The Gazelle is a five-seat light transport, scout and attack helicopter originally developed by Sud Aviation for the French Army. The helicopter first flew in 1967 with a conventional tail rotor. The distinctive shrouded tail rotor system was introduced on the second prototype. This tail rotor is quieter than a conventional rotor and provides protection to both the rotor and ground crews. Otherwise it operates identically to a conventional helicopter tail rotor.
The Gazelle entered service with the French Army in 1973 and with the British Army in 1974. The British helicopters were produced in England by Westland under license from Aerospaciale. The Gazelle was also produced by the SOKO company in Yugoslavia. The Gazelle remains in service in both France and Britain as well as in nearly two dozen other countries.
British Army Air Corps, circa 2005.
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