It is not every day that you get to meet a living legend; this is especially true when you work in an archive. Often I have had the pleasure of sifting through photographs of long gone national heroes, technological masterminds and men of industry and wondered what these great people were like in the flesh. Little did I know I would finally get my chance to meet such a character in person when The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare received a very special guest. World Speed Record Holder Trevor Egginton (pictured in cockpit) visited the museum to give a unique talk to members of the Empire Test Pilots School in the museums lecture facilities.
Piloting the Lynx helicopter, registered G-LYNX, he flew a 15km course across the Somerset Levels at 500 ft on a calm hazy evening back in 1986 setting a new world helicopter speed record of 249.1 mph (400.87 kph) beating the record held by a modified Mil “Hind” helicopter by over 20 mph (32 kph). The record has not been beaten since and Mr Egginton remains a true legend of British aviation history.
It is rare that a month goes by when the archive team does not deal with a world speed record item, so it was especially fitting that we were able to meet Mr Egginton. For a man with such an impressive history, he was a truly humble gentleman and was only too happy to answer my questions and talk about aviation in general. Mr Egginton was re-united with his machine later in the day, a great inspirational moment for all who were lucky enough to see it.