The Helicopter Museum
Fairey Aviation


 


The Fairey Aviation Company, Ltd was a British aircraft manufacturer of the first half of the 20th century, notable for a number of important aircraft, including the Fairey III family and the Fairey Swordfish. Founded in 1916, Fairey merged with Westland Aircraft in 1960.

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Click here to view the Fairey Aviation Helicopters in the Collection       Click here to view the AgustaWestland Helicopters in the Collection

 


Fairey Rotodyne, XE521, C/n. F.9429.
The Fairey Rotodyne was the culmination of more than 15 years research into compound or convertible helicopters made by the Fairey Aviation Company. Early trials were carried out between 1947 and 1956 and XE521 was built in 1957 at Hayes, Middlesex as a prototype large compound helicopter, powered by two Napier Eland turboshaft engines. Following several weeks of ground tests it first flew at White Waltham on 6th November 1957, but did not complete the first full transition from vertical to cruise flight until April 1958. On 5th January 1959 XE521 set up a new convertiplane class (E2) speed record of 307.22 kph (190.9 mph) in the 100 km (62 mile) closed circuit category. The Rotodyne failed to secure any firm orders and the project was cancelled in 1962. The aircraft last flew on 26th January 1962 and was then cut up and scrapped at RAE Farnborough. The museum located a number of major components including an Eland engine, a complete test rotor blade, and several tip jets. These components were airlifted to Weston-super-Mare by an RAF Chinook helicopter. After a long period in storage, repair and restoration of the various parts began in 1995 and was completed in 1996. The Helicopter Museum holds the only remaining major components of the Fairey Rotodyne prototype.


Fairey Ultra-Light, G-AOUJ/XJ928, C/n. F.9424.
The Fairey Ultra-Light helicopter was one of several projects submitted in the mid 1950s to meet a British Army specification for a battlefield reconnaissance and general-purpose helicopter. Built in 1955 at Hayes, Middlesex the 2 seat light observation helicopter was powered by a Blackburn-Turboméca Palouste BnPe 2 gas turbine engine. The first of six Ultra-Lights flew at White Waltham in August 1955 and the machine in the museum collection 'as the second prototype, which made its first flight on 20th March 1956. It was eventually given a modified nose to take a stretcher for promotion as a casualty evacuation helicopter. In 1977 the aircraft was rediscovered in a very derelict condition on a farm near Harlow and joined the collection in 1978. It was moved to Weston-super-Mare in May 1979 and put into storage to await restoration. A set of original rotor blades, an engine and the original tail unit were acquired and it is hoped to restore the airframe as much as possible, although the missing rotor head may prove impossible to replace. Note: Currently on loan to the Cotswold Aviation Preservation Society for long-term restoration.


Click here to view the American helicopters in the collection.
North American

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Eastern European

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Western European

 

 

 

 

Fairey Rotodyne, XE521

 

 

 

 

 

Fairey Ultra-Light, G-AOUJ/XJ928