The National Helicopter Museum is a historic museum focusing on the evolution of helicopters. The museum is located in Stratford, Connecticut and was established in 1983 by Robert McCloud and Dr. Raymond Jankowich.
The museum collects and preserves different helicopters from different eras together with important historical aviation memorabilia from Stratford, Connecticut anywhere between the 1900s until the present. The museum has received extensive funding thanks to a grant provided by aerospace manufacturer Avco Lycoming.
The museum focuses on preserving and collecting objects related to the history of aviation and the helicopter industry of Stratford. This is made easy by the fact that Stratford, Connecticut is home of the Sikorsky Aircraft company established by Igor Sikorsky.
Guests can learn more about the evolution and the history of the helicopter when they step inside the National Helicopter Museum. Exhibits include the evolution of the rotary wing including an in-depth study on items such as the boomerang and the Leonardo da Vinci designed Chinese tops. There are also exhibits such as inventions from George Cayley all the way to early motorized experiments including artifacts like the early models of the gyroscope.
One of the prominent exhibits included in the helicopter museum includes different types of modern helicopters together with the first helicopter created by Igor Sikorsky which was launched on September 14, 1939. Permanent exhibits include the small gas turbine which was developed by Dr. Anselm Franz and Avco Lycoming. This turbine was used by helicopter units such as the Bell Helicopter, the Huey or the UH-1 Iroquois and the Chinook or the Boeing CH-47. Visitors can also spot exhibits such as the development of the tilt rotor and even feature the working cockpit of the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter.
The National Helicopter Museum is open from Wednesdays to Sundays from 1:00pm to 4:00 pm and is free of charge.