Following last weeks look at Bristol Aerospace, its time for a quick drive down the M5 to take a quick look at the Helicopter Museum.
I’ll confess that helicopters have never really been on my radar and though this museum has always looked great, its never quite appealed enough to take a visit. As has been documented many times on here over the last 6 months or so, the visit by the Flying Bulls Sycamore has certainly changed that and historic helicopters are certainly now on the radar.
The Helicopter Museum is a great site with pretty unrestricted access to a huge array of vintage rotorcraft. There were certainly plenty of types I’d not heard of or at least never seen up close! It was a great surprise to even see the remains of the incredible Fairey Rotodyne.
Fittingly, having spurred on my visit, the museum is home to two examples of the Sycamore, one early and one late, with great opportunities to take a look inside. There is also a Belvedere under restoration which was great to see.
Throughout the museum there is a great mix of European and American types including a number of soviet machines which are pretty unique in UK museums.
As a relative outsider to this particular area of aviation (not something I can say that often) it was a unique change to come across so many unknown types and stories. On a longer visit I look forward to getting more familiar with some of the more obscure machines.
The main restoration area also has a number of airframes being worked on, including a Westland Whirlwind.
The museum was in the process of constructing their new building/visitors reception which is now approaching completion. Throughout the summer the museum host events and are often visits by passing helicopters. Together with Aerospace Bristol, this is certainly another venue I will be re-visiting when I next get the opportunity.