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  • More X-Craft!


    SA341G N341AS as seen at Kortrijik-Wevelgem Airport on 6th October 2013 (Photo: Ian Bauters)

    Zis, I think this must have been taken shortly after the 'X-Craft' arrived in Belgium.

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    • Indeed, I think the photo was taken on the arrival day... Xbdt will know better.

      Btw, I was hoping you may have noticed the photo I posted (previous page and again below) of the interior of N341AS - before she became N341AS!

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      • Originally posted by Zishelix View Post
        Btw, I was hoping you may have noticed the photo I posted (previous page and again below) of the interior of N341AS - before she became N341AS!
        Ah ha! Apologies. I did not instinctively recall (though I am sure you have mentioned it) that the 'X-Craft' was previously N6514S (if I have read correctly from your photo above).

        So .. XB has had some interesting past interiors in his craft!

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        • Well, that interior from N65146 was the most luxurious version you could get at the time. I forgot the name of it. I still had one seat cushion from it that I threw away maybe a month ago.

          The picture from october 6th 2013 is indeed one of the first nav flights about 20nm from my place. I replaced the red seat belts with black ones :-)

          This picture is one of my favourites:

          Last edited by xbdt; 25th April 2014, 13:44.

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          • Originally posted by xbdt View Post
            This picture is one of my favourites:
            And it is a great shot!

            However, can I make one small 'criticism' about the appearance of the 'X-Craft'?

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            • Of course, tell me

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              • Well, you are lucky to have the tailrotor driveshaft cover and and also the starboard side fenestron cover because, even though some say that every civilian Gazelle has these .. not all of them do. And, you also said that you are looking for skid fearings and which I think will make the craft 'complete'.

                Also, you have the 'classical' Gazelle paint scheme which I know Zishelix loves and I too enjoy so .. she's a fine looking Gaz!

                However (and this is just one of my personal preferences .. and it is not only your Gazelle) but .. I prefer when the battery compartment is not silver. Either painted black or matching the instrument panel colour (which is usually black). But just not to see the silver sides to the battery compartment - but this is just my preference!

                Please don't take offence!

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                • The tail boom cover is a mandatory item for all N registered aircraft.

                  Regarding the silver Saft battery, it is true what you say but I prefer to see a Gazelle as naked and as original as possible. They all went out of the factory like that. It is also a helicopter so it should be made as light as possible.

                  No offence taken ;-)

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                  • Understood.

                    I wonder what is behind the difference in the American regulation!

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                    • I think they don't like the spinning tail rotor shaft on the top of the tail boom. Imagine your hand in between!

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                      • I couldn't agree more. This then begs the question why the European regulators permit this on civilian-use aircraft?




                        Zis, some detective work for you no doubt as the information I have is limited. The pictures too are very poor and for which I apologise but .. this comes with the territory when tracking down 'rare' Gazelles!


                        Heli-Jet's Gazelle as photographed in 1973


                        The Heli-Jet Gazelle

                        No registration or construction number uncovered during my investigations but .. in the early 1970's (a good 15 years before HeliJet Canada was formed) there was a company known as Heli-Jet which was based in Lyon, France. Evidently they operated at least one Gazelle as per the above images.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by xbdt View Post
                          .. I prefer to see a Gazelle as naked and as original as possible.
                          Well then, I think you may appreciate this Gazelle which shows additional parts (including the battery) which are uncovered!

                          .

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                          • What battery?

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                            • A good cabin heater is needed I'd say!

                              Re: Heli-Jet Gazelle - My records show that the aircraft was c/n 1034 which was initially registered as F-WMHC then became F-BUFB which was sold to Heli-Jet in March 1973 and remained with them until April 1980. After this the aircraft was sold to Italy (to Unifly) where it became I-LDAV.

                              Here are some additional photos of F-BUFB taken while with Heli-Jet but wearing a different colour scheme. The photos are from her appearance in the French movie 'The Adventures of Rabbi Jacob' (1973).

                              Plus one which is in my album,


                              Heli-Jet SA341G F-BUFB c/n 1034

                              And it even has the battery covered for you!

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                              • Bravo Zis!

                                One can always count on you to fill-in the blanks when it comes to Gazelles!

                                More 'Rare Gaz' ..



                                SA341G PT-HFL (cn 1076) as seen at Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida on 28th May 1974

                                This Brasilian Gazelle is seen at Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida (the shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida) in the town of Aparecida (situated 168 km northeast of São Paulo in Brasil and from from where the Gazelle had arrived). On board was the late Monsignor Josemaría Escrivá, founder of Opus Dei.

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                                • Ah, so she was originally in green-white livery! Nice find, thanks!

                                  C/n 1076 "ended up" there because Aerospatiale had an idea to move Gazelle production to Brasil. They negotiated with a local businessman (who bought the helicopter and even built a huge facility for that purpose) but the project failed. So to this day it remains as the sole Gazelle on the PT-register.

                                  Due to turbine overhaul costs, it remained hangared since 1981. Then there were several unsuccessful attempts to send the helicopter to France for maintenance and eventually the owner decided to advertise the helicopter for sale at a price of USD 75.000 in 2001.

                                  The CofA expired in March 1982 but the reg was still current in September 2000. The sale offer was still valid in 2007. I don't know what happened with it since then but I was sent this photo below taken in October 2007 at Fazenda Vale Eldorado Airport which is in Atibaia which is a suburb of Sao Paulo so, there is a possibility that this is in fact PT-HFL but the information confirming this is not clear.

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                                  • Lenval Essex Ltd. (Kevin Turp) SA341G (cn 1455) G-TURP as seen at Manchester Airport in August 1988

                                    For more about G-TURP and stretched Gazelles, see page 4.

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                                    • This one as well as an interesting G-RALE slide were recently offered on eBay... sadly, can't afford them all for my collection

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                                      • Fear not Zis .. you will get them in the end, to be sure!

                                        Seeing as you mentioned G-RALE .. here she is:


                                        SA341G Gazelle (cn 1187) G-RALE as seen in October 1987, possibly at Carlisle Airport

                                        This Gaz began life as N87712 prior to being shipped to the UK in 1982 where she joined the fleet of Gazelles belonging to Specialist Flying Training in Cumbria when she became G-SFTG.

                                        From SFT she was bought, in 1986, by the rally driver Malcolm Wilson (hence the initials on the aircraft's tail) who renamed her G-RALE. During her time with Wilson there seems to have been an association with 'Air Cumbria' although details relating to this organisation are scarce.

                                        From Wilson she went to the Stratton Motor Company in Norwich in 1992 who renamed her G-GAZA which she flies as to this day with her new owner who is domiciled in Metlon Mowbray, Leicestershire .. a location known (in the UK) for its tasty pork pies!

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                                        • A nice overview of Specialist Flight Training's Gazelles here http://www.abpic.co.uk/search.php?q=...ing&u=operator

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                                          • More stretched Gazelle ..


                                            SA342J (cn 1473) G-TOPZ landing at Coney Park in Leeds, Yorkshire, on 25th November 2009 (Photo: Martyn Gill)

                                            Registered (at the time of this photo) to Top Yachts of Bristol but now flying (still in the UK as far as I know) as YU-HPZ.

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                                            • France's Aerotech Hoping to Capture New Business with Moroccan Air Force

                                              French Gazelle specialists Aerotech Group have displayed a specially armoured SA341F Gazelle helicopter at the 2014 Marrakesh Airshow in the hope of attracting interest from the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) who operate more than 20 examples of the type.


                                              Aerotech's SA341F 'Modern Armoured Desert Gazelle' equipped for desert combat
                                              operations as displayed at the 2014 Marrakesh Airshow


                                              The demonstration helicopter has been fitted with an array of new generation weaponry which Aerotech say could significantly enhance the RMAF's combat capability.

                                              If successful in their bid, Aerotech will offer to retrofit the RMAF Gazelles to accommodate the new systems.
                                              http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/ro...zelle-upgrade/

                                              http://www.aerotecgroup.com/ang/company.html

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                                              • Unlike their UK counterparts, the French Gazelles seem to be subject to a little more investment in order to keep them flying as military aircrafts mainly (as XBDT previously mentioned) to the developing countries.

                                                Btw, as F-GGTJ (now G-TOPZ) "starred" in an movie-for-adults back in 1999... sorry, no other pics

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                                                • Yes, as XB mentioned, to keep 'surplus' Gazelles out of Europe (so as not to compete with 'hopefully' new aircraft sales) plus .. foreign military sales are far more 'convenient' with aircraft being sold in batches and, usually, for a better price for the seller.

                                                  Do you happen to know which movie it was that F-GGTJ appeared in?

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                                                  • Just for curious Savoia. Movie link

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                                                    • Another nude battery!

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                                                      • I know Gazelles being attributed so far as "sleek", "nimble" etc. machines... but "erotic"?!

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                                                        • Ah right! I clearly failed to pick-up on your 'movie for adults' comment!

                                                          It seems therefore that this has become the 'Sexy Gazelles' page! Personally I blame the French!

                                                          We looked at G-RALE earlier and which now flies as G-GAZA:


                                                          SA341G G-GAZA (cn 1187) as seen at RAF Kemble on 20th August 2006 (Photo: Peter Olding)

                                                          RAF Kemble was home to the Red Arrows when they flew the Folland Gnat and which aircraft I remember well. Apparently RAF Kemble is now referred to as Cotswold Airport!

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                                                          • More Gazelles in Belgium ..


                                                            L'armée de Terre SA341F Gazelle BDK as seen at Liège-Bierset Airport on 11th May 2007 (Photo: Ad Vercruijsse)

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                                                            • She only had a short-stay, as the next day she departed.


                                                              (Photo by Tom Houquet)

                                                              Btw, 1388/BDK was accompanied in Belgium by 1175/BDA


                                                              (Photo by Frank van der Waardenburg)

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