01/31/2012. Remarks by Ray Watkins: "The final member in the Alouette (Lark) family of helicopters was the SE 3160 Alouette III which made its first flight on February 28, 1959, registered as F-ZWVQ (c/n 001).
The aircraft was of all-metal semi-monocoque construction with a fully enclosed cabin to seat seven persons, an enclosed tail boom and a 870 shp Turboméca Artouste IIIB turboshaft engine. The skid landing gear was replaced by a three-wheeled undercarriage. The cabin has four doors, the rear two sliding rearward and the forward two hinged. Seats could be removed to carry cargo or stretchers inside the cabin, and slung loads up to 1,650 lb (750 kg) could be carried. Rotor diameter was increased and dynamic components uprated to utilize the additional power.
A French certificate of airworthiness was received in Dec 1961 and series production began for a final total of 190 military and civil customers in 92 countries. The picture shows the second prototype operating in the Himalayan mountains, possibly during tests when the aircraft carried a 550 lb (250 kg) payload and two crew to an altitude of 19,690 ft (6,004 m)."