UK Helicopter museum
UK Helicopter museum

UK Helicopter Museum

Many excellent aviation and military museums can be found all over Britain, the Helicopter museum in Somerset is no exception. The museum owns a large collection of helicopters from all over the world including seven Soviet models. Manufactured by Mil are the Mi-1, Mi-2, Mi-4, Mi-8 and Mi-24D, there are also a Kamov Ka-26 and a Polish build Swidnik SM-2 on display.

The Helicopter Museum
United Kingdom
Locking Moor Road
Wed - Sun 10:00 - 16:30

A great museum in Somerset

Comtourist were in Somerset in 2008 and had the change to visit the Helicopter Museum near Weston-super-Mare. Finding the museum is easy as it is located directly on the A371 motorway. The museum has a total collection of 80 helicopters from all over the world, attractively displayed in a large hangar. Exhibition highlights are the Mi-24D Hind from the East German army, a Czechoslovakian Mi-4 and a Kamov Ka-26 with Interchangeable cabin from the East German airline Interflug. The Helicopter Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 16:30 all year. Comtourist is delighted with the large amount of Soviet helicopters in the museum collection and recommends visiting the museum to all aviation enthusiasts.

Map of the UK Helicopter museum near Weston-super-Mare

How to find the helicopter museum

Entrance of the UK Helicopter museum near Weston-super-Mare

Helicopter Museum entrance

Mil Mi-1 Hare

WSK Swidnik SM-2

Polish built SM-1 variant of the Mil Mi-1 build by PZL-Swidnik

Mil Mi-1 Hare

The WSK Swidnik SM-2 is a Polish variant of the Soviet Mil Mi-1

WSK Swidnik SM-2

A Polish build PZL Swidnik SM-1 variant of the Soviet Mil Mi-2 presented as a Mi-1 with Soviet markings. This helicopter served in the Polish Air Force from 1959 to 1990 mainly used for pilot training.

Polish derivative of the Soviet Mi-1 build in 1961 at Swidnik for the Polish Air Force. The SM-2 was withdrawn from service at the end of the 1970s, most models were scrapped and very few helicopters have survived today.

Mil Mi-2 Hoplite

Mil Mi-8PS Hip

Mil Mi-2 build under license by the PZL-Swidnik plant in Poland

Mil Mi-2 Hoplite

Rare VIP variant of the Mil Mi-8PS Hip medium transport helicopter

Mil Mi-8PS Hip

The Mi-2 is a mass produced Soviet helicopter of which more then 5200 have been built since 1966. This helicopter was built in Poland at the PZL-Swidnik plant like the Mi-1 and the SM-2 of the museum.

The Mil M-8PS was not yet displayed in the public exhibition hall of the museum during our visit. The museum’s Mi-8 is a rare VIP variant build to transport VIP’s for the Polish 36 Special Air Transport Regiment.

Mil Mi-4 Hound

The Mil Mi-4 Hound is a transport helicopter that closely resembles the American H-19 Chickasaw actively used by the US Army during the Korean War. In 1951 Stalin demanded a similar transport helicopter that had to be operational in 12 months. More then 3000 Mi-4s were built in the next 15 years to serve in the Soviet and Warsaw pact forces and fulfil civilian tasks for Aeroflot. The Mi-4 of the museum was build in the 1950s and last served with the Czechoslovak Air Force, it was delivered to the museum in 1992.

Cargo bay of the Mi-4 used by the Czechoslovak Air Force

Cargo bay of the Mi-4

Mil Mi-4 Hound assault transport helicopter developed in 1951

Czechoslovakian Mil Mi-4 Hound

Mil Mi-24D Hind

The Mi-24D ground attack helicopter is undoubtedly the star of the Helicopter Museum collection. It is located on the centre of the hangar with multiple observation platforms allowing a good look at this Soviet monster. The Hind became famous for its role in the Afghan War, they were initially very successful but losses mounted when the Americans started to supply the Mujahideen with Stinger service to air missiles. The Hind is armed with a Yakushev-Borzov YakB-12.7 mm remotely controlled 12.7x108mm calibre four-barrel Gatling gun mounts for Falanga anti-tank missiles and wing pods for 80 rockets. There is also original ground service equipment displayed including a gasoline tank and munitions crates. More then 350 Mi-24D helicopters were build at factories in Arsenyev and Rostov on Don. The Hind of the Helicopter museum was build in 1981 and belonged to the East German army based in Basephol. The united German government disbanded the Hind squadrons in 1992 and this helicopter was donated to the Helicopter Museum.

Mil Mi-24D Hind helicopter gunship with transport capabilities

Mil Mi-24D Hind

Mi-24D helicopter that served on Basephol army base near Berlin

Side entrance for troops

UB-32 S-5 rocket launchers and Phalanga anti tank rocket holders

Hind rocket pots

Entrance of the Mi-24D cockpit from the crew compartment

Room for eight troops

Interior of the Mi-24D main cockpit where the pilot commander sits

Cockpit of the Mi-24

Mil Mi-24D Hind flexible 12.7 mm Yakushev-Borzov Yak-B Gatling gun

YakB Gatling gun

Kamov Ka-26 Hoodlum

The Kamov Ka-26 Hoodlum is one of the most interesting and innovative helicopters displayed in the museum. This Soviet build light utility helicopter has two co-axial rotors and an interchangeable cabin, 600 Ka-26 helicopters were built. The museum aircraft was built in 1973 in Russia as a utility and crop spraying helicopter. It was later owned by the East German National airline Interflug. The interchangeable unit behind the cockpit allows quick conversion from crop spraying to passenger carrying or crane lifting.

Kamov Ka-26 Hoodlum bough in 1973 by the GDR airline Interflug

Kamov Ka-26 Hoodlum

Cockpit of the Soviet build Kamov Ka-26 Hoodlum helicopter

Ka-26 cockpit

Instruments inside the cockpit of the Kamov Ka-26 helicopter

Ka-26 instruments

Interior of the interchangeable passengers cabin of the Ka-26

Ka-26 passenger cabin

Famous US Helicopters from the cold war

Most of the helicopters in the museum are British models mainly produced by Westland, there are also some interesting American helicopters that are now Cold War icons. The most famous US Cold War helicopters are probably the Bell H-13 Sioux and the Bell UH-1H Iroquois. The Bell H-13 Sioux became an icon of the Korean War as a result of its prominent role as transport helicopter for wounded soldiers in the famous 1970s American television series M*A*S*H. The Bell UH-1H Iroquois, better known as the Huey became famous during the Vietnam War were it transported soldiers to and from the frontline.

The Bell 47, famous from the Korean war and MASH TV series

Bell-47G Sioux

The American Bell UH-1 Iroquois famous from the Vietnam war

Bell-UH-1H Iroquois