SNCASE SE.3120 Alouette

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SE.3120 Alouette
Role Utility helicopter
National origin France
Manufacturer SNCASE
First flight 31 July 1951
Status Prototypes only
Number built 2

The SNCASE SE.3120 Alouette ("Lark") was a utility helicopter developed in France in the early 1950s but which did not enter production. Designed in parallel with the SE.3110, the Alouette shared that machine's dynamic components, with the exception of its unusual twin tail rotor. The Alouette featured an open-framework fuselage behind a cockpit that was enclosed by a bubble canopy. Skid undercarriage and tricycle gear were both tested.

The first flight took place on 31 July 1951 with Jean Boulet at the controls. In 1953, he flew one of the two prototype Alouettes to a world closed-circuit distance record for a helicopter in this class, covering 1,250 km (780 mi). Despite this impressive performance, the Alouette proved to be difficult to maintain, and with work on the turbine-powered Alouette II (an unrelated design) already underway, development of the Alouette was soon abandoned.


Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1953–54[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Length: 10.45 m (34 ft 3 in)
  • Main rotor diameter: 11.60 m (38 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 2.90 m (9 ft 6 in)
  • Main rotor area: 106.7 m2 (1,137 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 750 kg (1,650 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,250 kg (2,750 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Salmson 9Nm, 149 kW (200 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 125 km/h (78 mph)
  • Endurance: 2.25 hours
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 m (13,120 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 4.5 m/s (885 ft/min)


  1. Bridgman 1953, pp. 151–152.