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more info about the Alouette III                                 more info about Switserland, click to see

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Between 1958 and 1963fthe Swiss Army established a helicopter division comprising of 5-seater Alouette II helicopters. However it soon became apparent that more powerful turbines and greater payloads were needed.
This led to the decision to procure 9 gas-turbine 7-seater Alouette III versions manufactured by Sud-Aviation in France. The more powerful turbines incorporated in these Alouette III helicopters proved especially efficient in mountain operations. The advantage of transporting material by helicopter was soon recognized which led to an expansion of the helicopter fleet. The new helicopters were acquisitioned in 2 installments; in 1966, 15 units were delivered directly from the manufacturer in France, and between 1972 and 1974 a further 60 units were assembled under license in Switzerland at the Federal Aircraft Works in Emmen. 
Today helicopter pilots undergo initial training on the Alouette III. The Alouette III have been distributed forming different light aircraft squadrons which play a vital role in air transportation. They have proven especially efficient in personnel transport as well as being able to transport external loads with the use of carrier nets. These helicopters are able to lift large amounts of water, and can be used in combating forest fires. With the aid of a fixed winch the Alouette can also conduct air-rescues in the Alpines regions. 
source: Swiss Air Force site


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