39 ft. 3 in.
10 ft. 4 in.
34 ft. 5 in.
The Gazelle helicopter (officially Aérospatiale Gazelle series SA 340, SA 341 and SA 342) is known for its versatility, economy of operation, and reliability. It serves in both military and civilian roles including advanced training, executive transportation, scout, and anti-tank. Pilots appreciate its speed and response to control inputs.
The Gazelle helicopter has excellent high altitude abilities making it popular in the high mountains. The lightweight helicopter set three speed records while still in the prototype stage. It remains among the quickest helicopters in its class.
The French army first commissioned the original Gazelle as an observation helicopter. Westland started producing the Gazelle helicopter for Great Britain under license in 1970. The helicopter was upgraded with a more powerful engine and avionics in 1976.
The Gazelle helicopter served for both France and Great Britain during the Gulf War. The French equipped their helicopters with a 20 mm cannon and guided missiles for use in the anti tank role. The primary function of British Gazelles were as unarmed scouts and spotter helicopters. Iraq had utilized the Gazelle helicopter in their war with Iran. They have also seen action in the Falkland War, and in Bosnia.
Gazelle helicopter pilots have individual controls and a common instrument panel. Its rotor head is rated for aerobatic maneuvers, including loops. The rotors are fiberglass composite, three bladed. The helicopter features a Fenestron tail section for greater maneuverability, rotor protection, and reduced noise.
The Gazelle helicopter serves in numerous countries around the world, with Britain and France being the primary users. They have been seen in air shows performing with the British Blue Eagles air team. Over 1,800 Gazelle helicopters were built from 1967 until production ended in 1996.