Air & Space Museum

Aerospatiale AS316 Alouette III

Aerospatiale AS316 <span data-lazy-src=

Today hospital-based helicopter ambulance services all over the world save hundreds of lives every day, but in 1972, there was just one, and it was in Denver, Colorado.

At that time, emergency medical services were brand new. Using lessons learned during combat in Korea and Vietnam, hospitals were improving emergency room procedures and ambulance companies were hiring the first paramedics and emergency medical technicians.

Staff at St. Anthony Hospital in Denver had been working on using helicopters to transport severely-injured patients, but creating this complex emergency response system involved bringing together first responders, trauma surgeons, nurses, hospital staff, and government officials. Communication links had to be established, procedures created, and new technology developed. The hospital built a helipad on the roof, but the missing piece was a helicopter that could function well on hot days in Denver’s thin atmosphere.

The French Alouette III was perfect for the job. It was large enough for the pilot, two flight nurses, and two patients. Its powerful turbine engine gave it exceptional performance at high altitudes. Flight for Life used Alouette III helicopters from 1972 to 1992, replacing them with Aerospatiale AS350 aircraft that are still in use today.

Aircraft specifications:
Length: 32 ft 11 in (10.03 m)
Rotor diameter: 36 ft 2 in (11.02 m)
Maximum speed: 130 mph (210 km/h)
Maximum weight: 4,850 lbs (2,200 kg)
Engine: Turbomeca Artouste IIIB turboshaft, 570 hp (425 kW)
Ceiling: 10,500 ft (3,200 m)
Carries pilot, flight nurses, and one or two patients

Air & Space Museum Air & Space Museum

Lowry - Denver

Air & Space Museum

Upcoming Events

Friday Aug 19
10AM TO 3PM
Air & Space Museum

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!
Friday, Aug 19 | 10AM to 3PM

Join us in celebrating the development of aviation this National Aviation Day and PAY AS YOU WISH!

Enjoy special activities including:

  • Paper airplane building
  • Flight simulator sessions
  • Select open cockpits
  • Science demos
  • Scavenger hunts
  • And more!

Your donation helps to support Wings’ mission to educate, inspire and excite all people about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future.

National Aviation Day celebrations will also be held at Exploration of Flight at Centennial Airport! Click here to learn more.

Please note: Pricing for MaxFlight and Doron simulator experiences are standard Wings pricing. Pay as You Wish offer is valid on 8/19/22 at both Wings locations. Pre-sale tickets not available for this event. Admission will be available at the door.

Friday Aug 19
10AM TO 3PM
Exploration of Flight

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!

Aviation Day | Pay As You Wish!
Friday, Aug 19 | 10AM to 3PM

Join us in celebrating the development of aviation this National Aviation Day and PAY AS YOU WISH!

Enjoy special activities including:

  • Paper airplane building
  • Spinning helicopters
  • Talk with pilots and explore aircraft
  • Scavenger hunts
  • And more!

Your donation helps to support Wings’ mission to educate, inspire and excite all people about aviation and space endeavors of the past, present and future.

National Aviation Day celebrations will also be held at the Air & Space Museum in Denver! Click here to learn more.

Please note: Pay as You Wish offer is valid on 8/19/22 at both Wings locations. Pre-sale tickets not available for this event. Admission will be available at the door.

Saturday Aug 20
10AM TO 11AM
Exploration of Flight

Speaker Series | Aviation Archaeology

Speaker Series | Aviation Archaeology
Saturday, Aug 20 | 10AM to 11AM

Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight and the Colorado Aviation Historical Society to hear from experts in aviation archaeology and field work.

Presentations will take place at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

This event is included in Exploration of Flight admission.

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