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Heller 1/48 Sud Aviation Alouette II “Armée de Terre”

Hi everyone!

This is my , finished as an "Armée de Terre" bird.
The II is a French light helicopter, originally manufactured by Sud Aviation and later Aérospatiale. Performing its maiden flight On 12 March 1955, it was the first production helicopter powered by a gas turbine engine.
The Alouette II was a widely used type and popular with operators, with over 1,300 rotorcraft eventually being constructed between 1956 and 1975. The type was predominantly used for military purposes in observation, photography, air-sea rescue, liaison and training, but it has also carried anti-tank missiles and homing torpedoes. It has additionally been used for casualty evacuation (with two external stretcher panniers), crop-spraying and as a flying crane, with a 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) external under-slung load.

Successfully developed into the larger and more powerful Alouette III, its production was terminated in 1975.

A high-altitude derivative, the SA 315B Lama, was developed and entered service in 1971. Despite it being long out of production, considerable numbers of Alouette II were still in service at the start of the 21th century.

The French Army Light Aviation (Aviation légère de l’armée de Terre – ALAT) operated the Alouette II from 1956 onward.

The ALAT formed two Air Force helicopter squadrons, which participated in operations in Algeria, not without some adaptation problems, with the Alouette IIs mainly used as flying command posts. In total, the ALAT received 139 of the type, the last one withdrawn in 1996.

This is the 1989 updated/retooled version of the initial 1/50 1967 SA 313B mold, a straightforward kit, really pleasant to build.

It was hand painted, "just like old times". I got lazy and did not add seat belts...anyway, let's assume that they were thrown behind the seats, that's why they are not visible! 🙂

Should you like to read the full build review, please do so by visiting my beloved site Modelingmadness:

Happy modeling!

27 responses

  1. Very nice build Spiros. From your MM article you mentioned this kit having a high parts count, nice job on a very neat build. It came out looking great!

  2. Liked it a lot Spiros!

  3. That’s a cool one, Spiros. That kit is hard to find these days. I’ve always thought of building one in Rhodesian colors along with an Angolan Hind.

  4. Awesome build, Spiros @fiveten
    So many fragile parts on this build.
    Your handpainting skills are really great, no signs of streaks.
    Unfortunately I was born to late to still see them in active service in the Netherlands.

  5. I often saw the Alloutte III flying around, in the airspace around my house area or at airshows. It’s outclassed alright but still has a certain charm, and this earlier version has even more!
    The Heller kit is old but probably is still the only game in town, and you produced a fine looking model from it Spiros!

  6. Great job, Spiros! One thing about helicopters is if the prop stops it drops, lol.

  7. This helicopter always reminds me a dragonfly...
    You did a great job bringing it to life. Very well done, Spiros!

  8. Looks great, Spiros (@fiveten). Well done on the hand painting. It must be nice to have steady hands that can do great work like this.

  9. Excellent model. It seems quite fragile.

  10. Gentille Alouette, isn’t there a song about that? Great work as always, Spiros.

  11. Very nice helicopter build, Spiros @fiveten. Your work on this one is very clean and precise for a vintage Heller model that must have been quite challenging. The kit actually looks quite detailed for its age.

    I have always liked the look of the Aloutte II. The sleek look of the raked back bubble canopy presents a nice contrast to the unaerodynamic bracing for the engine and tail rotor assembly. I could be wrong but I think I have seen these rather old machines still used in high altitude rescue roles. Perhaps the lightweight structure or engine design still gives them good performance in thinner air.

    It would be nice to see more helo builds on iModeler. I have at least 18 unbuilt helo kits with a Westland Lynx as a WIP right now. We probably have too many Group Builds going on right now but I was thinking of starting a new one dedicated to helicopters. What do you think? It might at least be worth a survey to check general interest.

    • Thanks my friend @coling!

      You sure have a strong point regarding Alouette's performance at higher altitudes and I agree with your point.

      A dedicated helicopter GB sounds a truly wonderful idea: there's no such GB here, anyone building a helo might enter it there. Should you decide to create it, I will warmly support it, entering a build immediately.

  12. Beautiful Alouette Spiros, this the Gazelle and the Bell 47 helicopters look similar and are so basic in appearance. As the years go by except for the Bell, the Alouette and Gazelle were upgraded and more capable over the years. George mentioned the song. Here are the words at the start of the song in English, but sounds much better in French while singing it.
    Lark, nice Alouette Lark I will pluck you Alouette,
    nice Alouette Lark
    I will pluck you
    I will pluck you the head
    I will pluck you the head

    nlyrics.html · on youtube

    We sang the song around 3rd grade in French. Funny looking back it was easy to learn while singing and not realizing I was learning a bit of French at the same time. It's a kind of song that will play in your head all day long. Like now,sheesh!

    • Thanks my friend @uscusn! In Greece, Civil Aviation Authority flew an Alouette II for many years, only retiring it lately, also the Hellenic Navy flew IIIs in lovely French Blue overalls, also (sadly and not totally understood why...) retired.
      That song is so addictive! I played it to my sons an hour ago and they got hooked!

  13. Amazing - that tail boom must have tested your patience

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