Do you find Christmas wrapping a chore? Do you struggle to wrap a box of chocolates without getting tangled in a ball of sticky tape? Well, spare a thought for the team at Aerospace Bristol and Packexe, who faced the enormous challenge of wrapping a 1950s helicopter this Christmas!
The twin-rotor Type 173 helicopter has been carefully wrapped by protection film specialists Packexe, ready for its move to Aerospace Bristol, a new aviation museum taking off in Bristol next summer. Bringing together nationally-significant exhibits and hidden archive records, Aerospace Bristol will tell over one hundred years of fascinating aviation history for the very first time.
Packexe CEO, Andrew Orchard, said: “At Packexe, we pride ourselves on innovation. We have over 25 years’ experience of using our technology and expertise to solve a whole range of problems… but we’ve never been asked to wrap a helicopter before! This was certainly a unique challenge, but I’m pleased to say everything went smoothly and we were very happy to support Aerospace Bristol.”
Linda Coode, Aerospace Bristol’s Collections Manager, added: “As if wrapping an entire helicopter isn’t a big enough task, this particular helicopter is an important historical object and needs to be treated with great care. It was the world’s first twin-engined, tandem rotor helicopter, so we had to be absolutely sure that it was fully protected, ready for the journey to its new home at Aerospace Bristol. Fortunately, Andrew Orchard and his team from Packexe rose to the challenge and did a fantastic job.”
Developed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company and first flown in 1952, the Type 173 was the forerunner to the Bristol Belvedere. From 1961 to 1969, The Royal Air Force operated the Belvedere in troop transport, casualty evacuation and supply drop roles.