ALOUETTE-III's LAST GOODBYE FLIGHT                                                                                  iiiiiiiiiDutch Aviation Media
One of the first of our articles in 2016 is our 'GOODBYE ALOUETTE-III' story

Next to this article was also published in the USA - Rotor & Wing:I

The Alouette-III is special for the Americans, so a brief report was published


The Alouette III served more than 50 years for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF)
The operational capabilities of the 'New helicopter' by the  time it was introduced were many times larger than the helicopters up to that point.
Once the the Dutch defence was a major user of the type with no less than 77 examples in service of three squadrons (298, 299 en 300Sqn.).
The type was called ‘Leeuwerik’ (Skylark) but everybody knew it and called it the ‘Alouette’.
Above and below:  Alouette flying from it's homebase Gilze-Rijen AFB or 'DHC'. (Dutch helicopter Command)
The machine is easy and nice to fly and very 'forgiving minded' (stupid=proof) as well.
The Seats are front directed and through the cockpit windows one has a very good view outside.....
....this is why it became a favorite of Queen Beatrix for her VIP transport. It is said that she took much influence on the decision to soldier on with the type.
The military camocolors, suiting reconnaissance and 'sneeking between the bushes' very well.
Really one of the most reliable helicopters ever built
A-247 static at an 'Open Day' quitly resting till the moment comes to fly home again 
This is where popularity is born: What isn't there can't break down !
The pilots have a 'luxe' view !
It's almost as if you're flying a glass dome.... ;)
Refuelling at Gilze-Rijen for the last flight
The demonstration coloured type was so popular that even large models were built that actually behaved like a real machine
This configuration was seen often at airshows, performing was a treat to the eye. Named: 'The Grasshoppers'
This is an example of another demo-coat known as the 'Zebra'.  (howcome ?....)
Showing out how large the inside space is, with all seats placed frontal.
Impression of the maintainance hangar at Gilze-Rijen AFB
When you strip the machine and repair, replace, it can last a lifetime flying
And if we say strip, we mean 'strip to the bone' ;-)
View at rotorhead and simple cockpit areonautics
Glossy machine, and a workshop as a surgeon-room !
Finally the machine will be delivered as 'Completely re-checked'
This pilot flew many years and many missions in crisis-area in the world ! 'Now I'll be flying a desk the rest of my career' she stated a little sad....
Observing and simple picturing and filming was one of the last tasks the Alouette performed
The last flight starts...
A final view from out of this position...
The elementary cockpit almost gives the impression that 'anyone can fly' but of course it's just more than that
Also in the mountains at very high altitude the Alouette is at it's best !
It was a very succesful design that Aerospatiale brought into the market by that time !
Ah, here they are, Athos, Portos & Aramis ! Like three Musketeers  ;-)
The moment came that the instruments were used and checked for the last time....
....and finally the helmets are parked the last time.
To remain in imagery: The blue Athos, Portos, Aramis and D'Artagnan: One for all, all for one ! 
The ceremonial shower, brought by two crash-tenders. Thank you Alouette, that's all folks !


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