The Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-size utility helicopter marketed for both civil and military use. Originally designed and built by Aérospatiale, it is an enlarged and re-engined version of the original Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma. The Super Puma first flew on 13 September 1978.

Design and developmentEdit

In 1974, Aérospatiale commenced development of a new medium transport helicopter based on its SA 330 Puma, announcing the project at the 1975 Paris Air Show. While the new design was of similar layout to the AS 330, it was powered by two of the new and more powerful Turbomeca Makila turboshaft engines powering a four-bladed composite main rotor, and was designed to be withstand damage better, with a more robust fuselage structure, a new crashworthy undercarriage and the ability to withstand battle damage to the rotor blades and other key mechanical systems.[1] It was fitted with a ventral fin under the tail a more streamlined nose compared with the SA 330,[2] while from the start was planned to be available with two fuselage lengths, with a short fuselage version offering similar capacity to the SA 330, which gives better performance in "hot and high" conditions and a stretched version allowing more passengers to be carried when weight is less critical.[3]

A pre-production prototype, the SA 331, modified from a SA 330 airframe with Makila engines and a new gearbox, flew on 5 September 1977.[4] The first prototype of the full Super Puma made its maiden flight on 13 September 1978, being followed by a further five prototypes.[5]

The type has proved immensely successful, chosen by 37 military forces around the world, and some 1,000 civil operators.Template:Citation needed The Super Puma has proved especially well-suited to the North Sea oil industry, where it is used to ferry personnel and equipment to and from oil platforms. In civilian configuration it can seat approximately 18 passengers and two crew, though since the early 2000s most oil companies have banned use of the middle-rear seat reducing effective capacity to 17+2. This down-rating is due to difficulties encountered in evacuating through the rear-most windows in crashes at sea.

A wide variety of specialised military variants are in use, including dedicated Search and rescue (SAR) and Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) versions. Since 1990, military Super Pumas have been marketed as the AS532 Cougar.

Operational historyEdit


File:PR helicoptero.jpg

The VH-34 is the Brazilian Air Force designation of the helicopter used to transport the President of Brazil. Two modified military versions of the Eurocopter Super Puma, tail numbers 8737 and 8740, are currently used as the main presidential helicopters. The aircraft is configured to carry fifteen passengers plus three crew members.[6]


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File:Swedish Super Puma 1.jpg


SA 331
Initial prototype, based on SA 330 airframe, first flew on 5 September 1977.[5]
  • AS 332A - Commercial pre-production version.
  • AS 332B - Military version.
  • AS 332B1 - First military version.
  • AS 332C - Production civil version.
  • AS 332C1 - Search and rescue version, equipped with a search radar and six stretchers.
  • AS 332F - Military anti-submarine and anti-ship version.
  • AS 332F1 - Naval version.
  • AS 332L - Civil version with more powerful engines, a lengthened fuselage, a larger cabin space and a larger fuel tank.
  • AS 332L1 - Stretched civil version, with a long fuselage and an airline interior.
  • AS 332L2 Super Puma Mk 2 - Civil transport version, fitted with Spheriflex rotor head and EFIS.
  • AS 332M - Military version of the AS 332L.
  • AS 332M1 - Stretched military version.
  • NAS 332 - Licensed version built by IPTN, now Indonesian Aerospace (PT. Dirgantara Indonesia).
  • VH-34 - Brazilian Air Force designation for the two VIP configured Super pumas, serial numbers 8737 and 8740



  • Bristow Helicopters Ltd - operates a fleet for North West Shelf hydrocarbon personnel transfer operations
  • 2 AS 332L1's in service with Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) and used for offshore operations to ferry workers to and from Caspian Sea oil rigs, and to transport passengers.[7]
  • Used by Petrobras Oil
  • German Federal Police
  • Three aircraft in use with the Finnish Border Guard.[8]
  • CHC Helicopter
  • Bristow Norway
  • CITIC Offshore Helicopter (COHC)
  • CHC Helicopter
  • Cougar Helicopters
Hong Kong
  • Government Flying Service - operates 3 AS332L2 for SAR operations and transport for Hong Kong Police
  • Coast Guard
  • Coast Guard
  • Tokyo Fire Department
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department
  • Malaysia Helicopter Services - chartered by PETRONAS for its upstream operations offshore the states of Terengganu and Sarawak.
  • Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie
United Kingdom
  • British Airways Helicopters (1983–1986)
  • Bristow Helicopters Ltd - operates a fleet of around 20 airframes for North Sea hydrocarbon personnel transfer operations
  • Bond Offshore Helicopters
  • CHC Scotia Helicopters
United States of America
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (2011–Present) - Operates 3 Super Pumas primarily as the main rescue helicopters known as Air Rescue 5. Replaces their Sikorsky H-3 Sea Kings towards the middle of 2012.
Puerto Rico
  • Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority - Utilises one AS332C, N5800Z, for powerline construction and external load operations


File:Singapore navy Super Puma.jpg
File:Aérospatiale AS 332 Super Puma Força Aeronaval, Esquadrão UH-14.jpg
File:H-34 Super Puma da FAB.jpg

Romanian Air Forces

  • Argentine Army 3 AS-332B
  • Brazilian Air Force (532MK1)
  • Brazilian Army (532UE)
  • Brazilian Navy (532MK1)
  • Chilean Army (332M)
  • Chilean Navy (332F1)
  • People's Liberation Army Air Force
  • Ecuadorian Army (332M)
  • Gabonese Air Force
  • Flugbereitschaft des Bundesministeriums der Verteidigung (German Air Force)
  • Greek Air Force (332C1)
  • Icelandic Coast Guard (operates 3 - AS 532U2)
  • Indonesian Air Force
  • Indonesian Navy
  • Royal Jordanian Air Force (332M)
  • Kuwait Air Force (332M)
  • Military of Malawi
  • Mexican Air Force - for VIP transport.[12]
  • Nepalese Army Air Service
  • Nigerian Air Force (332B)
  • Royal Air Force of Oman
  • Pakistan Army
  • Panamanian Air Force/National Air Service (332L)
Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Navy (332F)
  • Republic of Singapore Air Force
  • 125 Squadron operates 22 AS332M Super Pumas
  • Spanish Air Force (332B and 332M)
  • Spanish Army (332B)
  • Swiss Air Force (332M)
  • Swedish Air Force
  • Royal Thai Air Force
United Arab Emirates
  • United Arab Emirates Navy
  • Venezuelan Air Force (332B)
  • Vietnam People's Air Force (332L)
  • Bolivian Air Force (332M)

Notable accidents and incidentsEdit

  • 14 March 1992 - G-TIGH lost control and crashed into the North Sea near East Shetland Basin. 11 of the 17 passengers and crew died.[13]
  • 19 January 1995 - G-TIGK Operated by Bristow Helicopters ditched in the North Sea. No Fatalities. Aircraft lost.
  • 8 September 1997 - LN-OPG, an AS332 L1 operated by Helikopter Service AS from Brønnøysund to the Norne oil field suffered a catastrophic main gearbox failure and crashed, killing all 12 aboard.[14] Eurocopter accepted some but not all of the AAIB/N recommendations.[15]
  • 23 November 2003 - an HKP-10 Super Puma from the Swedish armed forces crashed during night time sea rescue exercises. Six out of the seven onboard died. SSRS Märta Collin, the boat conducting the excersise, rescued the lone survivor from the jet fuel soaked sea.
  • 21 November 2006 - A Eurocopter AS332 L2 search and rescue helicopter ditched in the North Sea. The aircraft was equipped with two automatic inflatable life rafts, but both failed to inflate. The Dutch Safety Board afterwards issued a warning.[16]
  • 1 April 2009 - G-REDL a AS332L2 belonging to Bond Offshore Helicopters with 16 people on board, crashed into the North Sea 13 miles (21 km) off Crimond on the Aberdeenshire coast. There were no survivors.[17] The AAIB's initial report found that the crash was caused by a "catastrophic failure" in the aircraft's main rotor gearbox epicyclic module (see April 2009 North Sea helicopter crash).[18]
  • 11 November 2011 - XC-UHP AS332-L Super Puma of Mexico's General Coordination of the Presidential Air Transport Unit crashed in the Amecameca region south of Mexico City. Mexico's Secretary of the Interior Francisco Blake Mora died in this accident along with 7 other crew and passengers.[19]

Specifications (AS332 L1)Edit

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Specifications (AS332 L2)Edit

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  • Jackson, Paul. "Super Puma". Air International, January 1984, Vol. 26 No. 1. ISSN 0306-5634. pp. 7–12, 33–35.
  • Lake, Jon. "Variant File: Super Puma and Cougar: AS 332, AS 532 and EC 725". International Air Power Journal, Volume 3, Winter 2001/2002. Norwalk, Ct, USA:AIRtime Publishing, 2002. ISSN 1473-9917, ISBN 1-880588-36-6. pp. 80–93.
  • Lambert, Mark (editor). Janes's All The World's Aircraft 1993-94. Coulsdon, UK:Jane's Data Division, 1993. ISBN 0-7106-1066-1.


External linksEdit


Template:Eurocopter Template:Aviation lists