Western European Helicopters
The Helicopter Museum
Locking Moor Road
designers had been seriously experimenting with helicopters ever
first historic flight in France in 1907 and by
1935 his compatriot Louis Breguet
a fully controllable
helicopter. He was followed by Professor Focke in Germany
and the Weir Company in Great Britain in 1938. By the early 1940s
Focke and Anton Flettner had helicopters for the German Army
and Navy respectively.
helicopter development was led by the UK, France and Italy
ongoing amalgamation that crystallised in the 1990s with the
of two major companies, Eurocopter (formed by the merger
of the helicopter divisions of
Aerospatiale in France and
Messerschmitt- Bölkow -Blohm in Germany) and
brought the Italian and British helicopter manufacturers together.
Agusta introduced the A109
and the museum model was the 5th delivered to the Guardia di
Finanza in 1986. Declared surplus to
requirements in 2010 and withdrawn from use and placed
in storage it was delivered to the museum on 6th October 2010
and officially handed over by Graham Cole, AgustaWestland's Managing Director.
The Alouette II
was the first turbine-powered helicopter in the world to go
into production, and flown for the first time on 12th March
1955. The museum model served with the Belgian Army from 1967
and withdrawn from service in
2005. It was exchanged for a
surplus Bristol Sycamore with
the Brussels Air Museum and arrived at the museum in 2008.
Agusta-Bell 47G-3B1 Sioux AH Mk.1
Agusta-Bell 47G-3B1 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
UN Headquarters Flight until being retired in 1978 and
placed in storage. It was acquired by the museum in 1995
Sud Ouest SO1221
The Djinn has a
rotor system driven by a turbine engine feeding compressed
air to the blade tips to produce drive power 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
museum 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 in 1991.
he Dauphin began in 1960 and used
the "fenestron" tail which offered power and safety
advantages over the traditional tail rotor and composite
materials. The mueum model is the first production SA365N,
was modified to test
a fly-by-wire flight control system. The museum model
was donated by the Eurocopter after being 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
SA321F Super Frelon
In the mid 1950s Sud Est
began designing the SA321 Super Frelon. The SA321F variant
in the museum was built as a commercial airliner version in 1967.
Olympic Airways operated it between the Greek mainland
and the various islands. It withdrawn from
service in 1991 and was partially restored by Aerospatiale
apprentices and donated to the museum.
uilt by Messerchmitt-Bölkow-Blohm in 1984
is a liaison and observation (VBH) helicopter and was
operated by the German Army Air Corps. The museum model was withdrawn from service in 2002
after serving with the 25th Air Corps Regiment, based at Laupheim. Eurocopter donated
it to the Museum in 2007.
prototype, PP3, built in 1988 and used
for the civil certification flight trial and
general development of the EH101. Built at the Westland factory in Yeovil it first
flew on 30th September 1988 and on completion of its test programme in 1999 PP3 had completed 653 flying hours
as well as undertaking icing
trials in Denmark. It was delivered to the museum in 1999.