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Shrieking Gazelles

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  • More Ukrainian Gazelles may be found here.

    Btw, there's a "new" one in Belgium.




    N505HA seen at Knokke-Heist Heliport (EBZZ) in May 30th, 2014 by Paul Link

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    • Most interesting. So the Belgian Gazelle population has gone from none to three in less than a year?

      Can we assume, given the American registration, that XB is involved?

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      • Yes, I found N505HA for a friend and flew it back to Belgium about 6 weeks ago.

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        • Bravo XB, fantastico!

          On behalf of Zishelix and myself and the 'Shrieking Gazelles' thread, please accept this little award:





          Hopefully during the summer you may get an opportunity for a photo with all three craft together .. and which of course we would love to see!

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          • At the moment there are 3, but I expect some more in the near future.

            I have 2 friends dying to get one and a Dutch friend of mine will get his completely repainted (stretched version) in exactly 2 weeks.

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            • Great news!

              We would be grateful for a photo of the repainted Gazelle once its finished.

              I see that N505HA has no muffler around the air intake. Is the increase in noise levels (internal and external) noticeable?

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              • I'll post a picture here of the repainted and re-registered G-MANN.

                Yes without the intake muffler it is very very loud inside and outside.

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                • Grazie XB!

                  Originally posted by xbdt View Post
                  Yes without the intake muffler it is very very loud inside and outside.
                  A truly 'shrieking Gazelle' and which I am sure Zishelix would enjoy!

                  Btw, do you know if G-MANN will remain in Belgium?

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                  • It is ex-G-MANN, now YU-HVZ and will be hangared in the Netherlands (a couple of miles from the Belgian border).

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                    • All good news XB. I think we can say then that within the past 10 months four Gazelles have found there way to 'De Lage Landen'!


                      An unidentified SA341 over France in 1971

                      Perhaps Zis can assist to identify which craft this was?

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                      • Sure, it's F-OCRX from the very beginning of this thread... and the photo was taken in USA during 1972 while she was Vought Helicopters Co. demo machine. So now it's no longer unidentified.

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                        • s/n 1003 indeed one of the first produced.

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                          • Grazie Zis!

                            Where would we be without our resident Gazelle history expert!

                            XB, can you confirm please what this is?

                            It looks like a drag brace of some description but .. it also looks 'over-engineered' (too big). Was this component designed like this from the beginning? Can you say something about it?


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                            • Yes, these are the drag dampers (or lead-lag dampers). As the Gazelle rotor head has no drag hinges (only flapping hinges), the movement has to be absorbed by the composite blades and the elastomeric dampers. These pieces have a life of 6000 hours and cost 15000 EUR/ea. :-)

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                              • Grazie XB!

                                This sounds similar to the Bell 206 tension and torsion (TT) straps (equivalent to the Gazelle torsion tie-bar). They must be replaced every 1,200 hrs or every 24 months at a cost of around USD 4,400 each.

                                Is there a calendar life on the Gazelle's drag dampers?



                                Bell 206 TT strap fitted inside main rotor hub


                                Bell 206 TT straps

                                The above straps are made by Airwolf Aerospace and have an extended calendar life of 36 months.


                                Gazelle torsion tie-bar (failed circled) from the late I-OLLY


                                Gazelle TTB (failed) fitted in hub

                                For more about the tragedy of I-OLLY see page 4.

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                                • No, you are confusing things. The lead-lag damper is simply to allow more movement than the blade can handle. Inside the sleeves there are TT straps (Torsion and Tension). These TT straps hold the blade to the MR hub.

                                  The dampers are 6000 hours or on condition. The TT straps are 2000 hours or 10 years whatever comes first.

                                  In the past, the Gazelle TT straps were OC, but after 30 to 35 years, 2 accidents occurred where people lost a blade in flight with fatalities of course. Since then, these are 10 year component; also they need to be inspected every 2 years. One damper is 15000 EUR, one TT strap is 5000 EUR.

                                  Old TT straps were made in the UK I think (need to check this on my old straps), new ones are from LORD Corporation, Dayton (USA)

                                  http://www.lord.com/products-and-sol...tt)-straps.xml

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                                  • Yes I understood they were different but was remarking that there are 'similarities' in that they are another rotorhead component which requires replacement although the TT straps for the Gazelle (from what you are saying) have a considerably better calendar life at 10 years!

                                    Originally posted by xbdt View Post
                                    2 accidents occurred where people lost a blade in flight with fatalities of course.
                                    Yes, I mentioned on page 4 the tragic loss of I-OLLY and the British Army Gazelle ZA777.




                                    L'armée de Terre SA342M 4124-GBS as seen at Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Air Base (Camp de la Horie) in France on 14th June 2014

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                                    • Since I can't contribute much about techical aspect (I leave that to the expert ), let me say few words about the above SA.342M (actually 342L1 now).

                                      History: Delivered to ALAT in May 1985; seen coded 4124/AOV 7/85; 4124/ATP 7/89; 4124/AES 3/93 & 4/96; 4124/BPD 6/98; 4124/BMC 5/06 & 7/07; 4124/GBS 9/12 & 6/14.

                                      This aircraft also served with the French contingent of Gazelles which were used in UN operations in the former Yugoslavia in 1992.






                                      Last edited by Zishelix; 4th July 2014, 22:24.

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                                      • Grazie Zis!

                                        Do you happen to know the differences between an 'M' and an 'L1'?



                                        Army Air Corps Gazelle aboard HMS Ark Royal

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                                        • Updated SA.342M and retrofitted with Ecureuil-type main rotor blades to improve performance.

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                                          • Okay grazie.

                                            Do you know if you can retrofit Ecureuil blades on a civilian Gazelle? I should be interested to see the flight manual supplement documenting the performance improvements. I imagine a better rate of climb as well as payload and speed?

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                                            • I'm not aware of any civilian Gazelles being equipped with the Ecureuil blades.

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                                              • Okay grazie.


                                                SA342L Gazelle TR-KCU from Gabon

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                                                • Some sources say that there are 8 SA.342L in Gabon (Army)... but I doubt that info is correct.

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                                                  • So do you think there could be more!


                                                    British Army Gazelles (assigned to the Blue Eagles)


                                                    British Army Gazelle SA341B XZ310 of 670 Squadron (assigned to the Blue Eagles) as seen at Fairford on 29th July 1994 (Photo: Martin Pole)

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                                                    • Originally posted by Savoia View Post
                                                      So do you think there could be more!
                                                      Sadly no, less ... 5 to be exact.

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                                                      • Some older shots of Lebanese Air Force Gazelles. No further details unfortunately:



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                                                        • The Gazelle is highly praised in the middle eastern region.

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                                                          • Everyone I have spoken with who has flown the Gaz has always said that they enjoy the aircraft so, Sud Aviation must have done something right!


                                                            SA342L ZU-RHH as seen at Rand Airport in South Africa on 26th September 2013 (Photo: Bruce Perkins)

                                                            This is also an ex-Middle East (or Near East) Gazelle being an ex-Syrian then Israeli example.

                                                            Seen here imitating an Alouette II.

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                                                            • It's not so unusual to see Gazelle flying without the engine cowlings.

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