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  • Wishing our members and readers a Happy Epiphany



    SA341F2 ZU-RLE (cn.1678) at Wonderboom in South Africa on 2nd October 2019 (Photo by Derek Heley)




    SA342 live fire demonstration in Qatar on 3rd January 2020

    Comment




    • Iraqi Air Force SA342 Gazelle (ex-ALAT machine) seen pre-delivery.

      Comment


      • Zishelix
        Zishelix commented
        Editing a comment
        Basically the same machines fitted with the Astazou XIV engine but L's were military export variant and M's for French Army only. So equipment makes the difference.

        I agree with Steve, Marseille (Marignane) airport probably at the beginning of 2011.

      • Savoia
        Savoia commented
        Editing a comment
        Okay grazie. So this would have been an 'M' which became an 'L' for export?

      • Fabrice
        Fabrice commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, definitely, picture taken in Marignane. Six former ALAT SA342Ms have been sold (or offered?) to Iraq, with codes ranging from YI-295 to -300.

        Externally, there are no differences between ALAT SA342Ms and 342L1s; only some minor instrument panel layout can make the difference. The 342L1 had a different cyclic stick handle on the right seat (the 'universal' stick, common with other Eurocopter types), while on the 342M both sticks are identical.

    • Originally posted by Savoia View Post
      Also do you happen to know the location?

      It looks like (MRS) Provence Airport Marseille.

      Comment


      • Savoia
        Savoia commented
        Editing a comment
        Grazie mille Stefano!



    • Wishing all of our Orthodox members and readers a very Merry Christmas!

      To find out why Orthodox Christmas Day is celebrated on 7th January, click here.

      ~ ~ ~

      In celebration of the Orthodox Christmas, and to round off our Snow Gazelles season, a selection of Russian Snow Gazelles ..


      SA341B RA-05709 (WA1184) as seen by the Bratsk Reservoir in November 2018
      (Photo courtesy of Avia member Kirill)



      RA-1347G in Russia February 2017


      RA-05714 departing home near Vladivostok in December 2016
      (Video courtesy of Avia member Vitaly)



      RA-05706 departing home near St. Petersburg in 2018

      Comment




      • Fenestron Servo for SA341G

        Call Lance on +1 760 803 9985

        Left and Right Engine & Transmission Cowlings for SA341G

        Contact Savoia at aviafora1@gmail.com

        ~ ~ ~

        ALSO WANTED: Cargo hook/swing for SA315B, contact Savoia.


        Road Gaz


        More Gaz frames headed for GI Joe!



        Comment


        • Zishelix
          Zishelix commented
          Editing a comment
          Reduction to produce?! Just an euphemism for scrapping, I'm afraid. The way they removed fenestrons doesn't look promising for their possible renovation.

          Thanks for your effort, Helipix!

        • Helipixman
          Helipixman commented
          Editing a comment
          Had a reply from GI Joe boss. He states that he had a few before Christmas and that they are all sold. Unfortunately did not say which ones ?

        • Savoia
          Savoia commented
          Editing a comment
          Well done Elipix! Hopefully he will let you know if he gets any more.

      • Anyone able to shed some light on this subject? https://www.defenceweb.co.za/aerospa...in-mozambique/

        Comment


        • Savoia
          Savoia commented
          Editing a comment
          We reported on this when it happened. The arrangement with the Mozambique government which saw the arrival of these Gazelles (which were arranged by Erik Prince) became the subject of a renegotiation from which (so I understand) Erik was ousted and a new arrangement made with the government of Russia who brought in some 'heavy' equipment.

          Not sure what happened to the Gazelles, perhaps returned from whence they came along the Mediterranean!

        • Zishelix
          Zishelix commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Sav, looks like I missed the specific post.

        • Savoia
          Savoia commented
          Editing a comment



      • F-MBWO NFI


        SA342M as see in Clermont-Ferrand, France in April 2000 (Photo by Oliver Bonnet)




        SA341C ZU-HBH (WA1418) as seen in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 26th December 2019 (Photo by Tyler Horrmann)

        Comment


        • Irish Air Corps '241' as a fake British Army Gazelle 'RX 168' during a movie filming near Baldonnel in January 18th, 1988 (Photo:Thomas Moloney)



          Any clue what was the movie's title?

          Comment




          • SA341B XZ338 VH-OIZ (WA1682) as seen at Edinburgh Air Force Base in Australia on 9th November 2019 (Photo by Mitch Coad)




            Alat operations in Djibouti 2019



            With our great thanks to Forces Françaises stationnées à Djibouti for responding to our request to upload this clip to You Tube.
            Merci beaucoup!

            Comment




            • F-WTNV as seen at Marignane in the 1970's (Photo via Zishelix)


              SA341 I-PJCG as seen in Ambri, Switzerland in August 1998 (Photo by Paul Schaller)

              Comment


              • Hi Gents!

                From 1973, French ALAT received SA341Fs: Astazou IIIC (440kW), MTOW 1800kg. Eventually all have been upgraded to SA341F2 standard (Astazou IIIC2 480kW, enhanced fenestron, MTOW 1900kg). SA 341 could be fitted with 20mm side-mounted gun, or with 4 HOT anti-tank missiles, without change in their designation.

                From 1980, SA342 have entered service; Astazou XIVM engine (with a slightly different engine cowling), NADIR navigation system with the distinctive box-shaped doppler under the aft fuselage. SA342M could also be armed with HOT missiles, but were never fitted with 20mm gun in the ALAT.

                30 SA342L1 have also joined the ALAT; originally built for a cancelled export contract (presumably for China), they are basically identical with the SA342M, except for some minor differences in the instruments board layout and a different cyclic stick handle on the right side. The SA342L1 have susequently be armed with 4 MISTRAL air to air missiles.

                70 of the SA342M have been upgraded to the 342M1 standard: with larger main rotor blades (AS555 model), they have a MTOW of 2100kg. They can be equipped with the Viviane night observation device which, asssociated with HOT missiles, has given to the ALAT for the first time the ability to fight by night.

                After the withdrawal of the MISTRAL weapon system on the Gazelle, some SA342L1 have also been upgraded with the enlarged blades, thus becoming SA342MA.

                Hope this can help!

                Regards,

                Fabrice

                Comment


                • Zishelix
                  Zishelix commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Welcome aboard, Fabrice!

                  Thanks for your kind explanation regarding ALAT Gazelle variants.



              • Greetings to you Fabrice!

                A warm welcome to Aviafora, we are happy to have you with us.

                Thank you for your comments, most appreciated.

                We look forward to hearing more from you.

                Regards

                Savoia

                Comment




                • SA342M as seen in Valence, France in 2018 (Photo by André Bour)




                  ZU-RLD in Nature's Valley, Western Cape, South Africa on 10th January 2020 (Photo by Graham Bekker)




                  Antonio will be showing this system at HAI 2020

                  Comment


                  • N102PR

                    Date and location unknown.


                    Comment


                    • Zishelix
                      Zishelix commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Wow indeed First time to see it, much appreciated XB!

                      I have N102PR as c/n 1154 delivered to Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority in 1974, later become N700SH. Must say I'm confused now because seems it's not the same airframe?!

                    • Savoia
                      Savoia commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Ha ha .. I knew you would have the background on this craft, grazie Zis! I'm guessing this is also reflected in her registration.

                      Elipix has discussed the issue with 'SH' earlier in the thread, although I can't find the post just now.

                    • Helipixman
                      Helipixman commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yep a new shot for me too ! Thanks XB

                      Zis - I'm sure I photographed N700SH in Florida and will find photograph at weekend to compare for you !

                  • Originally posted by Fabrice View Post
                    Hi Gents!

                    From 1973, French ALAT received SA341Fs: Astazou IIIC (440kW), MTOW 1800kg. Eventually all have been upgraded to SA341F2 standard (Astazou IIIC2 480kW, enhanced fenestron, MTOW 1900kg). SA 341 could be fitted with 20mm side-mounted gun, or with 4 HOT anti-tank missiles, without change in their designation.

                    From 1980, SA342 have entered service; Astazou XIVM engine (with a slightly different engine cowling), NADIR navigation system with the distinctive box-shaped doppler under the aft fuselage. SA342M could also be armed with HOT missiles, but were never fitted with 20mm gun in the ALAT.

                    30 SA342L1 have also joined the ALAT; originally built for a cancelled export contract (presumably for China), they are basically identical with the SA342M, except for some minor differences in the instruments board layout and a different cyclic stick handle on the right side. The SA342L1 have susequently be armed with 4 MISTRAL air to air missiles.

                    70 of the SA342M have been upgraded to the 342M1 standard: with larger main rotor blades (AS555 model), they have a MTOW of 2100kg. They can be equipped with the Viviane night observation device which, asssociated with HOT missiles, has given to the ALAT for the first time the ability to fight by night.

                    After the withdrawal of the MISTRAL weapon system on the Gazelle, some SA342L1 have also been upgraded with the enlarged blades, thus becoming SA342MA.

                    Hope this can help!

                    Regards,

                    Fabrice


                    Welcome, Fabrice. Thanks for this information which is most welcome.

                    My database contains all the ALAT serial numbers, including the 30 SA342L1 models of which I have 5 as having been converted to SA342MA models. However, I do have 74 serial numbers for the SA342M1 model (some of these may have crashed before the actual conversion).

                    I would be interested to exchange ALAT serial number data to further complete my Gazelle database. Do you have such information?

                    Jos Stevens, www.rotorspot.nl

                    Comment


                    • Fabrice
                      Fabrice commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hi Jos,

                      Very happy if I can help you, as I am a regular user of your excellent website!

                      From my own db,

                      -SA342M converted to M1: 3459, 3476, 3512, 3530, 3548, 3664, 3848, 3849, 3850, 3856, 3859, 3861, 3862, 3863, 3865, 3868, 3911, 3921, 3938, 3947, 3948, 3957, 3964, 3996, 4018, 4019, 4020, 4026, 4034, 4039, 4048, 4053, 4059, 4061, 4066, 4072, 4084, 4090, 4091, 4095, 4108, 4109, 4114, 4115, 4119, 4120, 4124, 4136, 4139, 4140, 4141, 4142, 4144, 4145, 4151, 4155, 4158, 4160, 4161, 4162, 4164, 4168, 4172, 4175, 4179, 4180, 4181, 4186, 4189, 4191, 4195, 4198 which makes 72 airframes.

                      -SA342L1 converted to MA: 4206, 4208, 4214, 4217, 4220, 4221, 4223, 4225, 4226, 4227, 4231; but my list for the latter ones may be incomplete because, AFAIK, the plan is to have all the 342L1s ultimately converted to the MA standard.

                      Cheers,

                      Fabrice

                    • Rotorspot
                      Rotorspot commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks ever so much, Fabrice. I will have a deeper look into these soon.



                  • Something of a navy day today ..


                    SA341C XZ941 (WA1758) evidently attached to 2 Flight Training School (Photo by Rick Brewell)


                    SA341C XX431 CU-43 (cn WA1382) as seen at Lee-on-Solent on 8th June 2019 (Photo by Gary Beale)

                    Presumably the sand bags over the skids are to prevent the craft from blowing away? Also, there seems to be something suck on the underside of the fenestron!

                    Can someone advise on the status of this Gaz because I can't see any civil registration for her.


                    Red Lechwe Gazelle

                    There are shrieking gazelles and then there are leaping gazelles ..


                    A red lechwe leaps across a water channel in Khwai in the Okavango Delta of Botswana in December 2019 (Photo by Wim Vorster)

                    There are many kinds of gazelle and if you check this pre-Snow Gazelles post you can see some Tibetan gazelles also known as goas. My favourite is the Thomson gazelle with its distinctive black stripe, but above is seen a red lechwe which is native to south central Africa.

                    Comment


                    • Zishelix
                      Zishelix commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Right horn shape also matters


                    • Savoia
                      Savoia commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Lol, yes indeed!

                  • Fabrice, do you happen to know ID of those ALAT Gazelle from the 43rd Marine Infantry Battalion (BIMA) which crashed in January 2018 near Abidjan while on operations in the Ivory Coast?

                    Comment




                  • SA341D G-CBKA (WA1746) as seen at Breighton on 22nd September 2013 (Photo by Eddie Walker)




                    SA341B 3D-HGZ (WA1600) as seen at Johannesburg Int. Airport on 12th December 2003 (Photo by Stephan Rossouw)

                    Comment


                    • Johan 'Juba' Joubert and his Gazelle racing a Jaguar F-type at the Kishugu Lowveld Air Show in 2018.

                      Comment


                      • Savoia
                        Savoia commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Very nice!



                    • SA342J 2-WILD (cn.1695) as seen at Cannes Mandelieu on 14th January 2020 (Photo courtesy ov Avia member Olivier)




                      SA342MV F-MGCB NFI (Photo by Anthony Osborne)

                      Comment


                      • Zishelix
                        Zishelix commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Nice one, Olivier! Any chance you have some air-to-air pic of the same machine?

                      • Zishelix
                        Zishelix commented
                        Editing a comment
                        This is 4158/GCB, photo taken at Kabul Airport in April 2011. Sadly this Gazelle crashed only two months later

                      • Savoia
                        Savoia commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Grazie Zis.

                    • I have this one:

                      Comment


                      • Zishelix
                        Zishelix commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Very nice, thanks XB!

                      • Savoia
                        Savoia commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Ha ha .. ah Zis, you are blessed to have such a speedy response to your request!

                        Bravo XB!

                      • Zishelix
                        Zishelix commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Indeed, I'm grateful for such assistance Once again, much appreciated XB!



                    • Gazelles at Stapleford on 15th January 2020




                      SA342J N624EL (cn.1094) as seen at Issy les Moulineaux on 26th August 2019 (Photo by Severin Hackenberger)




                      SA341F2 N341RD (cn.1501) as seen at Punta Gorda Airport in Florida on 2nd November 2019 (Photo by Holger Eultgen)

                      Comment


                      • Helipixman
                        Helipixman commented
                        Editing a comment
                        They both look like AH.1s so at a guess one is G-KEMH and another from the Kemet store not registered as yet !

                      • xbdt
                        xbdt commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I took this pic of G-KEMH on nov 22nd so could not be that one. I saw the 2 etch primed cabs but didn't notice any registration on them.


                      • Helipixman
                        Helipixman commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thats wonderful XB, great shot, the first we have seen of G-KEMH. So now we all wonder what the two unknown Gazelles are and who they are for ?

                        Did you notice if G-OGEO a 341G is still stored there, it belongs to a chap who lives about 10 miles from me up here in Scotland but has been at Stapleford for a good few years now.



                    • NFI probably AAC The Blue Eagles helicopter aerobatic team.

                      Comment


                      • Swift Copters SA342J(S) HB-ZFD (cn 1058) in March 2010 NFI

                        Comment




                        • G-BAGL as seen with Roley Fish, Terry Creed and two others at Weston-super-Mare c.mid-80's


                          G-BKLT as seen at Weston-super-Mare c.mid-80's


                          G-BKLV, GBKLT and BAGL as seen with Roley Fish (left) Terry Creed (centre) at Weston-super-Mare c.mid-80's


                          Helicopter Services Gazelles as seen at Weston-super-Mare c.mid-80's


                          Helicopters Services instructor and student as seen at Weston-super-Mare c.mid-80's


                          Helicopters Services instructors, students and a groundsman as seen at Weston-super-Mare c.mid-80's

                          *Groundsman is Savspeak for ground crew

                          (All photos courtesy of Dale Hawkins)


                          So, we have received the above photos from Dale Hawkins and for which we are most grateful, grazie Dale! Seeing these images has altered my understanding of what I 'thought' was the first privately painted 'camo' Gaz in the UK based on an isolated shot posted earlier in the thread of G-BAGL in the above scheme. This (I understand now) was obviously not the case, but the craft was instead wearing the left-over livery from her assignment with Helicopter Services (HSL) and which means the hunt is back on to identify the UK's first privately painted 'camo' Gaz.

                          It seems highly likely that HSL was a Westland-backed venture set-up to train foreign students (probably military) and as such not only served as a precursor to Specialist Flying Training (SFT) but was perhaps the catalyst for the creation of SFT? At least one of the HSL birds went on to serve with SFT.

                          Nosco .. are you still with us? Do you have any knowledge of HSL and its possible influence on the creation of SFT? For example, after HSL closed shop were Westland perhaps scouting for somewhere to send such students and therefore encouraging private investors to provide a solution? These were the Thatcher years after all, when privatisation was king!

                          Comment


                          • Zishelix
                            Zishelix commented
                            Editing a comment
                            What a great photos, thanks a million Mr Hawkins!

                          • Helipixman
                            Helipixman commented
                            Editing a comment
                            These are wonderful archive photographs and we are most grateful to see them, what an excellent addition to the forum

                            Thank you so much Mr Hawkins

                          • md600driver
                            md600driver commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I believe the first ex-mil civil Gazelle in camo was G-BZYD.


                        • Hello and greetings all!

                          HSL, I do remember, vaguely!

                          The HSL/SFT timeline must be very close, so determining if they were actually first, is not something I cannot really speculate on. John and/or Lynn Davey would be the only ones who could definitively comment on SFT’s creation and raison d’etre.

                          SFT’s original batch of student pilots went through their basic[aeroplane] flying training course at Hamble airfield in 1981/82. Their basic rotary training began on Bell 206 initially at Scone airfield, late 1982, before moving to Carlisle in mid-1983. The Gazelle part of their training began in August/September 1983. By 1984 both the Aeroplane/Rotary [basic and advanced] training was being carried out at Carlisle. There were [I think] three rotary batches and one aeroplane only batch.

                          Very late in the SFT story [1990/91’ish] at the time when John Davy was trading various Gazelle ‘assets’, G-BKLS/T became involved, but only then.

                          HSL’s fleet looks to consist of 4 aircraft [BAGL/BKLU/BKLS/BKLT], so a much smaller operation and Gazelle ‘only’. Presumably, their basic rotary had already been carried out elsewhere. Possibly too, another student batch, for the same client.

                          A photo included (below) of G-SFTZ, shown in 1984 [with G-SFTF-at rest, as was usual].

                          ‘TZ’ is still flying, the last survivor carrying the G-SFTx letters.

                          Regards

                          Nosco


                          Last edited by noscoavia; 6 days ago.

                          Comment


                          • Savoia
                            Savoia commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Felice anno nuovo (Happpy New Year) Nosco!

                            Lovely to hear from you and thank you for this info, much appreciated.



                        • Revisiting Tiger Meet 2017


                          SA342MV F-MGBY as seen north of Landivisiau in Brittany in 2017




                          SA341G G-IZEL (WA1098) as seen at Weston-super-Mare on 29th July 1995 (Photo by Peter Davis)


                          Stefano wrote: I believe the first ex-mil civil Gazelle in camo was G-BZYD.
                          Ah my apologies .. I should have been explicit in that I was referring to 'customised' civilian camo schemes such as that worn by your ex-Tweety Bird and which happens to be one of the finest examples out there .. followed closely by her 'shadow' N341GG.

                          But your remark does raise a question, which is this: The first Gazelles to be sold-off by the MoD were these all ex-RAF and Navy birds, and if so, when were the first British Army Gazelles (BAGS) sold and .. do we know who was the first to register a BAG?


                          Elsewhere on Avia

                          Be sure to check out the lovely 'Thira' on Heli-Dogs!

                          Comment


                          • Savoia
                            Savoia commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Grazie Stefano.

                            Not necessarily 'digital' camo just not standard military camo (ie. customised in some way) like this photo of G-BXJK for example: http://www.aviafora.com/forums/forum...=3503#post3503

                          • Helipixman
                            Helipixman commented
                            Editing a comment
                            G-BXZD and G-BXZE were both registered as md600 states on 25.8.98, but ... there was an ex-military Gazelle before that.

                            It was G-BXTH an RAF HT.3 and was registered to Flightline Ltd at Southend on 13.3.98. The owners were the late Iain Stewart and Alan Trotter both of whom I knew (and flew with) from my days at Elstree.

                            Not quite sure how they purchased this one, was it a private purchase or some kind of bid ? All I can say is although it was the first ex-military Gazelle to be registered, I dont think it was the first one to fly as they had certification problems. It was stored for many years at Southend before going to Blackpool for work for a permit.

                            The first ex-BAG Gazelles were:-
                            G-BZYC and G-BZYD both registered to Rob Lamplough (Aerocars Ltd) on 14.6.01 followed by
                            G-BZYJ to Military Helicopters Ltd, 3.4.02

                          • Savoia
                            Savoia commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Ha ha .. grazie Elipix! Of course I should have known that you would have this info!

                            So the first ex-BAG to be privately owned was WA1208 .. which now seems to be wearing a Filipino registration in the form of RP-C77?

                        • Does anyone know the exact RAL colours of ex-French camo scheme please.

                          Comment


                          • Savoia
                            Savoia commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Fabrice, can you assist with this?

                          • Fabrice
                            Fabrice commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Sorry, I can't be of a great help on this one. I just have the reference of the 'army green' used until the mid 90's approximately, which disappeared as the three tone camouflage was progressively introduced. And this reference is not an 'RAL' number ('army green 2420', high infrared reflectance).

                            Fabrice

                        • Not Gazelles, but continues the SFT story a little ...

                          Not only did SFT use the Slingsby T67M Firefly, they also had Norman NDN-1T Firecrackers.

                          Wonder if Nosco ever got a trip in one of them and what was it like ... looks like a really fast machine. Don't think they were a great success, most of them went to the USA.

                          G-SFTS Seen at Farnborough

                          Photo Helipixman Collection

                          Comment


                          • Savoia
                            Savoia commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Very interesting Elipix, grazie.

                            It seems the Firecracker lost out to the Shorts Tucano in the MoD's Jet Provost replacement competition, effectively sealing the aircraft's fate.

                          • noscoavia
                            noscoavia commented
                            Editing a comment
                            No, I never flew in one.

                            One 'aeroplane only' batch of students trained on the T67M and then progressed onto the NDN-1T.

                            Only two PT6 powered 'Firecrackers' ever flew. A third was partially constructed and registered (G-SFTT) but I never saw it, then or since (even in a photo).

                            The NDN-1T was not 'Gucci' enough for the RAF, so I was told. The PC-9 was their favourite in that 1984 competition, but the Government selected the Tucano for them. Now retired, the Tucano has been replaced by the Beechcraft T-6 variant of the PC-9!



                        • SA342M HA-HSG (cn.3615) as seen at Sherburn-in-Elmet Airfield on 18th January 2020 (Photo by Jez Poller)




                          XW845, XW895 and XW907 as seen at RNAS Yeovilton on 6th October 1997


                          Gaz Frame to be Auctioned



                          The fuselage of XX403 is to be auctioned at midday on 28th January.

                          For further details see here.

                          Comment


                          • Zishelix
                            Zishelix commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Hopefully XX403 will fly again. Seen at Middle Wallop in June 12th, 1998 during commemoration of the 25 years of Gazelle service in the Royal Army.

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