Friends of The Helicopter Museum

Royal Visit to The Helicopter Museum in July 2007

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh visited The Helicopter Museum, in the afternoon of Friday 20th July 2007, to unveil a plaque commemorating the opening of the new Engineering and Conservation Hangar. The Hangar, recently completed, was built using money largely raised by the Volunteers and the Friends. The Queen and the Duke looking at Wessex HCC.4, XV773, with Museum founder Elfan ap Rees The Duke of Edinburgh arrived at 2.35 pm and the Queen, following a visit to a Childrens' Centre, joined him to unveil the plaque. They both signed the visitor book before departing together, by helicopter, for London. Nearly a hundred Volunteers and Sponsor representatives, who have supported The Museum since it was opened in 1988, attended.
The Duke of Edinburgh chatted with many of the Museum Volunteers Westland Wessex HCC.4, XV733, formerly of The Queen's Flight Elfan ap Rees thanks the Royal Couple (photo by Alan Norris)
The Duke of Edinburgh signs the Visitors Book Bidding Farewell to Her Majesty (photo by Alan Norris) The Royal party leave The Museum in a Royal Flight Sikorsky S-76C, G-XXEA
The Duke of Edinburgh was shown the Museum displays by Elfan ap Rees, Founder of The Museum and Chairman of Trustees. He was introduced to the Restoration Manager, Steve Whittaker, who introduced him to several Conservation Team Leaders. The Duke then went into the new hangar to have informal conversations with many of the Trustees, Staff, Volunteers and Sponsors who had gathered there. Following the arrival of the Queen, she and the Duke spent some time looking at Westland Wessex HCC.4, XV733, acquired by The Museum in 2001 after 25 years service with the Queen's Flight. After formally opening the new Conservation Hangar and signing the Museum visitor book the Queen, the Duke and members of the Royal party left in Sikorsky S-76C, G-XXEA.

A few days previously Chairman of Trustees, Elfan ap Rees had said "We all feel tremendously honoured to be hosting the Queen on this auspicious occasion. The visit is a huge tribute to the Volunteers and Sponsors who have kept the faith and made The Museum such a success".
Westland Whirlwind HCC.12, XR486 Three Generations of Royal Helicopters Sikorsky S-76C, G-XXEA
Westland Whirlwind HCC.12 Sikorsky S-76C
Three generations of Royal Helicopters Above, Left to right are:-
Westland Whirlwind HCC.12, 
Sikorsky S-76C 
Westland Wessex HCC.4
Photo © Rod Holloway
The Royal Helicopters 1947 - 1998

The Duke of York's Visit in 2002

The Royal Wessex