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

| 10/07/2018 | 0 Comments More

Visitors to Aerospace Bristol will be able to see the Sycamore helicopter up close between Tuesday 10th and Wednesday 11th July, before watching it take off at 1pm on Thursday 12th July.

It’s not just football that’s coming home!  The world’s only flying Bristol Sycamore helicopter is making a return to the city for three days only.  The Sycamore is on display at the new Aerospace Bristol museum this week and will be available for visitors to view from Tuesday 10th July until Thursday.  The unique example of a flying Sycamore will then take-off, as museum visitors look on, at 1pm on Thursday.

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.

Opened in October 2017 and situated on the historic Filton Airfield, Aerospace Bristol is a new family attraction that tells the story of Bristol’s remarkable aviation heritage.  The museum’s star attraction is Concorde Alpha Foxtrot, the last Concorde ever to fly, with visitors able to step aboard Concorde, glimpse into the cockpit, and enjoy a stunning show projected on to the fuselage of the supersonic jet.

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: 3hrs
  • Tank volume: 89 Imp Gal. /403 l
  • Engine: Alvis Leonides Mk 173
  • Power: 525 PS



Images by Flying Bulls

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Category: Event's, For The Family

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