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should I consider buying a gazelle as a first plane?


Guest Andrew Finn

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Guest Andrew Finn

while this might seem all a bit early now as I have only just started my RAA licence, can anyone please give me some info on buying a gazelle?

 

from what I have read so far they seem to be a fairly rugged and yet forgiving plane to fly and seem to be in a price range that i can afford.

 

apart from the aileron issues and some hose issues I have read about they seem to be a pretty good thing.

 

also what would I expect to use in l/phour and are they expensive to keep.

 

do they have good resale and also do they have any vices as such.

 

thanks for the help

 

 

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Choice.

 

The Gazelle is indeed very rugged and forgiving, and really has no flying vices. The fuel rate should be about 16 litres an hour. The difficulty is finding a good one as they are sought after, and have been around for a while now, so some have done a lot of work. Sun will damage the fabric, eventually, so make sure that it is OK. & there is some life considerations on the wing. If used near a salty environment, there may be some corrosion effects. The 80 HP Rotax is a good motor, and is probably the most reliable of the 912 series, but those engines are not cheap to overhaul. The plane is not particularly fast , and as for long term resale, a GOOD one will always find a market, but I would expect the easier to look after Jabiru's (airframe-wise) to displace them in the S/Hand market, (being nearly 30 knots faster) towards the future. The plane has been out of production for a while, and I would recommend that you don't rush into buying without having had the plane inspected by an L2 who is very familiar with the type. Good luck Nev..

 

 

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Guest brentc

I chose a Gazelle as my first real aircraft and I don't regret that decision. I clocked up 500 hours over 2 years in it.

 

All of Nev's points on the Gazelle I fully support.

 

The biggest problem with them aside from no longer being in production is that they are getting a little long in the tooth especially if used in a flying school and have a lot of hours. There is a 4,000 hour wing life which will require a rebuild / replacement and that would not be possible to purchase short of many thousands.

 

The other problem is that with the price of a new 912 these days they will end up an expensive purchase. eg, there's one for $30k in the mag at the moment however from memory it has 1,500 hours airframe, so let's say 1,800 hours engine meaning it would have been run on condition. It will need a new or rebuilt engine and new 912A's certified must be somewhere near $20k from memory, so straight up you're up for $50k, less what you can get for the used engine.

 

That makes a J120 at $58k remarkably good value and 30 knots faster as stated earlier.

 

The Gazelle does have folding wings which may be important to you and it easy to fly. I'd also consider how far I want to travel in it, as in do I want to go on long distance trips and if so will I be going with other aircraft and how fast will they be. Whilst flying is an individual thing, there's nothing worse than heading up north with your mates and they all go 30 knots faster!

 

 

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Guest Andrew Finn

maybe a jabiru is a better choice

 

thanks for your thoughts guys, funnily enough my first flight was in a j230 and whilst it is out of my price range it's baby brother looks pretty good value, I also live on the sunshine coast in qld so anything in the way of info or bits for the jabiru are not too far away for me either.

 

 

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G'day..yea, the gazelle is a lovely acft. Very forgiving and will fly hands off, even in a turn.. Like the others have said, they are getting a little on the older side.. The jabs are a fantastic plane, but, the tradeoff is there a bit trickier to fly.. Nothing to be concerned about but deffinatly different.. For mine the jabs represent outstanding value for money, bang for ya buck so to speak..

 

 

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