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Gazelle

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Lightweight Anglo-French reconnaissance and liaison helicopter, with all the survivability of a chocolate teapot. Cruises at 120kts, so officers can work out how long to get somewhere (clue: 2 nautical miles a minute). Features an enclosed tail rotor, called a 'fenestron'. Originally in tri-service use, but now only in AAC.

Also known as the screaming chicken leg, the Gayzelle, battle sperm and the floppy. Has the capacity to carry three passengers in addition to the pilot - but only if they weigh no more than a can of diet coke, otherwise the thing will never get off the ground. They can be fitted with several external accessories, none of which are likely to convince potential passengers of the likely safety record of these helicopters.

vertical_gazelle.jpg Gazelle in forward ... err ... downward flight.

The gearbox never decapitates people on crashing and no-one (whilst on ground crew in Northern Ireland) ever performed the feat titled 'Blade Running'. Therefore, no-one ever climbed on top of the rotor disk and ran down the blades, leaping off the end before the springyness brought it back up and hit you in the back. No-one ever lost big flaps of skin from their backs as the trim on the end gouged holes out of you... it simply never happened.

The Gazelle has been compared to:

  • Shagging a fat chick
  • Riding a scooter

Both can be fun but you wouldn't want your mates to see you getting off one.

Gazelle pilots tend to wear blouses, eat quiche, squat to pee and whine more than the Hoover motor that makes the rotors on top spin round. You can always tell a Gazelle Pilot. You just can't tell him very much.

Only three gayer helicopters are the Skeeter, Squirrel and, the wettest, most puffiest of all things ever flown, the Sioux. There are those who would contest that the Agusta 109 is also gay, but it's actually quite nails. It must be, as it's used by THEM.