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IAR-317 Airfox

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I recently found about this interesting bird

As you may or may not know, IAR Brasov from Romania produced more than 200 SA 316 B Alouette III under license, as IAR-316B Alouette III.

A small attack chopper was derived from it, rather as a company product, not requested by the military. Only one prototype was built, which took to the air for the first time in August or September 1984, with a civilian paintsheme:



In June 1985 it was exhibited at Le Bourget:





It had the engine, tail assembly and landing gear ot the Alouette. Weapons comprised of
*2 conformal pods for a 7.62 mm machine gun with 800 rounds, on both sides of the nose
*4 hardpoints for twin-barreled 7,62mm machine gun pods, UB-4 rocket pods (57mm),
another 12-shot, 57mm rocket pod, 50 and 100 kg bombs
*6 rails for AT-3 Sagger ATGMs, positioned above the 4 hardpoints mentioned above

Apparently it suffered a hard landing sometimes in the erly 90's and since than the front part is stored inside a hangar at IAR Brasov:

http://www.cartula.ro/index.php?option=com_gallery2&Itemid=48&g2_itemId=15080&g2_page=1
 

Hood

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I'd been waiting for such good pictures of the Airfox for years.

In return here is some data from 'Air Forces of the World' by Chris Chant published 1990.

Length 9.8m, MTOW 2200kg, speed 124mph (200kmh), 545km range boosted to 870km with external tanks.

Armament: listed in 1990 as 2x 7.62mm (may be replaced by 20mm) 750kg of external stores on six hardpoints including 55mm rocket pods, MG pods, 50-100kg bombs or six 'Sagger' or two unspecifed AAMs.
 

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545km range boosted to 870km with external tanks.

Speculative, as no external tanks have ever been developed for/fitted to the IAR-316/317

Armament: listed in 1990 as 2x 7.62mm (may be replaced by 20mm) 750kg of external stores on six hardpoints including 55mm rocket pods, MG pods, 50-100kg bombs or six 'Sagger' or two unspecifed AAMs.

There were only 4 hardpoints with 6 rails for Saggers on top of them. The 6 rails could only take the Sagger, the 4 hardpoints beneath them various stores, as described.
The rockets would be S-5K/M caliber 57mm - standard ones for Warsaw Pact forces, not 55 mm.
No AAMs were ever fitted to IAR-316/317 - not even as a mock-up.

Here's a picture of an IAR-316B with exactly the same weapons layout as the Airfox:



And another one of the IAR-317 Airfox

 

rotorheadtx

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Not directly related to the Airfox, but another branch of the gunship development tree.
I believe these are shots of a Rhodesian conversion of the Alouette III.
 

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Retrofit

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Hummm, Rhodesia?
The manufacturer SUD AVIATION (then AErospatiale, now Eurocopter) did designed a close-support version of the Alouette III referenced as SA-3164 Alouette-Canon. first flight on 24 June 1964. It carried a 20mm cannon in front of the left-hand seat, and can be armed with 7.92mm machine-guns, pods of 18 or 36 HVAR rockets or Nord AS.11 or AS.12 anti-tank missiles on mountings on each side of the cabin.
Only one prototype built.
But several operators used the Alouette III armed with a lateral 20mm canon installed on the left side of the cabin and handled by the gunner seated on the rear bench.
 

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Side-mounted GIAT 20mm gun on a Portuguese's Alouette III
 

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kaiserbill

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rotorheadtx said:
Not directly related to the Airfox, but another branch of the gunship development tree.
I believe these are shots of a Rhodesian conversion of the Alouette III.

Hmmmm ... the anti tank missiles on that modified Allouette appear to be SS11 which I don't think Rhodesia had.. My guess that it is a French modification, or possibly South African?

The Airfox makes an interesting comparison to the South African Alpha XH1.
 

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Stingray

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Well, www.aviastar.org states that the XH-1 was "an experimental tandem-seat attack helicopter based on the Alouette III."

http://www.aviastar.org/helicopters_eng/denel_xh-1.php
 

kaiserbill

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Yes, the XH-1 had the Alouette tailboom and engine/rotor assembly married to a new tandem seat front fuselage. That is why it makes an interesting comparison to the Airfox, which also has Alouette tailboom and rotor,engine assembly with a new front fuselage. The XH-1 was used in the developement of the Rooivalk.
 

Stingray

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Thats correct. More specificly, it was a weapons and engine research model for the Rooivalk. But Atlas also used a Puma for the weapons and engine research too, and thats why the Rooivalk has such similar engines and avionics to the Puma. The experamental Puma is designated XPT-1 Beta.
 

kaiserbill

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Picture of Alpha XH1 in flight.
 

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lancer21

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Something new, the initial project for the Airfox that was apparently called IAR-320, from 1981-1982:
http://romanian-spotters.forumer.ro/t7967-foto-concurs-prototip-elicopter-iar

Not clear if this was actually a flying prototype, or just a mock-up.
 

Maveric

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After translation the text, I believe this model named IAR.320!
 

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