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Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma
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SA 330L Puma Specifications

         Primary Function:
         Rotor Diameter:
         Weight Empty:
         Max. Weight:
         Cruise Speed:
         Max. Speed:
         Initial Climb:
         First Flight:
         Year Deployed:
two or three
Turmo IVC
2 x 1,575 h.p. ea.
59' 6"
16' 10"
49' 3"
7,953 lbs.
16,280 lbs.
154 mph
182 mph
1,400 fpm
19,700 feet
355 miles

The Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma became the first all weather helicopter produced outside of the Soviet Union. This was in answer to a requirement by the French army for an all weather, mid size transport helicopter. It was the first time a French company manufactured a mid size helicopter completely on its own, without assistance from other countries. Although first flown in 1965, the Puma did not received its all weather certification until April 25, 1978.

The SA 330 was initially deployed with the French army in 1970. Westland modified the Puma for use by the RAF. They produced a total of 48 of the helicopters under license.

During the Falklands war, Argentina used the Puma as a cargo transport. The helicopter has over thirty years of service with the RAF. Some IAR Puma helicopters carry missiles for operations against tanks and other armored vehicles.

The Aerospatial SA 330 Puma features dual pilot controls with separate hydraulics. The aluminum four blade rotor of early models has now been replaced with ones made from composite materials for lighter weight and greater strength. A five bladed tail rotor keeps noise levels to a minimum. The landing gear of the Puma is semi retractable. Up to 18 people or 7,000 lbs. of cargo can be transported in the SA 330.

The SA 330 Puma continues in military and civilian use by many nations around the world, particularly in France and Great Britain.

Great Britain has recently upgraded their Puma helicopters with the intention of keeping them operational through 2020.

IAR, Romania, has produced over 200 Puma helicopters, under license. They continue to produce upgraded versions. A total of 686 SA 330 Puma helicopters were produced by Aerospatiale before production ended in 1981. The latest variant, the Super Puma, continues in production to this day.

You can find the rc Puma helicopter here.

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