Friends of The Helicopter Museum

Restoration and Preservation Highlights

Three helicopters are currently being restored at The Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare. 
These, described below, are :-
* Bristol Belvedere HC.1 XG452
*Westland Wessex Series 60, G-AVNE
*Fairey Ultra-Light, G-AOUJ

Also on these pages, following completion of restoration in 2001, are :-
* Westland Wasp  HAS Mk.1  XT443 and
* Bell 47H-1  G-AZYB / LN-OQG / SE-HBE / OO-SHW,

following completion at the end of 2002 is:-
* Kamov Ka-26 D-HOAY / DDR-SPY / DM-SPY,
following completion in 2008 are:- 
*Westland Whirlwind HAR Mk.10, XD163
and 
*Westland WS-51A Widgeon Series 2, G-AOZE / 5N-ABW
and following completion in 2016 is:-
*Westland Wessex HAS.3, XM328

The exhibits listed on this page, probably represent the last of The Museum's full scale "restoration" projects. The intention had been to restore aircraft to their configuration, condition and appearance at an earlier time, though without the massive cost of a return to airworthiness.
More recently it has been thought preferable to preserve machines in the condition in which they are received at The Museum, subject to presentation and safety considerations. In this way their historic integrity could be better maintained.
XD163 soon after arrival at The Museum Westland Whirlwind HAR.10  
Whirlwind, XD163, arrived at The Museum in 1991 and spent several years in the open air. Following a structural survey it was decided that some comprehensive restoration was necessary before it could be returned to static display. Work was started in July 2003 and completed in March 2008. Restoration page.1,  page 2,  pge.3,  pge.4,  pge.5,  pge.6pge.7 and History
XD163 Structural Survey
G-AOZE in 1958 Westland WS.51A Widgeon
Bristow Helicopters' Widgeon G-AOZE / 5N-ABW served in the Middle East and Nigeria before being acquired by The Museum in 1986. Restoration started in 1994 and continued, with some interruptions, until 2003 when it was re-painted in Bristow 1958 livery, for static display at the Fairford Royal International Air Tattoo. Restoration and History
G-AOZE Restoration
XG452 flies ! Bristol Belvedere HC.1
Belvedere XG452 was brought into the Restoration Hangar in 2001. Since then all the old paint has been removed and many items have been taken apart, refurbished and re-assembled. More remains to be done in 2017. Restoration and History
XG 452 Restoration starts
XG462 at Weston-super-Mare Bristol Belvedere HC.1 (Nose)  
The nose section of Belvedere XG462 was retained by the RAF, following a fire and forced landing in 1963. It was acquired by The Museum in 1989 with restoration starting in 2002. This was 95% completed in 2005 and the nose was put on public display. A Gazelle engine was reconditioned and is now displayed to the rear of the nose. Restoration and History
XG462 nose during restoration
Westland Wasp in service Westland Wasp HAS.1  
Wasp XT443 served with No. 829 Squadron, on several Royal Navy frigates, as an anti-submarine and anti-surface vessel helicopter. Acquired by The Museum in 1995, restoration was completed in 2001. Restoration and History
XT443 on display after completion of restoration
OO-SHW in service with Sabena Bell 47H-1
Bought by Sabena, in 1956, OO-SHW accompanied a Belgian Antarctic Expedition in 1957-59. After five subsequent owners it was damaged in a crash and then acquired by the Museum in 1984. Following restoration it went on static display in 2001.
Restoration and History
OO-SHW restoration completed !
D-HOAY flies as DM-SPY Kamov Ka-26  
The Ka-26, D-HOAY arrived at The Museum in 1997. Restoration started in 2000 and the machine was 'rolled out' in 2002. The Ka-26 was one of the most successful commercial helicopters produced in the USSR. Its inter-changeable load pods allowed use for freight or for passengers.  Restoration and History 
D-HOAY / DDR-SPY goes on display !
Wessex 60, G-AVNE, flying from Gatwick in 1973 Westland Wessex Series 60
Wessex 60, G-AVNE, arrived at The Museum in 1987 but serious restoration was not started until 2008. It was in service with Bristow Helicopters, as a 16-passenger transport supporting oil and gas rigs in many locations, from delivery in 1967 until final withdrawal from service in 1981. Work continues into 2017.  Restoration and History
G-AVNE on display, before restoration started.
XM328 over Portland Bay Westland Wessex HAS.3 
Wessex HAS.3, XM328, went on public display in June 2006 but was moved into the newly-built engineering hangar in June 2007, for extensive restoration work. Built as a Mk.1 in 1959 but upgraded to HAS.3, it carried search radar in a distinctive dorsal dome. Work was completed in early 2016.  
Restoration and History
XM328 being unloaded at The Helicopter Museum in 2004
G-AOUJ on public display at Farnborough in 1958   Fairey Ultra-Light
Ultra-Light, G-AOUJ, is one of four prototypes built by Fairey in the 1950s. Acquired by The Museum in 1979 it was soon transferred to the Cotswold Aircraft Restoration Group. Useful work was done but G-AOUJ was returned to The Museum in 2010 and restoration, by a newly-recruited group, restarted in 2011 and continues into 2017. Restoration & History
  G-AOUJ soon after arrival in 2010