This will be my first blog post for a series featuring Cold War related museums. Starting with the Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, UK.
I’m quite lucky, as this museum is less than an hours drive for me, up the M5 motorway (unless it’s during the Summer holidays!). Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and prior to that quite a hectic work/life schedule, my last visit was in 2017.
The Helicopter Museum fits the bill really well as a Cold War era museum. Helicopters came in to their own after WWII and especially during the Korean War and then the Vietnam war.
It’s not a big museum, but it is jam packed with a lot of helicopters and all under cover. There are over 100 exhibits which include a great selection of British helicopters and some from NATO.
But for me the stars of the museum are the ex-Warsaw Pack helicopters (see photo gallery below). I’m of that age that I’m still in awe of seeing old Soviet/Warsaw Pack kit in real life. Growing up in the Cold War era, you may get to see a fuzzy black and white photo of Soviet/Warsaw Pack kit or an artists impression of their newest kit.
You can get very close to each helicopter. So seeing details, especially on the external of the helicopter, is very easy. This makes this museum a must if you are building any helicopters that they currently have in their collection. Lots of opportunity to get photos of all the small external parts.
They also have a programme of restoring their collection. A long slow process, but if you visit over time you will see the results in the exhibition. Plus, as they are all under cover, this will one day be a very impressive collection of beautifully restored helicopters.
Helicopter Museum Gallery
Not wanting to spoil our visit, I’ve included a very small selection of photos of some of the helicopters at the museum.