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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

Kind donation received ahead of Aerospace Bristol Oral History Project

Martha Lewington

Aerospace Bristol is delighted to have received a kind donation of £1,596.70 from Filton Community History Group.

After many years spent capturing local people's memories, the Community Group is disbanding, but leaves a legacy that includes 70 interviews with former Filton aerospace workers and a donation that kick-starts the development of Aerospace Bristol's Oral History Project.

The interviews conducted by the group uncovered never-before-told stories and insights that would otherwise have been lost, offering a unique glimpse into what it was like to live in Filton and work in a variety of aerospace industry roles through the decades.

Snippets from some of these interviews can be heard through listening stations at Aerospace Bristol and are quoted in the museum exhibition, helping Aerospace Bristol visitors to access complex engineering history through the perspectives of the people who made it happen.

Aerospace Bristol would like to say a huge thank you to Jane, Peggy, Jackie and Stan for their donation and generous support over the years.

If you would like to support Aerospace Bristol, please give a kind donation.

Above: Jane Tozer, Jackie Sims and Stan Sims present the donation to Linda Coode (second left), Collections Manager at Aerospace Bristol.  Peggy Allen was not present for the photo.

Above: Jane Tozer, Jackie Sims and Stan Sims present the donation to Linda Coode (second left), Collections Manager at Aerospace Bristol.  Peggy Allen was not present for the photo.

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