SA315B to be conducted by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at their facility in Bangalore, India. The first Indian-assembled SA315B flew on 6 October 1972, with deliveries starting in December 1973; Indian-produced helicopters were given the name Cheetah. Operated by both the Indian Air Force and the Indian Army's Aviation Corps, the Cheetah have proved capable, operating in difficult and remote areas such the mountainous Siachen region, and during times of conflict with neighbouring Pakistan. Cheetahs have also been operated for civil purposes, such as aerial agriculture.

In 1978, a similar export agreement was reached with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Helibras for the domestic assembly of the Lama. Helibra-produced SA 315Bs were marketed under the name Gavião; several example were successfully exported to neighboring Bolivia.

In September 2012, it was reported that an ever-decreasing amount of spare parts compatible with the Cheetah has led to the type's operators being required to cannibalise helicopters in order to provide components for others.

Technical Data

characteristic data
Crew 1
Passengers 4
Length 10.26 m
Main rotor diameter 11.02 m
Height 3.09 m
empty weight 1021 kg
Maximal weight 2300 kg
Propulsion 1× gas turbine Turboméca Artouste IIIB
Power 570 WPS
Cruising speed 192 km/h
Maximal speed 215 km/h
Range 565 km
Maximal Height 5400 m
Climb performance 330 m/min


Even at the Company Wucher in Vorarlberg an AS315 B Lama is in use. For transport flights, scenic flights, dual control flights but also with the use of motorized pruning saw is the "Lama" used.

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2. The Model

The model is based on an X-Plane 7 - version of Beat as from 2004. Based on its .acf was the model recreated.


OE-EXE of Fa. Wucher Vorarlberg

HB-XOY of AIR-Glaciers

HB-XRF of AIR-Glaciers

HB-XPL of Heikopter Service Triet AG

HB-ZGP of Alpinlift Buochs

Currently there is only one 2D cockpit, the 3D cockpit is still being worked Smile


Have fun with the "Lama"

Karl, kalle

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