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Aérospatiale Puma
Missing image
An SA 330 Puma

SA 330 Puma
RoleMedium transport/utility helicopter
First Flight
Entered Service
Length ft in18.15 m
Rotor Diameter ft in15.0 m
Height ft in5.14 m
Empty lb3,770 kg
Loaded lb kg
Maximum Takeoff lb7,400 kg
Capacity16 passengers
Engines2 x Turbomeca Turmo IVC turboshafts
Power hp2 x 1,175 kW
Maximum Speed mph258 km/h
Combat Range309 nautical miles km
Ferry Range miles km
Service Ceiling ft4,800 m
Rate of Climb ft/min552 m/min
Power/Mass hp/lb kW/kg
GunsVarious, including co-axial 7.62 mm machine guns and side-firing 20 mm cannon

The Aerospatiale Puma is a medium-sized twin-engined transport/utility helicopter originally manufactured by Aerospatiale of France. It is also known under the designation SA 330.



The SA 330 Puma was originally developed by Aerospatiale to meet a requirement of the French Army for a medium-sized all-weather helicopter. The helicopter also had to be capable of operating by day and night as well as in a wide variety of climates.

In 1967, the Puma was also selected by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and given the designation Puma HC Mk.1. As a result of this decision, the SA 330 was included in a joint production agreement between Aerospatiale and Westland Helicopters of the UK.

The first of two Puma prototypes flew on 15 April 1965. Six pre-production models were also built, the last of which flew on 30 July 1968.

The first production SA 330 Puma flew in September 1968. On 25 April 1978 the SA 330J Puma achieved the distinction of becaming the first helicopter outside the (then) Soviet Union to be certificated for all-weather operations, including icy conditions.

Production of the SA 330 Puma by Aerospatiale ceased in 1987, by which time a total of 697 had been sold. The Puma was then replaced by an upgraded and improved version, the AS 332 Eurocopter Super Puma.

Variants of this helicopter were also manufactured, assembled or licence-built by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation of South Africa, ICA of Romania and IPTN of Indonesia.


The SA 330 Puma is one of the most widely used helicopter types in the world. Versions of this helicopter are or were in service with the armed forces of the following countries:

The Puma is also operated by several civilian operators.


Aerospatiale versions

  • SA 330 A: Prototypes, originally called "Alouette IV".
  • SA 330 B: Initial production version.
  • SA 330 "Orchidee": SA 330 modified to carry an "Orchidee" surveillance system for the French Army.
  • SA 330 C: Initial export production version.
  • SA 330 E: Version produced by Westland Helicopters for the RAF under the designation HC Mk 1.
  • SA 330 F: Initial civilian export production version with Turbomeca Turmo IIIC4 turboshaft engines.
  • SA 330 G: Upgraded civilian version with Turbomeca Turmo IVC engines and composite main rotor blades.
  • SA 330 H: Upgraded French Army and export version with Turbomeca IVC engines and composite main rotor blades.
  • SA 330 L: Upgraded version for so-called "hot and high" conditions.
  • SA 330 Z: Prototype with "fenestron" tail rotor.

Versions by other manufacturers

  • Atlas Aircraft Corporation Oryx: This is a remanufactured and upgraded SA 330 Puma built for the South African Air Force.
  • ICA IAR 330 L: This is a licence-built version of the SA 330 Puma manufactured by ICA of Romania. Designated as the SA 330 L by Aerospatiale.
  • IPTN NAS 330 J: This is a version that was assembled by IPTN of Indonesia under the local designation NAS 330 J and the Aerospatiale designation of SA 330 J. Eleven units were produced.
  • Westland Puma HC Mk. 1: This is the SA 330 E version assembled by Westland Helicopters for the RAF.

See also

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

fr:Puma (hélicoptère)


The Puma can be seen as a modified Mil-24 Hind in Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III


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