Gazelle Squadron Display Team

XZ 939 Joins the fleet

xz-939After months of hard work by the engineers and management at Falcon Aviation, Gazelle XZ939 has been granted it's Permit to fly and is now on the UK register as G-CLGO. Although 2020 has been a non event for the airshow scene, we are very much looking forward to displaying XZ939, she has served with the Royal Navy, ETPS and QinetiQ and will retain her Flight Test Instrumentation and distinctive blue and white livery. The engineers have now started on XZ321 (G-CDNS) our Gulf War Aircraft and we are optimistic that it too will be available for the 2021 season. Everyone is aware just how disappointing 2020 has been and not just the airshow season, but with the prospect of 2 new aircraft, both with strong heritages and a flourishing relationship with Team Raven, we are hopeful that we will be very well placed to deliver a unique airshow spectacle in 2021. It's a long way off, but we are already pencilling in a few dates.

 

 

Pembrey 2020

smoke-onOver the August Bank Holiday we visited Pembrey airfield in Carmarthenshire for a camping and flying training weekend and the outcome exceeded everyone's wildest dreams. Co-incidentally the Raven Display Team were also using Pembrey to practise their very impressive routine in their privately owned Van RV's and a chance comment at breakfast on Sunday led to the concept of us getting together for some combined aerial formation work. The idea was followed by some extensive planning, risk assessments, aircraft familiarisation sorties, numerous briefings and superb skill from all involved to produce, at the first attempt, a combined rotary and fixed wing formation comprising 8 aircraft.

To add icing to the day, astronaut Tim Peake, who amongst many other things is a current Gazelle pilot joined us to enjoy a few sorties and enjoy some socialising with his ex Army Air Corps colleagues.

pembrey-video To view a short cockpit video of the formation click the image.

We hope to be working a little more closely with the Ravens and Tim in 2021 and are looking forward to the opportunity of taking the air show season by the scruff of the neck.

 

 

Farewell Bourne Park

bourne-park-departure

On Sunday 14th June 2020 The Gazelle Squadron said goodbye to Bourne Park, our happy home for the past 7 years. Unfortunately we were obliged to move by circumstances beyond our control and were disappointed and sad at having to go. Nonetheless we now have a new home, which, when we are fully established will lead us into the next chapter of our adventures. The logistics of the move to pastures new were immense and proved particularly difficult with all of the restrictions created by the Covid-19 situation. It is testimony to the enthusiasm, dedication and positive attitude of everyone involved with the team that we succeeded in meeting the deadline. Particular mention must go to the guys from Falcon Aviation who worked tirelessly throughout - and continue to do so. We can now look forward to helping the UK's airshow scene recover from the impact of the pandemic and of course continue our work in preserving the heritage of the Gazelle helicopter. For a number of reasons we're keeping the new location quiet for the time being.

Click the Squadron logo to see a short video clip of the final two Gazelles leaving Bourne Park. "Nos Volare Unita"

Covid-19

We're undoubtedly living through unprecedented times and naturally everyone in the Squadron would like to extend their thoughts and best wishes to all of those adversely affected by the Corona virus pandemic. Unsurprisingly the airshow season has been decimated and our programme has been similarly adversely affected, nonetheless work continues as organisers struggle to identify alternative dates and venues. Prior to the implementation of the travel restrictions and lock-down we were in full flow and on course for some newsworthy announcements, but alas these too are now held in abeyance. Sadly we are unable to fly the Easter Bunny in to Naomi House this year and a long-distance fundraising run by four of our pilots which was scheduled for early April has also had to be postponed. Despite the difficulties the Squadron and it's aircraft remain in a good position, so once life begins to return to normality we will be capable of supporting the UK's airshows fully and hope to bring the Gazelles to an event near you in 2020.