YouTube – Puma Helicopter
two or three
2 x 1,575 h.p. ea.
59 ft. 6 in.
16 ft. 10 in.
49 ft. 3 in.
The Puma Helicopter, officially 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 Helicopter did not received its all weather certification until April 25, 1978.
The Puma Helicopter was initially deployed with the French army in 1970. Westland modified the helicopter for use by the RAF. They produced a total of 48 of the helicopters under license.
During the Falklands war, Argentina used the Puma Helicopter as a cargo transport. The helicopter has over thirty years of service with the RAF. Some Puma Helicopters carry missiles for operations against tanks and other armored vehicles.
The Puma Helicopter 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 Helicopter is semi retractable. Up to 18 people or 7,000 lbs. of cargo can be transported in the Puma Helicopter.
The Puma Helicopter continues in military and civilian use by many nations around the world, particularly in France and Great Britain.
Great Britain has upgraded their Puma Helicopter fleet with the intention of keeping them operational through 2020.
IAR, Romania, has produced some 160 Puma Helicopter versions, under license and their production is on going to date. Some 700 Puma Helicopter versions were built by Aerospatiale before production ended in 1987.
RC Puma Helicopter