Airbus SA 315B Lama

the World-Wide known High Altitude Workhorse

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Airbus Helicopters SA315B LAMA Instagram

The AIRBUS HELICOPTERS (former Aérospatiale) SA315 B Lama is a light multipurpose helicopter. The Lama was originally developed by French manufacturer Sud Avion (later Aérospatiale) for the Indian Air force and especially for the service in a hot and high environment. For almost 30 years has held the altitude world record for helicopters.

Its construction goes back to the Alouette II (3130 series), from which it inherited the characteristic steel-tube frame. Compared to the Alouette II, however, it is equipped with the much stronger Turboméca Artouste IIIB turbine (870 HP) of the Alouette III. The SA 315B Lama has a three-bladed fully articulated main rotor and a three-bladed tail rotor.

Except for some stabilising braces, the cabin, which is not separated from the cockpit, is completely vitrified. The fuselage frame and the tail boom are steel-tube designs and are not wainscoted. The lack of cladding offers good visibility and accessibility to the actuating elements behind the cockpit.

The lama is used for passenger transportation, observation, flight training (especially due to its single-engine design, which simplifies the execution of auto rotations) and external sling loads transportation. The lama has had a long reputation as being the “pack donkey of the airs”.


On 21 June 1972, Jean Boulet reached an altitude of 12,442 meters with a lama and, thus, set the absolute record for helicopters.


SA 315B LAMA overview

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Lama verricello