The Helicopter Museum
Western European Helicopters


 


European designers had been seriously experimenting with helicopters ever since Paul Cornu’s first historic flight in France in 1907 and by 1935 his compatriot Louis Breguet was flying a fully controllable helicopter. He was followed by Professor Focke in Germany in 1936 and the Weir Company in Great Britain in 1938. By the early 1940s both Focke and Anton Flettner had helicopters for the German Army and Navy respectively.

Post-war European helicopter development was led by the UK, France and Italy with ongoing amalgamation that crystallised in the 1990s with the formation of two major companies, Eurocopter (formed by the merger of the helicopter divisions of Aerospatiale in France and Messerschmitt- Bölkow -Blohm in Germany) and AgustaWestland which brought the Italian and British helicopter manufacturers together


Agusta A109A MkII, MM81205, GdiF-128, C/N 7336
Agusta entered the rotorcraft market in the early 1950s when they acquired the licence to build the Bell 47G. In 1967 the company introduced the A109, a seven-seat, 2200-2400kg weight category helicopter, targeted at the corporate owner. The Italian styling of the A109, with twin engines, retractable landing gear, high speed and streamlined fuselage generated customer interest and large sales numbers. GdiF-128 was the 5th delivered to the Guardia di Finanza in 1986. Although an integral part of the Italian Armed Forces the "Guardia di Finanza" , broadly interpreted as "Tax & Customs Police", are an integral part of the Italian Armed Forces, but come under the control of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and police Italy's borders and coasts. The Museum’s aircraft was declared surplus to requirements in June 2010 and withdrawn from use and placed in storage at Frosinone. It was delivered to The Helicopter Museum on 6th October 2010. Two days later the helicopter was unveiled by UK Tourism & Heritage Minister, John Penrose MP, and officially handed over to The Museum by Graham Cole, AgustaWestland's Managing Director, during a ceremony on 8th October.


Sud Aviation Alouette SA318C, A-41,C/N 1958.
Originally designed by Sud-Est to meet a number of civil and military requirements, the Alouette II was the first turbine-powered helicopter in the world to go into production, having been completely re-designed from the original Alouette I around the new then new 400 shp Turbomeca Artouste I turbo-shaft engine. Flown for the first time on 12th March 1955, a total of over 1300 Alouette IIs were manufactured by 1975 when production ceased. The Museum’s example, A-41, served with the Belgian Army in liaison, photographic, communication and training roles from its delivery in 1967 until being withdrawn from service in 2005. Following a period in storage it was then passed to the Brussels Air Museum and exchanged by Elfan Ap Rees for a surplus Bristol Sycamore. It arrived at the Helicopter Museum in February 2008.


Agusta-Bell 47G-3B1 Sioux AH Mk.1, XT190, C/N. WA349.
In 1963 several types of helicopter were evaluated at Middle Wallop to find a suitable replacement for the Skeeter and in 1964 the decision that the Agusta-Bell 47G was the winner was made public with an initial contract for 200 aircraft placed shortly afterwards. Powered by one Lycoming TVO-435-B1A 6-cylinder turbo supercharged piston engine. The first 50 Agusta-Bell 47G-3B1 aircraft were built by Agusta . XT190 was built in 1965 under licence by Westland Helicopters at Yeovil, Somerset, and delivered to the Army Air Corps in November 1965, serving in Cyprus with the United Nation Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Headquarters Flight until being retired in March 1978 and placed in storage. It was acquired by the Museum in 1995.


Sud Ouest SO1221 Djinn, 1058/CDL, C/N. FR108.
At the end of the second world war French engineers visited Germany to compare their ideas on pressure jet helicopters with work that had been carried out by Friedrich von Doblehoff  between 1942 and 1945. This visit was followed by development work which progressed the concept of a rotor system driven by a turbine engine simply feeding compressed air to the blade tips to produce drive power. This resulted in the Djinn, a light two-seat observation & casualty evacuation helicopter powered by a Turbomeca Palouste turbine engine and the only pressure jet helicopter to go into large scale production. It was also the first French helicopter to enter production, and the worlds first mass produced jet engine powered helicopter. The Djinn in the collection was built in 1959 and was retired from operational flying at the end of 1968. In 1990 it was refurbished to static display condition and was delivered on 22nd May 1991.


Eurocopter SA365N Dauphin, F-WQAP, C/N.6001.
Original development of the Dauphin began in 1960 and using the "fenestron" tail which offered power and safety advantages over the traditional tail rotor. Composite materials were used in the airframe to reduce weight and production costs. The aircraft in the Museum was donated by the French manufacturer Eurocopter. The helicopter, the first production SA365N, was modified by Eurocopter to test a fly-by-wire flight control system, whereby the conventional mechanical control system is replaced by electrical signals transmitted through light-weight wiring from the cockpit to the rotor system and control surfaces. The aircraft was retired from flying in 2001 and delivered to the Museum in April 2003, with delivery sponsored by McAlpine Helicopters, based at Oxford, and the publishers of HELICOPTER International magazine, Avia Press Associates.


Sud Aviation SA321F Super Frelon, F-BTRP, C/N. 116.
In the mid 1950s Sud Est began designing a general purpose transport helicopter for the French military, designated the SE3200 Frelon and eventually developed into the SA321 Super Frelon. The SA321F variant held by the Museum was designed in the mid sixties as a commercial airliner version and was built in 1967 as a 34-37 seat civil transport helicopter, powered by three Turbomeca Turmo IIIC6 turboshaft engines. The aircraft went on a summer lease during 1968-1969 to Olympic Airways for operations between the Greek mainland and the various islands, but this did not result in any production orders and it was eventually withdrawn from service. In 1991 it was partially restored by Aerospatiale apprentices and donated to the Museum. Subsequently the airframe was moved by road under sponsorship from Bristow Helicopters, with the journey from the South of France to the UK taking seven days. At the time it was the largest helicopter ever to be moved by road within Europe.


MBB Bo105M, 81+00.
Designed and built by Messerchmitt-Bölkow-Blohm in 1984 more than 1500 Bo105s were built between 1970 and 1997. Originally developed for civil use by police and air ambulance operators the Bo105 went on to capture much of the light attack helicopter market in Western Europe. The Bo105M is a liaison and observation (VBH) helicopter and was operated by the Heeresflieger (German Army Air Corps). One hundred VBH versions were ordered with 81+00 the last to be delivered in 1984, later withdrawn from service in 2002 after serving with the 25th Air Corps Regiment, based at Laupheim. Most of the Heeresflieger's Bo105Ms were retired between 2002 and 2005 with Eurocopter donating MBB Bo105M 81+00 to the Museum in 2007, arriving by road from Donauworth, Germany on 4th May 2007.


EH Industries EH101 G-EHIL/ZH647, C/N. 50003.
This the third prototype, (PP3), built in 1988 and used extensively for the civil certification flight trial and general development of the EH101 36 seat multi-purpose helicopter. Built at the Westland factory in Yeovil it first flew on 30th September 1988, powered by three 1920 shp General Electric CT97-6A engines. On completion of its test programme in February 1999 PP3 had completed 653 flying hours over 581 flights and had helped to develop the AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System) and ACSR anti-vibration systems for the EH101 programme as well as undertaking icing trials in Denmark. Utilised for spares the helicopter was later delivered to the Museum at the end of 1999.


Bölkow Bo102 Helitrainer, D-HMQV, C/N. 6216.
Built in 1960 in Munich, Germany, as a tethered single-seat helicopter pilot trainer and powered by a single ILO L3 3-cylinder 2-stroke piston engine. The Bo102 Helitrainer was the first helicopter built by the revived West German industry after the Second World War. The Bo102 held by the Museum is one of approximately 18 built and was acquired from the Hubschrauber Museum in Bückeburg, Germany, in 1981. It was later delivered to Weston-super-Mare in a CH-53G of the West German Army.


Click here to view the British manufactured helicopters in the collection.
British

Click here to view the Eastern European helicopters in the collection.
Eastern European

Click here to view the American helicopters in the collection.
North American

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Sud Aviation Alouette SA 318C, A-41

 

 

 

Agusta-Bell 47G-3B1 Sioux AH Mk.1, XT190

 




 

Sud Ouest SO1221 Djinn, 1058/CDL


Eurocopter SA365N Dauphin, F-WQAPEurocopter SA365N Dauphin, F-WQAP

 

Sud Aviation SA321F Super Frelon, F-BTRP

 



 

MBB Bö.105M, 81+00

 

 


 

EH Industries EH101 G-EHIL/ZH647

 

Bolkow Bo.102 Helitrainer, D-HMQV