Aerospatiale SA 341 Gazelle

Designed in 1967 as a join venture between the UK and France, the Gazelle is a light utility helicopter that featured a number of innovations for its day. It was one of the first helicopters to feature an all-composite rotor, which was lighter and more durable than conventional designs. The tail rotor was enclosed in a fenestron, which made it quieter and less susceptible to damage. Although generally unarmed, later versions of the Gazelle were equipped with a M621 20mm cannon mounted on the starboard side of the fuselage, HOT ATGMs, or Mistral AAMs. (Yugoslavian versions carry AT-3 "Sagger" ATGMs.) Production ceased in 1996, with a total of 1,260 aircraft having been built. The Gazelle was widely exported, and is still used by a number of militaries. Major users (besides the UK and France) have included Egypt, Iraq, Monaco, Syria, Yugoslavia, Abu Dhabi, Ecuador, Kuwait and Qatar.

The helicopter has a crew of two: a pilot and copilot who sit in tandem. The rear of the cabin includes bench seating for 3 passengers and additional stowage space. The seats can be removed to allow for the carriage of stretchers. The Gazelle burns 31 gallons of jet fuel per hour of routine usage. It has a range of 416 miles with standard fuel; a 24-gallon auxiliary tank can be installed for additional range. A full tank of fuel costs $360.


Aerospatiale/Eurocopter SA341F Gazelle

Subassemblies: Body +3, Top-and-tail rotor +0, two Fixed Skids +0.

Powertrain: 440-kW HP gas turbine; 440-kW TTR drivetrain, 2,300-kWs advanced battery.

Fuel: 120 gallons jet fuel (Fire 13) in light self-sealing tank [Body] (fire +0).

Occupancy: 2 NCS, 3 NPS.

Cargo: 0 lbs.


Armor F RL B T U

Body/Skids: 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5

Rotors: 3/10 3/10 3/10 3/10 3/10



Up to 1,540 lbs. of stores (see above).



Body: Sensitive medium range radio (30-mile transmit, 300-mile receive); navigation instruments, autopilot, IFF, 5-man environmental control, backup driver option, 1,540-lbs. of hardpoints.



Size: 31'x?'x11' Payload: 0.97 tons Lwt.: 1.98 tons

Volume: 297 cf Maint.: 59 hours Price: $115,229


HT: 12. HPs: 164 Body, 72 Rotors, 11 each Skid.


aSpeed: 193 aAccel: 4 aDecel: 15 aMR: 4 aSR: 2

Stall speed 0.


Design Notes:

Body is 220 cf; rotor is 4.4 cf; skids are 11 cf. Structure is light, standard with fair streamlining; rotors are light, very expensive. Body armor is expensive metal; rotor armor is standard composite. Mechanical controls. Fuel tank is light, seal-sealing. Design weight was 33% over at 5,961 lbs., however, this includes ordnance and hardpoints. Unarmed, design weight is 4,344 lbs. (over by 8%).

Real-world weight was used for performance calculations. Design cost was used for maintenance calculations. The real-world speed has been substituted; design aSpeed was 188 mph.



The SA 340 (1967) was the prototype, with a 268-kW engine and conventional rotors. The SA 341A was another preproduction version.

The SA 341B (1971) was the first production model. It was designated the Gazelle AH.Mk 1 in British service, and SA 341F in French service. The SA 341G was a civilian model, and the SA 341H was for military export.

The SA 341Ms were 40 French helicopters converted to carry HOT missiles. Similarly, the SA 341F/Canon were 62 conversions to mount a 20mm GIAT M621 cannon.

The SA 342 (1973) featured a 640-kW turboshaft. The -J and -K were civilian and military export models, respectively.

The SA 342L featured an improved fenestron.

The SA 342M and SA 342M/Celtic are -Ls modified to carry HOT and Mistral missiles, respectively.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic