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

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Lowry - Denver

Air & Space Museum

Upcoming Events

Saturday Oct 7
9:30AM TO 12:30PM
Exploration of Flight

Breakfast Fly-In

Breakfast Fly-In
Saturday, Oct 7 | 9:30AM to 12:30PM

Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight for monthly fly-ins featuring planes, pilots and breakfast!

On the first Saturday of every month, enjoy breakfast from a local food truck, watch aircraft fly in and explore interactive exhibits and simulators.

Purchase Tickets

Food Truck: Cruz In & Eat
Please note: Food purchases are not included in admission.

Pilots – Fly in for free breakfast! For tie-down space, contact or 303.360.5360 ext 160.

Saturday Oct 14
9:00AM TO 2:00PM
Exploration of Flight

Round Engine Roundup with an Eclipse Encounter

Round Engine Roundup with an Eclipse Encounter
Saturday, Oct 14 | 9:00AM to 2:00PM

Join us at Exploration of Flight for a roundup of round engine aircraft, featuring the Sea Fury. Plus, view the 2023 Annular Eclipse from Centennial Airport! Build your own telescope and create a moon phase calendar at our learning stations, followed by an educational talk about the eclipse from Wings Over the Rockies Curator Chuck Stout.

Arrive early for prime eclipse viewing, as the eclipse is expected to be visible in the area around 10:30 a.m. The first 100 people will receive free eclipse glasses to safely view the eclipse. Additional glasses will be for sale.

Pre-Purchase Tickets

Food Truck: Colorado Coney Company

Saturday Oct 14
10:00AM TO 11:00AM

Teachers Only | Professional Development: Nose Art

Teachers Only | Professional Development: Nose Art
Saturday, Oct 14 | 10:00AM to 11:00AM

Teacher Workshop: Nose Art

Teachers are invited to join us for this online workshop and learn a unique aerospace lesson to bring to your classroom!

As aviation developed, especially as the result of World War I, many pilots chose to decorate their aircraft with designs intended to intimidate their opponents, or to remind the pilots of easier times at home. During this unique program, participants will have a chance to review some of that remarkable history and develop their own insignia and learn how to generate the image on a square of aircraft aluminum.

Register below and you will receive a confirmation email with the online meeting link.

Register Here

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