Saturday, 11 February 2012

30th Anniversary of Falklands Conflict

The Helicopter Museum is to hold a signing event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Falklands Conflict.

If you are a veteran of the conflict and feel that you would like to take part over the weekend of 19th and 20th May 2012 please make contact with the museum, to provide us with contact details for you. You will then be contacted closer to the time of the event to make arrangements.

Thank you.

2012 Les Morris Award

Social helicopter pilot group, Twirly Birds has announced the 2012 Les Morris Award Recipient as our Chairman, Elfan Ap Rees.  Elfan is a noted aviation historian, author, pilot and founder of The Helicopter Museum.  After his first helicopter flight in 1960, Elfan went on to become a helicopter pilot with experience in over 80 model type aircraft over his long career.  He launched HELICOPTER International, in 1977, followed by HELiDATA News and Classified in 1980 and afterward, Military Helicopter News in 2005.  

Elfan has received several prestigious awards to include the British Helicopter Advisory Board “Eric Brown” Trophy in 2002 for his contributions to the industry and also the American Helicopter Society (AHS) “John Schneider” Historical Award, in 2007 for his tireless work promoting the rotorcraft industry.  He received the HAI “Excellence in Communication” award in 1987.

The Les Morris Award signifies the pioneering spirit of Twirly Birds and the award is reserved for members that have made an exemplary contribution to the helicopter community over their lifetime.  Twirly Bird President, Mr. Steve Sullivan will present the Les Morris Award for lifetime achievement to Elfan during their annual meeting on 12 FEB 2012 at  the Dallas Convention Center, during the 2012 HAI Heli-Expo.

About Twirly Birds Twirly Birds is an international organization founded in 1949 by pioneering pilots of helicopters and other vertical take-off aircraft. The sole purpose of this nonprofit organization of individuals is to recognize and foster the fellowship of those brought together by the common bond of vertical flight and to facilitate the cordial exchange of experience and opinions as the helicopter and other vertical take-off aircraft art progresses. For more information regarding the organization or membership categories and qualifications, please visit the Twirly Birds website at or by contacting Jim Kettles, membership chairman at

Gazelle Engine Project

The first British-designed turboshaft engine to enter service, the 1600shp Gazelle was installed from the late 1950's in the Bristol Belvedere, built at Weston-super-Mare, and the early Westland Wessex helicopters, but was rapidly succeeded by lighter and smaller engines developed to provide similar power. One of these, the Rolls-Royce Gnome replaced the Gazelle in the Wessex, being small enough for two to be installed side by side in the same area as the previous power plant.
The Gazelle remained in service with the Belvedere until 1969 and with the Wessex Mk.3 until the mid 1980's.

The museum is extremely proud to now have on display the first of three Gazelle engines which provide the focus for a partnered project between us and the Rolls Royce Heritage Trust in nearby Filton, Bristol. Here are some images of it being unloaded when it was recently returned.