Helicopter museum given heritage award

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 March 2018

The Westland Helicopters factory in 1985.

The Westland Helicopters factory in 1985.

Contributed

Weston’s helicopter museum has been recognised for its historical significance.

The site in Locking Moor Road is one of two recipients of the 2018 Vertical Flight Heritage Sites award given by American Helicopter Society International.

Before becoming a volunteer-run museum in 1989, the airfield was a key player in the helicopter design and manufacturing industry.

Weston has been involved in vertical flight since the 1930s when Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus visited the 
town.

Then in 1945 the Bristol Aeroplane Company set up a helicopter design office close to the airport before moving all manufacturing from Filton to the site in 1955.

The factory became the Weston division of Westland Helicopters in 1960 when it began flight testing Gazelle, Lynx, Sea King and Merlin helicopters.

The division was finally closed in 2002.

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