The International Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare was established in 1958 and is home to a superb collection of over 80 autogyros and helicopters from around the world. The core collection of rotorcraft artefacts belonged to the aviation enthusiast and writer Elfan ap Rees, who acquired a complete Bristol Sycamore Mk. 3 helicopter in 1969 and set the museum on its tracks. Based at a Somerset hotel or B&B in the Weston-super-Mare area, you can find the helicopter museum in what used to be the local airport.
Somerset Hotels for the International Helicopter Museum
The museum has a collection of over 80 rotorcraft and lots of others are being restored in the museum's workshops. Visitors with Somerset hotels often express particular interest in the unique collection of Eastern European and Soviet-era helicopters on display, just a few of the many foreign models such as an EH-101, an Mi-24 Hind and the interestingly named Kamov Ka-26 Hoodlum. More recent acquisitions include a Mil Mi-8 and a Gyrodyne QH-50D. These names might go right over your head, but to an enthusiast they're the music of the spheres, and whether you're a fan of rotorcraft or not the museum makes a superb destination for a day out from your hotel in Somerset. When you've had your fill of helicopters the delights of the traditional seaside town of Weston-super-Mare are close by.
A Royal Opening for the Somerset Helicopter Museum
The International Helicopter Museum has been opened and closed on several occasions. Its current incarnation dates from 1989, when HRH Prince Andrew in one of the Queen's Flight aircraft and officially opened the museum. It has grown substantially since then, acquiring a new hangar to house the burgeoning collection and put it all under cover. Sourcing and acquisition are important activities, along with restoration and innovative displays of the collections. When you visit the museum from any hotel or B&B in the Somerset region you'll find many fun things to do there. The coffee shop is perfect for a break and refreshments, and the kids will enjoy playing around with the interactive exhibits.