The Helicopter Museum
Locking Moor Road
Although American helicopter history is
often dominated by the success of Igor Sikorsky
VS-300 in the 1940s the development of the helicopter in
the US also owes
a lot to other American pioneers:
Arthur Young (Bell Helicopters), Frank Piasecki (tandem
Stanley Hiller (Hiller Helicopters)
and many more.
The Museum has a number of helicopters in the collection
that represent these pioneers
as well as a number of
development milestone aircraft from the 1950s to the
Built 1956 in Fort Worth, Texas, as a
deluxe version of the three-seat light weight Bell 47. The
museum model was the only one sold in Europe and one of only 33 built.
Sold to Sabena Airways in Belgium it was
operated in Antarctica to support a scientific
expedition. The helicopter was eventually written-off
in the UK and was purchased by Elfan Ap Rees in 1985.
Bell UH-1H Iroquois
Built 1967 in Hurst, Texas, as a UH-1D it was shipped to
South East Asia in support of the Vietnam War effort. It
was later upgraded to UH-1H standard and stationed in
West Germany; in August 1990 it deployed to Saudi Arabia
for the Gulf War. It was donated to the Museum in 1992.
Hughes OH-6A Cayuse, 67-16506.
Built 1968 in Culver City, California, USA this
four-seat Army scout-utility helicopter is powered by a
317 shp Allison T63-A turboshaft and was delivered for
operatiomns in Vietnam in 1968. It was shot down in 1970
but rebuilt for further service with the Army National
Guard until retirement and subsequent acquisition by the
Museum. The airframe was delivered to Weston-super-Mare
at the end of September 1999.
Built by Hiller in Palo Alto, California in 1958 but was not
completed until 1961. Sold in 1964 to Bristow Helicopters in
the UK to operate at their
flying training schools at Redhill and Middle Wallop. It was withdrawn
from service in 1976 and sold to a private company. Last
flown in 1981 it was acquired by the Museum in 1989.
Frank Robinson, the R22 met a demand from
thousands of private pilots around the world for an
inexpensive light helicopter when launched in 1979. Thanks to
Frank Robinson the museum added
a fully airworthy condition R22HP to its collection in
Piasecki HUP-3 Retriever
Following the success an
tandem rotor helicopter
in 1945 the Piasecki company began a smaller design, the
HUP-3, which first flew in 1948. The aircraft in the Museum, was one of the three to enter
service with the Royal Canadian Navy built in 1954 in Morton,
Restored in Philadelphia by
volunteers at Boeing Helicopters it was shipped to the UK in
the only example of a Piasecki helicopter in the UK.
Bensen B-8M Gyro-Boat
Developed by gyrocopter designer and
manufacturer Igor Bensen as a variant of his B-8
Gyro-Glider in 1956, the Gyro-Boat adapted the basic
free-turning, two-bladed rotor system, so that it could
be mounted on a standard dinghy. A prototype was first
flown on 1956 and followed by
the production model. The Gyro-Boat was
towed with an ordinary water-ski rope behind a speedboat
capable of at least 50km/h(30mph). The Museumís example
was assembled and test flown by the General Developments
Company of Glasgow and purchased new in the 1960s.
Originally in the Brooklands Museum it was transferred
to The Helicopter Museum in 2003.