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SA321Kb Super Frelon serial 015 at the Hatzerim Museum

Unit History


114 Squadron

(114 Tayeset "Ha'Super Frelon" - The Super Frelon Squadron)
Role: Helicopter Assault/Heavy Transport

A communications/multi-engined training squadron, designated 114 sqn, was formed after the armistice, in March 1949, with Avro Ansons and Airspeed Consuls as its initial equipment. Nine Ansons and fifteen Consuls were delivered. The Ansons were ex-RAF aircraft, and the Consuls were purchased from the UN commission in Palestine. Both types served as multi-engine pilot, radio and navigation trainers, and also as light utility transports. On 1 April 1956 the Anson strength stood at 7 aircraft. Both types were based at Kfar Sirkin (the Flight School). The unit was disbanded later in 1956.

114 sqn was reformed in April 1966, specifically to operate the SA321 Super Frelon helicopter. It gained the nickname 'SPS'. Initial deliveries were of the amphibious SA321Ka variant, featuring large stabilising floats above the main wheels, and an external rescue winch.

Only five of the type had been delivered by the time of the Six Day War. During the war, Super Frelons participated in the assault on Sharm El Sheikh and also the capture of the Golan Heights. Despite a French arms embargo following the war, a further seven Super Frelons were delivered. These latter examples were of the non-amphibious SA321Kb variant, without the floats or rescue winch. At least two more examples were delivered subsequently.

The year 1968 saw the type put to further use. On the evening of 31 October, two Super Frelons were used to fly a force of paratroopers to an Egyptian hydro-electric station and dam on the Upper Nile river and destroy both. On 28 December, the same year, four Super Frelons safely transported a commando force to Beirut Airport, where thirteen Arab airliners were destroyed in retaliation for a PLO attack. During the Yom Kippur War, the main role was casualty evacuation.

Immediately following the end of the Yom Kippur War, a number of US Marine Corps CH-53As were supplied by the US as emergency aid. These aircraft supplemented the Frelons and were initially distinguished by the lack of an in- flight refuelling probe. They were later upgraded to S-65C-3 standard.

During 1974-75, the surviving Super Frelons were re-engined with the more reliable American T58-GE-16 turboshaft, an improvement which was not entirely successful. Both types performed a typical variety of roles in the invasion of Lebanon in 1982: rescuing of downed aircrews, casualty evacuation and troop transport. With its relatively quiet and roomy cabin, and low vibration levels, the Super Frelon has proved ideal for VIP transport. The Frelons were retired in 1991.

Approximately thirty of the surviving IDF/AF S-65s are currently being rotated through an update programme known as Ya'sur 2000. The improvements include a completely new electrical system and avionics suite, and the substitution of unreliable mechanical components with modern low maintenance items where possible. The first was handed over to the IDF/AF on 2 February 1993.

Close-up of the unit marking on 015

SA321Kb Super Frelon serial 010

Close-up of the unit marking on 010

Float equipped SA321Ka serial 020

S-65 serial 717 low over the beach.
(photo, Israeli Air Force)
Another view of 717.
(photo, Israeli Air Force)

Air Bases:
Base Duration
Kfar Sirkin March 1949-1956
Tel Nov 1966-Present

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Badge Example Serials
Anson I4March 49 -1956-02
Anson I4April 49 -1956-06,07
AS65 Consul18?March 49 - 1956  08,14
SA321Ka520 Apr 66 - 1991?109,408
SA321Kb7+2Late 1967 - 1991?108,010,102,120,121
CH-53A (S-65C-3)12Oct 73 - Present143,54, 960,961,247

Unit Insignia:
Figure 1
Figure 1 courtesy of Amos Dor



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First Created: 9 January 1998 - Last Revised: 21 November 1998
Copyright © 1998 John Hayles.     e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk