Growing nearly organically from one man’s private collection since 1958, the Helicopter Museum is one of the world’s only museums singularly devoted to rotor-powered aerial craft, and the collection has grown so large that there is now a even a sort of graveyard right on site.
Starting in the late 50’s with an obsessive hoard of helicopter parts, Helicopter Museum founder Elfan ap Rees did not actually get his hands on a full helicopter until 1969. However once his first full chopper was in place, more soon followed. Rees acquired everything from commercial aircraft to military fliers and even a few independently developed prototype craft. As the collection grew a new space was found on the Weston-super-Mare airfield and after decades of restoring the rotary aircraft and snapping up any complete vehicles they could, the museum officially opened to the public in 1989, complete with a coronation ceremony attended by the Duke of York.
Today the collection contains over 80 helicopters and countless pieces of incomplete autogyros including pieces of the decommissioned XCH-62, one of the largest helicopters ever built. They have collected so many hulls and husks of craft that there is now also a field near the museum that is used as a strange resting place for grounded helicopters, rusting away like countless car yards the world over, accept instead of no longer being able to hit the road, these poor ships will never be able to soar the skies again.
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