Multipurpose French helicopter SA 321 “Super Hornet”

The SA 321 “Super Frelon” (Super Frelon) is a three-engine medium multi-purpose helicopter developed by the French state-owned Aerospace Industries. It is developed from the smaller SA 320 “Wasp” helicopter.

French SA 321

Birth History

The “Super Hornet” was developed in 1960 by the French state-owned Aerospace Industries Corporation at the request of the French military. The first prototype, a troop transport version, flew for the first time on December 7, 1962. 

In July 1963, It set multiple helicopter world records. The second prototype, a naval version stabilizing pontoons on the main landing gear struts, flew for the first time on May 28, 1963. Subsequently, four more pre-production models were built.

Body Structure

The SA 321 helicopter adopts an ordinary all-metal semi-monocoque fuselage, and the boat-shaped belly comprises watertight compartments. On the SA 321G, stabilizing pontoons are mounted on the main landing gear support structures on both sides of the fuselage. The tail beam can be folded for storage. 

Small fixed stabilizers are on the right side of each type of tail beam. On the SA321F, there is no stable float, but there are large fairings on both sides of the mid-fuselage, which can act as a stabilizer and a luggage compartment.

 The helicopter has a six-blade rotor, and the propeller hub consists of two six-armed star-shaped disks with vertical and horizontal hinges. The blade root has a variable pitch control joint and a hydraulic sway damper. The tail rotor has five metal blades, similar in structure to the rotor blades. The six-rotor edges of the SA 321G can be hydraulically operated and automatically folded.

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