The Helicopter Museum


Michael E. Fader


Michael E. Fader


The Helicopter Museum
Locking Moor Road, Weston-super-Mare, BS24 8PP, England
Tel. ++66 (0) 1934-635227


In 2017 I visited the The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-MareNorth Somerset for the second time. The first visit was quite a while in the past, in June 1989. At this time most of the exhibits were in an open storage and not in a proper display.

The museum originated in 1958 when its founder, aviation writer and historian Elfan ap Rees, began to build up a private collection of rotorcraft documentation and artefacts. Over the next ten years his collection grew and in 1969 he acquired his first complete helicopter, a Bristol Sycamore Mk.3.

In 1974, Ap Rees purchased a Bristol Belvedere and formed a volunteer group to restore it. In December 1976, an ex Royal NavyWestland Whirlwind HAS Mk.7 was acquired and added to the collection. In 1977 and 1978, more aircraft were added, including an ex Royal Air Force Bristol Sycamore HC Mk.14 and several rare prototypes: the Fairey Ultra-Light tip-jet driven helicopter, the Thruxton Gadfly HDW.1 two-seat autogyro and the Campbell Cougar autogyro.

The museum was forced to close at the end of the 1979 season but throughout the 1980s, remains from rare helicopters were added to the collection, often preventing them from being scrapped, including the only remaining major parts of the Fairey Rotodyne. Other aircraft acquired in the 1980s included two more variants of the Westland Whirlwind, a Westland Scout AH Mk.1 and a Westland Wessex.


Saro Skeeter taken in 1989 Westland Wasp HAS.1 XS463 Westland Wasp HAS.1 XS463 Bristol Belvedere XG452
Westland WS-51 Dragonfly HR.5 Westland WS-51A Widgeon 1989 Westland WS-51A Widgeon 2017 Piasecki HUP-3 Retriever
Sud Ouest SO1221 Djinn Sud Ouest SO1221 Djinn Sud Ouest SO1221 Djinn The Boneyard in 1989

The museum reopened on a new airfield site in 1988 and volunteers spent the next year restoring old buildings and erecting a new display annexe. On 3 November 1989, the museum was officially opened by HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, who arrived in a Wessex HCC.4 of the Queen's Flight. Since then the museum has grown substantially erecting new hangarage to put the collection under cover and purchasing its 4.5 acre site outright, with the help the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grants.

The museum's collection of helicopters now exceeds 80 complete rotorcraft, with others under restoration or only partly complete. The museum features many foreign helicopters, particularly Soviet-era and Eastern European craft, for example the Kamov Ka-26 Hoodlum and the Mi-24 Hind, and more modern ones such as the EH-101.

The museum is planning on expanding the site to include the former Weston Airport control tower and a general site redevelopment.


List of aircraft on site
Agusta A109A MkII MM81205
Agusta-Bell 47G-3B1 Sioux AH.1 XT190
Air and Space 18A Autogyro, G-BVWL
Barnett J4B G-BWCW
Bell 47H G-AZYB
Bell UH-1H Iroquois 66-16579
Bensen B-8M G-BIGP
Bensen B-8M Gyro-Boat -
Brantly B-2B G-OAPR
Bölkow Bo 102 Helitrainer D-HMQV
EH Industries EH101  G-EHIL / ZH647
Eurocopter AS332 Super Puma -
Eurocopter SA365N Dauphin F-WQAP
Hiller UH-12C G-ASTP
Hughes OH-6A Cayuse, 67-16506
Kamov Ka-26 "Hoodlum" D-HOAY
MBB Bo105M 81+00
McCulloch J-2 -
Mil Mi-1 "Hare" 2007
Mil Mi-2 "Hoplite" SP-SAY
Mil Mi-4 "Hound" 9147
Mil Mi-8PS "Hip" 10618
Mil Mi-24D "Hind", 96+26
Piasecki HUP-3 Retriever RCN 622
Piasecki H-21 -
Robinson R22HP G-OTED
Sud Aviation SA321F Super Frelon F-BTRP
Sud Aviation Alouette SA318C A-41
Sud Ouest SO1221 Djinn 1058/CDL
Westland WS-51 Dragonfly HR.5 WG719
Westland WS-51A Widgeon Series 2 G-AOZE
Westland Scout AH.1 XP165
Westland Wasp HAS.1 XT443
Westland Lynx, ZB500 / G-LYNX
Westland Lynx 3 ZE477 / G-17-24
Westland Whirlwind HAS.7 XK940
Westland Whirlwind HAR.10 XD163
Westland Whirlwind Series 3 G-AODA
Westland Wessex HAS.1 XM330
Westland Wessex HAS.3 XM328
Westland Wessex HCC.4 XV733
Westland 30 Series 100 G-BGHF
Westland 30 Series 100 G-BKGD
Westland 30 Series 200 G-ELEC
Westland 30 Series 300 G-HAUL
WSK-Swidnik SM-2 05
Bristol Sycamore HC Mk.14 XG547 Bristol Sycamore  
Bristol Sycamore G-ALSX Bristol Sycamore G-ALSX  
Bristol Sycamore HC Mk.14 XL-829 Westland Whirlwind HAS.7  
Westland Whirlwind HAR.10 Westland Wessex HCC.4 Queen's Flight.  
  Westland Wessex HU-5 used for the film "full metall Jaket" Westland Wessex HAS.1  
Westland Wessex HAS.3 Sonar of the Wessex HAS.3
    Hiller UH-12C Sud Aviation SA321F Super Frelon
Sud Aviation Alouette SA318C Westland Scout AH.1 XP165 Hughes OH-6A Cayuse MBB Bo105M, 81+00  
Agusta-Bell 206 Jet Ranger Westland Lynx 3 ZE477 Westland 30 Series 100 EH Industries EH101   

- Last update: 17. March 2018 Written: 8 December 2017 - -
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