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 The Aerospatiale SA 341 Gazelle all-purpose lightweight helicopter originated as Aerospatiale project X 300 to meet a French army requirement for a light observation helicopter.  The designation was changed to SA 340 soon afterwards.  The finished design showed close affinity to the SA 318c Aloutte II, and eventually used the same power plant and transmission system.  Unlike the Aloutte II, however the new helicopter features a fully-encoulded fuselage structure and has two pilots side by side, with full dual controls.  It also introduced two innovations:  the fenestron, or shrouded tail rotor, and a rigid modified Bolkow-type main rotor.  And it showed every sign of sharing its pre-decessor's sales success and popularity.

 

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