04/30/2009. Remarks by Ray Watkins: "For the S.E.3120 Alouette (Lark) Sud-Est adopted a single anti-torque rotor which was becoming standard on single-rotor helicopters. The two prototypes of the S.E.3120 (initially F-WGGD and F-WGGE, later F-BGGD and F-BGGE) retained the 200 hp Salmson 9 NH engine of the S.E.3110 and had a layout very similar to the contemporary Bell 47 with seats for three occupants.
The first flight, by F-WGGD, occurred on July 31, 1951 and on July 2, 1953 it set a world record for duration of 13 h 56 min, and one for distance over a closed circuit of 778.33 mls (1,252.57 km).
The first prototype was extensively modified to fit a 360 hp Turboméca Artouste I turboshaft engine to become the first prototype of the S.E.3130 Alouette II, and flew in March 1955. In June 1955 the Artouste-engined S.E.3120 established a world altitude record of 8,209 m (26,925 ft). No production of the Alouette I occurred as it was supplanted by the Alouette II."