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I've been doing some research on helicopters for sale recently, and was interested in hearing the experiences of some pilots with the Alouette II. I am considering using this for tours, sightseeing, photo flights, etc and also as a turbine time builder for training, and would like some input. Thank you


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Great machine to fly, quite roomy, payload not a problem. Very responsive. Fuelburn between 50-60 gph. So not very cheap to operate but depends on the powersetting of course. But this is what you get flying 90-95kts. It's not really fast by the way. Engine overhaul is expensive too, and not a lot of place that can do it. Only Eurocopter I believe.


So it's not really cheap to operate but very safe and a great looker.

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The AII comes in 2 versions, the Artouste and the 318C. The Artouste was the first production turbine introduced in 1955. After a crash due to tailrotor failure that killed a very famous US pilot interest in the machines dropped in the US, unfairly so. France sent a telex at first saying OK to fly and followed hours later with a grounding, to late.


Arlo Livingston of Livinston Copters (after loosing his best freind/chief pilot and 4 pass in an FH1100 Allison powered flameout) in Juneau, Alaska rebirthed the AII in the US by bringing in the first 318C, N2466 in 1969. His quote, "It's hell when you have to go to a foreign country to find a reliable piece of equipment". He and Nancy went to France flew the 318 in the Alps with world alt record holder Jean Boulet (The first and last nicest fenchman you will ever meet in your life) and after stated "put it in a box". This machine and others took over the Alaska market in the 70's, earning the longest running contract in the history of the state during the pipeline years, building the 28 mtn radio sites that still keeps the oil flowing. I was chief of maint on that project and flew crew changes and parts support in a Maule. We flew 24/7 for 36 months while all the Jetrangers and 500's flew south each winter running scared of flameouts. From 1969-1983 not one passenger was even scratched in the 318's. ERA had to buy us out to save face on the heals of our orders for the first 350 Astars and the rest is history.


You will never go wrong buying a 318. Never pull more than 15 deg on approach and she will AWAYS bring you home. They are not a hot/high ship, just watch your OGE hover numbers and ease her in. They will lift their own weight but if you do to many hammerheads you will crack the blade skins. No worry they have a solid alum spar. We laid one over and they stayed intact. God was very good to us is all I can say and I'm here to tell the story of the finest light turbine helicopter ever built. The best in France say the same. Fuel burn is 35, 42 in the IIA2 version Astazoo motor (has Art IIIB turbine). Forget an overhaul, buy another used motor.



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