Time for a helicopter which will not look out of place in a mixed battle, I present a (United Kingdom) Army air corps Eurocopter SE3130 Alouette II which was part of the United nations peacekeeping force in December 1979. As my ninth model there still is the usual option for a TGA and a 4K dds variant with damage model. Now nothing is out of the question and I still have a number of ideas for this aircraft, but it might be my last Alouette II skin for a while.
Here we have Alouette II s/n 1596, which built by Eurocopter in 1961 and delivered to the British Air Army corps at AAC Netheravon as XJ380 (in error as instead to XR 380). It is presented here as seen during its time as part of the UN flight at LCNC, Cyprus (Nicosia International Airport), where it was part of the UN “Green Line” in 1979. At some point during the mission the aircraft was also adorned with some Christmas markings placed on the sides of the canopy windows.
The aircraft later crashed on a rainy saturday on the 11th of June, 1983 while still in service as an UNFICYP (United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus) machine. Flying with a load attached underneath the aircraft which got caught on one of the landing skids and caused the aircraft to subsequently crash and roll down a hill. According to an eyewitness the aircraft had rolled a long way down and he assumed the crew as dead, only to see them re-emerge from the aircraft nearly unscaved. To relieve their stress they smoked a few cigarettes near the aircraft, not thinking about the tanks which had cracked. Luckily it did not set off the leftover fuel at the time. Those same people were also part of the recovery crew for the aircraft roughly a year later.
The Alouette II with the Army Air Corps
In 1958 the first Alouette II was delived to the British Armed forces for use with the Army Air Corps, which began with two aircraft purchased as liaison helicopters used for trials during the fall of that year. It carried passengers and light tactical equipment around the battlefield and proved great reliability. Soon after the purchase a competition was held against the Hiller 12E and Saunders-Roe P.531, which ended in an order for 15 more Alouette II’s in 1961 as a stop-gap measure for the Scout, as its development was taking longer than initially expected.
The aircraft later proved to be critical and proving its worth as a versatile aircraft under poor weather conditions, which are all too often found around the British Isles. The most memorable actions were the civilian rescue efforts to help cut-off communities after heavy snowing, airborne replenishment of stranded livestock and the peacekeeping aid missions for the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus.
In 1964 the United Nations Security Council implemented Resolution 186 to prevent to recurrence of intercommunal violence between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots on the Island, in an effort to restore law and order and help facilitate the return to normal conditions. After five decades the force is still active on the island.
In October 1988 the AAC Alouettes were replaced by Aerospatiale SA341B Gazelle AH.1’s and on the 9th of March 1990, the remaining fleet (apart from two aircraft) were offered for sale. The two remaining aircraft were XR232 and XR379. The first was also part of the UNFICYP and can be seen on display at the Museum of Army Flying alongside a Ferret Scout Car in UN colors. The latter became part of AACHF (army air corps historic flight) and was recently overhauled in April 2018. In total 17 aircraft were operated by the AAC throughout the years.