Aerospatiale SA-365C-1 VH-LSL (c/n 5057) at Lismore, NSW in May 1994 (David C Eyre)
Country of origin:
(SA-365): Two 478-kw (641-shp) Turbomeca Arriel 1A turboshafts
- Rotor diameter: 11.68 m (38 ft4 in)
- Fuselage length: 10.98 m (36 ft)
- Height: 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in)
- Max cruising speed: 264 km/h (164 mph)
- Economical cruising speed: 241 km/h (150 mph)
- Initial rate of climb: 510 m/min (1,675 ft/min)
- Hovering ceiling in ground effect: 2,600 m (8,350 ft)
- Service ceiling: 6,000 m (19,680 ft)
- Range with standard tanks: 475 km (295 miles)
- Empty weight: 1,736 kg (3,827 lb)
- Loaded: 3,400 kg (7,495 lb)
Designed as a replacement for the widely used Alouette series of general- purpose helicopters, the Dauphin was initially produced in two versions; the single-engine model fitted with a Turbomeca Astazou turboshaft of 783-kw (1,050-shp); and the twin-engine model powered by two Arriel turboshafts. The prototype, a single-engine machine, was flown for the first time on 2 June 1972, and was known as the SA-360 Dauphin. Development led to the twin-engine SA-365, the prototype of which was flown on 24 January 1975. The latter model, although it was 160-kg (350-lb) heavier than the single-engine example, had an increase in maximum take-off weight of 400 kg (880- lb).
The Dauphin 2, fitted with an all-plastic starflex rotor-head, was offered in both civil and naval versions. The latter, the SA-365N, had a retractable nosewheel undercarriage, a stepped cockpit, nose mounted search radar, a gyro-stabilised weapons aiming sight, magnetic anomaly detection equipment, radio command AS-15 anti-shipping missiles, folding main rotor blades, and a vertical fin. The SA-365N was initially fitted with 523-kw (701-shp) Turbomeca Arriel 1C turboshafts but eventually was offered with two Avco Lycoming TS-101-750 turboshafts, and a prototype was tested with these engines. Known as the SA-365G, this model was chosen by the US Coast Guard as the HH-65A, and 90 examples were ordered, deliveries commencing in 1982.
The SA-365N was flown for the first time on 31 March 1979, and it then replaced the SA-365C on the production line. During 1981 the SA-365N Dauphin 2 was released, and this model was ordered by the Chinese Government as the SA-365F. The main differing features were the retractable undercarriage, up-rated engine, a re-profiled fuselage, and increased fuel capacity.
The first of the series to be seen in this region was VH-PVF (c/n 5042), an SA-365 Dauphin 2, which was placed in service with the Victorian Police Force and a number of examples have since been operated by Police Forces in Australia. The type was available with a number of accommodation layouts.