Skip to main content

AS332 Super Puma

AS332

 

The Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-size utility helicopter marketed for both civil and military use.  Originally designed and built by Aérospatiale , it is an enlarged and re-engined version of the original Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma.  The Super Puma first flew on 13 September 1978. 

 

Design and development

In 1974, Aérospatiale commenced development of a new medium transport helicopter based on its SA 330 Puma, announcing the project at the 1975 Paris Air Show.  While the new design was of similar layout to the AS 330, it was powered by two of the new and more powerful Turbomeca Makila turboshaft engines powering a four-bladed composite main rotor, and was designed to be withstand damage better, with a more robust fuselage structure, a new crashworthy undercarriage and the ability to withstand battle damage to the rotor blades and other key mechanical systems. It was fitted with a ventral fin under the tail a more streamlined nose compared with the SA 330, while from the start was planned to be available with two fuselage lengths, with a short fuselage version offering similar capacity to the SA 330, which gives better performance in "hot and high" conditions and a stretched version allowing more passengers to be carried when weight is less critical.

A pre-production prototype, the SA 331, modified from a SA 330 airframe with Makila engines and a new gearbox, flew on 5 September 1977. The first prototype of the full Super Puma made its maiden flight on 13 September 1978, being followed by a further five prototypes.

The type has proved immensely successful, chosen by 37 military forces around the world, and some 1,000 civil operators. The Super Puma has proved especially well-suited to the North Sea oil industry, where it is used to ferry personnel and equipment to and from oil platforms.  In civilian configuration it can seat approximately 18 passengers and two crew, though since the early 2000s most oil companies have banned use of the middle-rear seat reducing effective capacity to 17+2.  This down-rating is due to difficulties encountered in evacuating through the rear-most windows in crashes at sea.

 A wide variety of specialised military variants are in use, including dedicated Search and rescue (SAR) and Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) versions.  Since 1990, military Super Pumas have been marketed as the AS532 Cougar.

 

General characteristics

Crew: 2

Capacity: 19

Length: 16.29 m (53.44 ft)

Rotor diameter: 15.6 m (51.18 ft)

Height: 4.80 m (15.09 ft)

Empty weight : 4,500 kg (9,920 lb)

Useful load: 4,100 kg (9,040 lb)

Max. takeoff weight : 8,600 kg (18,960 lb)

Powerplant : 2 × Turbomeca Makila 1A1 turboshaft , 1,300 kW (1,742 shp) each

 

Performance

Never exceed speed : 278 km/h @ 8,600 kg gross (150 kt)

Maximum speed : 262 km/h @ 8,600 kg gross (141 kt)

Cruise speed : 252 km/h @ 8,600 kg gross (136 kt)

Range : 841 km @ 8,600 kg gross (454 nm)

Service ceiling : 6,100 m (20,000 ft)

Rate of climb : 8.2 m/s @ 70 kt & 8,600 kg gross (1,620 ft/m @ 70 kt)