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Shrieking Gazelles

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  • G-BKLS

    This was one of a batch of five Gazelles imported by Helicopter Services Ltd of Weston Super Mare (a training division of Westland Helicopters).

    The aircraft were

    1455 G-BKLS
    1245 G-BKLT
    1136 G-BKLU
    1307 G-BKLV
    1295 G-BKLW

    These all arrived on 15.12.82 on board the SS Atlantic Causeway, via Southampton Docks, and were then roaded to Weston Super Mare.



    • Great stuff Elipix!

      This then must represent the next biggest import of civvy Gazelles after the SFT birds?

      Look what came in overnight ..

      Originally emailed from John


      You wrote that you've been looking for images of the Bulldog Airways fleet. I've got this clipping from the cover of an old Bulldog report showing what I think is the Gazelle posted by Helipixman. The quality isn't so good but maybe you can add it to your collection.



      Mack Truck Corporation's SA341G(S) Gazelle N14MT (cn 1455) as seen over the Hudson River, New York City, in 1978

      Giovanni .. Grazie mille!

      I thought these sort of things had stopped happening but, it just goes to show how wrong one can be! My great thanks to Aviafora reader John - this is a beautiful and amazing photo!

      Grazie infinite !!!

      ps: Anyone with helicopter photos that they wish to contribute to my collection (I collect most types pre-1990) you may email me at:


      • Wish also to express my thankfulness to our reader John for this beautiful photo of N14MT! Such nice contribution to the thread, indeed


        • Originally posted by Savoia View Post

          Some nice shots of the Kurtcraft (N700SH) on an outing on 4th July 2015 (awaiting confirmation of the date).

          All photos by Tom Buysse:

          Kurt, can you please confirm these photos were taken on 4th July, and also, can you say over which part of Belgium you were flying.

          Hi Sav,

          Flight details: Flight from to EBZM on Friday 26/06/15 (17:30 - 17:42 local time).

          This was a flight with my son, my father and father-in-law.

          Pictures taken by Tom Buysse.


          • Some helicopter and military aviation action from Belgium.

            You will see some familiar Gazelles at 5:04 towards the end of the video:


            • Interesting video, thanks XB.

              And now - windmills!

              Fly Navy, Catch The Wind!

              ps: Sav & co. just to let you know that I am about to travel and will probably be off-forum until next week.


              • Kurt, grazie mille! They are lovely photos.

                Zis, wishing you a good trip and looking forward to seeing you back next week!

                Elipix mentioned South African Gazelles on the previous page:

                SA341D Westland Gazelle HT3 ZU-HGZ (cn 1728) as seen at Durban's Virginia Airport in South Africa on 2nd July 2015 (Photo: Brian Spur)

                Steve mentioned how in the US, ex-military Gazelles fly under the 'Experimental' category. This can be seen from the wording on the door perspex. Also, the craft's US registration is still applied to the stabiliser end-plates (although not readable in this photo). She was N931XZ and has recently been imported to South Africa.

                We were first informed about ZU-HGZ by Aviaforan Jos .. and which you can read about under the 'Gaz News' section on page 37.


                • Serbian Air Force SA341H HN-42M Soko 'Gama' Gazelles, 12821 (cn 064) and 12820 (cn 063), from 714 Senke (Shadow) Squadron, in flight over the Morava River, central Serbia, in April 2013 (Photo by Dimitrije Ostojic)

                  Serbian Air Force SA341H Soko 'Gama' Gazelles 12806 (cn 033) and 12820 (cn 063) from 714 Squadron, as seen over Kraljevo, Serbia on 20th April 2013 (Photo: Dimitrije Ostojic)


                  • Hungarian models (L-R) Pirner Alma, Serdült Orsi, Dukai Regina and Zimány Linda with Soko-built SA341H HA-LFW (cn 096) in Várpalota Western Hungary, during the promotion of a video game called 'Battlefield'

                    Serdült Orsi with SA341H HA-LFW (cn 096) in Várpalota Western Hungary

                    SA341H HA-LFW (cn 096) as seen in Hungary on 28th July 2013 (Photo: Sándor Dömötör)


                    • Another Gazelle Identity Mystery ..

                      Aviafora reader John, who blessed us with the wonderful shot of the Mack Truck Gazelle over New York (further above) mentioned that he had another Gaz picture from the 70's but that it too was not very clear .. I said "please send it anyway". When I saw the photo I thought to myself .. "Aha .. this is XB's cn. 1042 while she was in the US!"

                      The photo is from c. 1976 and, according to John, was taken in the US (although he is not sure exactly where). For this craft to be XB's 1042 then, from what I understand, it needs to have been registered as N65146. But, on enlarging the photo (see second photo below) what can be seen of the registration - does not appear to reflect this identity.

                      I then contacted Aviaforan Jos (Rotorspot) who not only helped-out with a historical listing of American Gazelles, but who went on to discover that the aircraft's registration appears to be similar to another North American Gazelle from the same era, namely N47264 cn. 1250 which went on to become N341FR.

                      SA341G N47264 cn. 1250 as seen in the United States in 1976 (Or so we think - for now!)

                      The primary 'case' for this being 1250 and not XB's 1042 .. is the registration which, although unclear, appears to be closer to N47264 than to N65146. Another factor are the skids. This craft is wearing skid fairings, and which would make this the only photo of XB's 1042 fitted with fairings.

                      In the case for this being XB's 1042 we have the obvious .. which is the craft's colour scheme but, presumably there was more than one Gazelle painted like this? Also is the fact that the craft in John's photo is equipped with a hook (as was 1042 while in North America) plus the fact that she has the same antenna arrangement as 1042 did while flying as C-GDUG in Canada. As it happens, 1250 also flew in Canada .. as C-FBHI.

                      Also, if this photo is 1250, then this means that a new antenna array was fitted when she went on to become N341FR (for the IFR flight trials with Vought and Sperry).

                      So, what do you think .. is it enough to base the evidence on what appears to be a registration similar to N47264, plus the fact that she is wearing skid fairings (which we have been told is not possible on 1042 because of the type of skids she is fitted with).

                      Close up, showing a registration similar to N47264

                      Your thoughts please .. which aircraft do you think this is?

                      Again, my sincere thanks to John in California for another wonderful piece of North American Gazelle nostalgia.
                      Grazie mille amico!

                      ps: Zis, you really chose a bad time to be away!


                      • It is not mine, so it is surely N47264. The tail handle fairing is different also.


                        • Grazie XB!

                          On page one I posted an illustration of N341FR:

                          Originally posted by Savoia View Post
                          Here's an illustration which I think was used by Sperry to advertise the avionics available for the Gazelle's 'IFR kit' and showing (just about) their nice play on numbers and letters with the registration .. N341FR .. as mentioned above!

                          I had always thought that this was purely an advertising illustration (as the photo I have of N341FR while with Sperry looks quite different) but .. while Jos was helping to uncover the facts about this aircraft, he happened upon the following photo:

                          N341FR as seen in 1975 during her IFR flight testing

                          So, she did in fact wear this livery (for a while) at least!

                          However, the date associated with this photo does throw-up some more challenges for our investigation .. as does the different tail section without the handle (which XB mentioned in respect of the photo for N47264!). Ho hum .. we shall keep digging!

                          If only we could find someone who worked with Vought.

                          Grazie Jos!


                          • More on the mystery Gazelle

                            Here are two pictures of N65146.....

                            I have just checked through my thousands of Gazelle photos and the only one I can find in this scheme is N65146/C-GDUG.



                            • There is always a tail handle (all tail handles are the same), it is just the cover that is slightly different.

                              - First generation Gazelles have the handle access below and the position light in the middle.

                              - Second generation have a taller access, lets say about 5cm more to the upper side. Tail light is repositioned slightly higher also.

                              If you want I can post pictures of the difference.


                              • Elipix that top shot is great .. and now shows us N65146 (we think) wearing skid fairings (as per the shot in my post) and which makes me think we are in fact looking at the same craft - irrespective of the unclear registration in the photo I posted.

                                XB .. illustrations always (or at least nearly always) make things easier to understand, so yes please!


                                • Please find below the comparison:


                                  • Grazie XB!

                                    I have to say that the point you make about the tail handle with regard to the photo I posted, is quite valid - and also very interesting.

                                    Also of great interest is Elipix's photo in the post above yours where, according to his record, this is N65146 (and she is clearly fitted with the original style tail handle) and yet .. she is also wearing skid fairings! Perhaps they fitted the fairings in error and then removed them?

                                    When Zis gets back I hope he can help out, because since Jos's photo of N341FR is dated 1975, I can't see how the photo I posted (dated 1976) can be N47264.

                                    I am also wondering whether the X-Craft (cn. 1042) was in fact the only Gazelle painted in this orange-tone scheme with the white flash along the tailboom. Elipix is saying that among his collection, 1042 is the only one which looks like this.

                                    Zis .. we need your help!


                                    • Following on from our recent review of stretched 342's ..

                                      SA342J(S) G-TOPZ (cn 1473) as seen at Cranfield Aerodrome on 24th July 2007

                                      Jos, do you happen to know which registration this craft is using now?

                                      See more G-TOPZ on pages 12 and 30.

                                      Steve/XB .. I realise this is an over-simplification but .. if the stretched Gazelles have known GofC issues, wouldn't the answer be to stick some lead in the tail?


                                      • Originally posted by Savoia View Post
                                        Jos, do you happen to know which registration this craft is using now?
                                        I believe she's now on the YU reg.


                                        • Glad to see you were productive while I was absent the last few days. Well done!

                                          Re: Sav's dilemma about N47264, I believe it's actually N47251 (c/n 1207) while the machine was still with Aerospatiale Helicopter Co. in Grand Prairie, TX. The same Gazelle appeared in post #610 (although it's not N65146 as I stated then).

                                          Speaking of her colours, there were quite a few North American Gazelles which wore that scheme (i.e N62373, see post #902) which makes it difficult to conclude an aircraft's ID based only on the colour scheme.

                                          We already discussed N341FR in posts #2-6.

                                          G-TOPZ became YU-HPZ in January 2012.


                                          • Welcome back Zis!

                                            Thank you for clarifying these issues, much appreciated.

                                            XB mentioned previously that 1042 cannot be fitted with skid fairings because of the type of skids she has. With this in mind, which aircraft do you think is in Elipix's photo in post 1213?


                                            • Savoia, just to clarify, I didn't say that 1042 cannot be fitted with skid fairings. In fact, all Gazelles can be fitted with fairings, only that there are specific sets for both rigid and flexible landing gear. I previously mentioned that 1042 is on rigid gear and that I didn't have fairings for the rigid gear at that time but, I also mentioned that I may upgrade to the flexible gear in the future.


                                              • Originally posted by Savoia View Post
                                                ...which aircraft do you think is in Elipix's photo in post 1213?
                                                At first glance it looks like XB's N65146... but as I said, it's tricky to conclude this based on the colour scheme alone. I don't think we will know the ID of that specific Gazelle until we can find a photo where her reg visible.


                                                • Grazie XB/Zis!

                                                  A Small Review of North American Orange-Tone Gazelles

                                                  Classic X-Craft:

                                                  Great Lakes Helicopters SA341G C-GDUG (cn 1042) as seen at an unidentified airport in Canada in 1978
                                                  (Photo: Mike Ody courtesy of George Trussell)

                                                  SA341G (cn 1042) C-GDUC as seen in Canada on 28th July 1980 (Photo: Ed Tercier courtesy of XB)

                                                  Gazelle in the Garden - Potential Classic X-Craft, identity to be fully confirmed (Photo: Helipix)

                                                  Potentially N47251 cn 1207 (Photo: Zishelix)

                                                  Potentially N47251 (cn. 1207) in 1976 (Photo: John)

                                                  SA341G N62373 (cn 1181) as seen in North America c. 1976

                                                  SA341G Gazelle C-FEDG (cn 1181) of Ed Darvill Helicopters parked outside the engineer/geologist quarters during drilling support operations in the Latornell area (south of Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada) on 14th December 1978 (Photo: Steve Aubury)

                                                  Aérospatiale test pilot Jean Boulet and his technical assistant with Gazelle (cn 1155) N62406 an SA341G,
                                                  in Alaska for cold weather trials in February 1975

                                                  Check-out the latest Spitfire news here.


                                                  • Zis, some fresh shots of your friend's Gaz:

                                                    The aptly registered N342J (cn 1708) as seen at Bellingham International Airport, Washington State, in July 2015

                                                    SA342J N342J (cn 1708) at Bellingham Airport, WA, July 2015

                                                    More Benegaz ..

                                                    The Kurtcraft with the X-Craft 2015 (Photo: Benedek Levente)

                                                    This is 'probably' at the location Kurt mentioned in post 1204 (the Belgian Air Traffic Centre) and in which case the date would have been 26th June 2015.


                                                    • Originally posted by Savoia View Post
                                                      Zis, some fresh shots of your friend's Gaz:
                                                      Nice ones, I'll send him link with a brief note - YOU HAVE BEEN SPOTTED!


                                                      • Hey guys - I do exist!

                                                        I flew the Gazelle in the British Army in the 1980's. I was in the reserves and at the time they had a 22 hour conversion course - they were trying an experiment because the usual conversion was over 40! Anyhow, we all passed, no problem, and were real surprised when we told them that in the civilian world we were lucky to get 5!

                                                        Anyhow, just to advise you that, after the recent "upgrade" (yeah, right) the comments facility (which had been knocked out) now appears to be working.




                                                        • Phil, nice to see you, Sav has often told us that there was an Administrator behind the scenes and its great to know that you also flew Gazelles.

                                                          Thanks for keeping the site running!

                                                          P.S. Any photo from your Gazelle pilot career?


                                                          • Some movies from our visit to ATCC

                                                            In the video below keep a look out for familiar Gazelles at 8:27

                                                            And in this one from 5:04


                                                            • Hi everyone,

                                                              Just heard a rumour about a possible Gazelle crash (being a write-off) at Stapleford about 1 week ago. Haven't seen anything in the official circuits yet. Is this rumour correct?

                                                              Jos Stevens