Friends for two years before dating

The American Helicopter Society (AHS) has presented Friends Member, David Gibbings MBE, with their prestigious John J. The annual award, presented on 6th May 2015 at their 71st Annual Forum in Virginia Beach, recognises distinguished achievement in encouraging appreciation of, and enhancing access to, the history and legacy of vertical flight aircraft.

David Gibbings joined the Royal Air Force, in 1949, as an apprentice and subsequently trained as a navigator.

We have now passed over another 100 making 700 so far, and will be attending the Christmas Fayre with our variety stall.

Thank you for all your support and I hope you will embrace the new free scheme on offer. G-BKGD returned home on 30 July 2015 after five years on loan to City of Bristol College, who conduct engineering training for a number of major companies within the aircraft industry.

The Museum itself will now provide a quarterly newsletter - but delivered by email.

Can all Members who wish to receive this newsletter please let me have your current email address via my answerphone on (01934)823312 or by post to me, Dave Wallace, 31 Old Banwell Road, Locking, Weston-super-Mare, BS24 8BT. The newsletter will be a free service - no membership fee will be needed.

G-BKGD was the second WG-30 prototype, built at Yeovil and delivered to British Airways Helicopters (BAH) in October 1982.

It was initially based at North Denes to service the gas drilling industry in the southern North Sea but subsequently spent three years on the Penzance/Scilly Islands scheduled passenger service. On transfer to The Helicopter Museum in 1995, G-BKGD was intended for use as an engine running demonstrator but remained in storage until 2010.

David has just published his book "A Quiet Country Town" celebrating 100 years of Westland as an aircraft company.

My personal apologies for not finding a way to provide you with regular newsletters - our committee has been very small over the last couple of years. A new Museum-run, email-based, membership scheme is mooted for 2016.

Please let me have your email addresses so that you can go on this list and receive the free newsletter.

After Westland acquired Fairey in 1960 and on conclusion of the Rotodyne programme in 1962, he worked on the new Wasp and Scout helicopters before moving to Yeovil in 1964.

After three years in the Westland Flight Test Department at Yeovil, he was appointed Project Flight Test Engineer for the new Lynx programme, in 1967, and flew in the first prototype, XW835, on its maiden flight on 21st March 1971.

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