The Aérospatiale Alouette III is a light single-engine multi-role helicopter. Over 1,400 units for both military and civilian purposes were made by the French manufacturer Sud Aviation (later Aérospatiale) in 1959. It was also manufactured under license in India, Romania (as IAR.316B) and Switzerland. Many of the simple and robust machines are still being flown today.
It has a three-blade main and tail rotor, an uncloaked turbine engine, a wheeled landing gear and is certified for a total of seven people.
A winch and external load hook enables versatile use. Due to its performance characteristics and configuration, this helicopter is particularly well suited for high altitude operations.
Since 1986, an “Alouette” III has been integrated into the helicopter rescue system of the Ministry of the Interior with the designation “Christoph”. Numerous rescue missions, in which many lives were saved, can be attributed to the reliable and robust emergency helicopter.
However, since it has been in use for more than 50 years, the days of this pattern are numbered. To replace this proven helicopter type, Austria has signed a procurement contract for a total of 18 Leonardo AW169M light multi-role helicopters. Fleet insertion is scheduled to begin in Q4 2022 and the new system is expected to be operational from 2023, replacing the Alouette III.
At AIRPOWER22 the Alouette will probably be seen for the last time.