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Encyclopedia - Aerospatiale Gazelle

In 1968 Westland and Aerospatiale combined forces in an Anglo-French agreement to design a new light helicopter. First flown on 7 April 1967, the Aerospatiale Gazelle has seen widespread service with various armed forces around the world. Besides being a military success, the Gazelle was also the first helicopter to be certified to fly with a single pilot in Cat I weather conditions. Besides Westland, the Aerospatiale Gazelle was also produced under licence by Soko in the former Yugoslavia and ABHCo in Egypt.

The Aerospatiale Gazelle is a five-seat, single-engine turbine helicopter. Large bubble glazing and a central instrument pod offers excellent visibility for the flight crew. The Turbom├ęca Astazou XIV turboshaft engine drives a three-bladed main rotor and a Fenstron tail rotor. The fact that the Aerospatiale Gazelle was the first helicopter to feature the Fenestron tail rotor design, makes it the quietest helicopter in its era.

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Aerospatiale SA-342M Gazelle


Crew : Two (Pilot and Observer)
Accommodation : Up to 3 passengers in the liaison role


Number Of Engines : One
Powerplant type : Turbom├ęca Astazou XIVM turboshaft
Max Power Rating : 604kW (858shp)


Length, Rotors Turning : 11.97m (39ft 3.3in)
Height, Rotors Turning : 3.19m (10ft 5.6in)
Main Rotor Diameter : 10.50m (24ft 5.4in)
Main Rotor Disc Area : 86.59m2 (932.08sq ft)
Tail Rotor Diameter : 0.695m (2ft 3.4in)


Empty Weight : 991kg (2,184lb)
Max Take-off Weight : 1,900kg (4,188lb)
Internal fuel load : 425 litres (937lb)

Landing Gear

Type : Fixed twin-skid landing gear
Skid Track : 2.015m (6ft 7.3in)


Max Speed At Sea Level : 140kt (260km/h; 161mph)
Maximum Range : 710km (440mi)
Initial Climb Rate : 1,535ft (468m) per minute
Service Ceiling : 13,450ft (4,100m)

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