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Hayes Way
Patchway, BS34

Aerospace Bristol is a new industrial heritage museum and learning centre being developed at Filton, to the north of Bristol. It will tell the story of the region's world-class aerospace industry - past, present and future. The Aerospace Bristol project is being run by the Bristol Aero Collection Trust.

Aerospace Bristol News

It’s coming home! World’s only flying Bristol Sycamore helicopter returns to Bristol

Martha Lewington

It’s not just football that’s coming home! The world’s only flying Bristol Sycamore helicopter is coming home to Bristol this week

Visitors to Aerospace Bristol can see the Sycamore up close from Tuesday 10th July until Thursday 12th July, including watching the unique helicopter take off at 1pm on Thursday 12th July as it leaves for the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. 


A total of 180 Bristol Sycamores were built at Filton and Weston-super-Mare, but the particular example visiting Aerospace Bristol this week is the only one in the world that is currently capable of flying. Built in 1957, this particular Sycamore served with the German Armed Forces before being decommissioned in 1969. It is now operated by the Flying Bulls ( 

The Bristol Sycamore was developed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company at the end of the Second World War and named in reference to the seeds of a Sycamore tree, which fall with a rotating motion. It was the first British helicopter to receive a certificate of airworthiness and to serve with the Royal Air Force.

Featuring rotor blades constructed entirely from wood, the prototype Mk 1 lifted off for its maiden flight in 1947 and the Mk 2 followed in 1949. With a top speed of 200 km/h and a range of around 430 km, the Bristol 171 was ahead of its time and used for sea and mountain rescue, passenger and freight transport, and surveillance flights. 

Bristol Sycamore technical specification:
Manufacturer: Bristol Aeroplane Company
Serial number: 13475
Callsign: OE-XSY
Year of construction:: 1957
Length (including main rotor): 14,10 m
Height: 3,7 m
Maximum take-off weight: 2540 kg
Maximum speed: 212 km/h
Cruising speed: 130 km/h
Maximum flight time: 3 Stunden
Tank volume: 89 Imp Gal. /403 l
Engine: Alvis Leonides Mk 173
Power: 525 PS

Aerospace Bristol awarded grant from Enovert Community Trust

Martha Lewington

Enovert Community Trust

Aerospace Bristol is extremely grateful to have been awarded a grant from Enovert Community Trust, an environmental body that supports projects that benefit communities in the vicinity of landfill sites, for example recreation projects and the restoring of green spaces across the UK.

Lloyd Burnell says, ‘The Enovert Community Trust grant has enabled us to add a super new play area for our younger visitors. A quite exciting aeroplane climbing frame for 4-10 year olds is on its way complete with slide, somersault, wobbly footbridge, climbing net and a climbing wall! We are grateful to the Trust for their amazing support.’

Alistair Holl, chairman of Enovert Community Trust said: ‘With so many fantastic exhibits within the museum, we as Trustees felt it was important to contribute to the outside space. This challenging new climbing frame will add another dimension to what will already be a fantastic place to visit.”

The fabulous new play area and will be ready for visitors in time for the summer holidays.