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 Dec 3
9:30AM TO 12:30PM
Exploration of Flight

Breakfast Fly-In

Breakfast Fly-In
Saturday, Dec 3 | 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.

Pre-Purchase Tickets

Featured Food Truck in December: 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.

*Weather permitting

Tuesday Dec 6

Colorado Gives Day

Colorado Gives Day
Tuesday, Dec 6

Help Wings reach new heights this Colorado Gives Day!

Your gift will help support our educational programming and student learners, engaging exhibits, aircraft restoration and more!

Donate now! All support through December 6th counts towards Colorado Gives Day and the incentive fund. All participating Colorado Gives Day nonprofits earn a percentage of the fund. Visit our Colorado Gives Day Page or donate below.

Saturday Dec 10
10:00AM TO 2:00PM
Air & Space Museum

Cockpit Demo Day

Cockpit Demo Day
Saturday, Dec 10 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM

Get an up close look inside select aircraft at the museum and learn all about the history of the aircraft, instruments and controls!

Featured Aircraft in December:

  • North American F-100 Super Sabre
  • Martin EB-57
  • Alexander Eaglerock
  • Bede BD-5 (WC)
  • Cessna U-3A


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