Portuguese Air Force SA-330 Puma deploys diver during training exercise

The Aérospatiale Puma is a medium-sized twin-engined transport/utility helicopter. It is also known under the designation SA 330.

The SA 330 Puma was originally developed by Sud Aviation to meet a requirement of the French Army for a medium-sized all-weather helicopter. The helicopter also had to be capable of operating by day and night as well as in a wide variety of climates.

In 1967, the Puma was also selected by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and given the designation Puma HC Mk.1.

As a result of this decision, the SA 330 was included in a joint production agreement between Aerospatiale and Westland Helicopters of the UK.

The first of two Puma prototypes flew on 15 April 1965. Six pre-production models were also built, the last of which flew on 30 July 1968.

Production of the SA 330 Puma by Aérospatiale ceased in 1987, by which time a total of 697 had been sold. The Puma was then replaced by an upgraded and improved version, the AS 332 Eurocopter Super Puma.

SA-330 PUMA Specifications
Type Medium Utility Helicopter
Manufacturer Aerospatiale/Westland Aircraft
Accommodation Crew 3 (two pilots and one loadmaster/winchman. Up to 16 passengers
Armament Pintle mounted 7.62mm machine guns, Side-firing 20mm cannon

Max Speed 177mph (258km/h)

Main Rotor Diameter 49ft (15m)
Length 59ft 6in (18.15m)
Height 16 ft 10in (5.1m)
Weight max take off weight 16,300lb (3,700kg)
Powerplant  2 × Turbomeca Turmo IVC turboshafts, producing 1,575shp (1,175kW) each
Variants Number of civil and military variants