At 1,775 aircraft units built from 1973 to 1996, the Gazelle is among the top 20 most-produced helicopters in the world and has performed in light utility and scouting roles. Its profile bears some similarity to the earlier Bell 47J Ranger. This Gazelle 5-seater has the distinction of being first in the world to feature a fenestron tail rather than a typical tail rotor. Besides its unusual tail, another prominent distinction is its single turbine engine that sits atop the fuselage behind the rotor mast. The Gazelle’s original French manufacturer – Sud – also produced the tiny fanjet-powered Sud Quest SO 1221 Djinn helicopter, found among my “ten little helicopter” MOCs at the link. Photo credits for next two pictures: Mike Freer.
About my design work:
As explained on my homepage, my goal is to design playable models that bear striking resemblance to real-world vehicles, without requiring lots of bricks and lots of hours to assemble. The design shown here is about 700 Lego elements, built in about 1:39 scale (so 1 stud = 1 foot). If you want to build this model, use the link below to download its LDD file.
On the page for my Focke-Wulf FW-189 Uhu I explain how sometimes a single Lego element inspires me to do certain design work. I have often started models with a one-piece windscreen.
The advantage of a one-piece canopy is this: Who doesn’t play with Lego vehicles without wanting to imagine oneself as that mini-figure that you can actually see in the driver’s or pilot’s seat? I envisioned this unusual Lego windscreen element (part #18729) mimicking much of the tear-drop shape of this helicopter’s cabin. When I realized the turbine blade (part #x577) was exactly at scale for the Gazelle’s fenestron, I had to design this model.
And yes, through the canopy of this Gazelle you can readily see the passenger waving at you, plus the pilot at the controls! To make this more “playable” the rotor mast is geared to a knob on the bottom of the fuselage – using one hand to hold up the helicopter body and the other to turn the knob, you can set the main rotor spinning to “fly” this Gazelle.
To understand my modeling goals and past projects, visit my homepage! Thanks for looking, comments welcomed.