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French Helicopter Museum, Dax

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French Helicopter Museum, Dax

Old 8th Jul 2010, 16:05
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French Helicopter Museum, Dax

Couldn't find any mention of this anywhere on PPRuNe, thought it was worth writing about.

I went to the Helicopter Museum on the airfield at Dax, France yesterday: Bienvenue sur le site de l'AAMALAT

It's a pretty low-profile affair, from the main road past the airport there's just one tiny sign to it. I've been visiting this area regularly for 20 years and this is the first I knew of it. But they have a fantastic collection of aircraft, mainly helis but also some small fixed-wing stuff. Among other things they have a Sikorsky 55, an Mi-8, a Vertol, a Puma, numerous Gazelles and variations thereupon. They also have a static exhibit including a variety of different rotor-heads that you can poke and prod at.

It's all in French but as fair as the aircraft go that doesn't really matter much.

Dax is the centre of all French military and state helicopter pilot training (army/navy/police/coastguard/etc), a pretty busy place. There's also a flying club there and you might be able to land there with prior permission, particularly at the weekend. (The French official site says "strictly based aircraft only" but then goes on to give details for obtaining PPL).

n5296s
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Old 8th Jul 2010, 19:38
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Very nice museum, not big, but very friendly place.

My favourite is the SO 1221 Djinn
Sud-Ouest Djinn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When I look at the performances and it was in 1953
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Old 8th Jul 2010, 21:07
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It looks interesting. I'll be near there next month, so maybe I'll make a visit. I also saw a Djinn in the Flieger-Flab-Museum in Dübendorf last month. It was standing right next to another model of the Hiller 12E which I learned to fly in. One of my friends had the Djinn on his UK licence as he flew it for crop spraying. The Djin was a clever idea despite Igor Sikorsky having doubts that it could work, but the system of cold tip jets means that there is no gearbox, no tail rotor, and no rear drive. Fewer parts, less complexity, lower weight, and lower cost. It was a bit slow at only 70 knots cruise, and was also unusual in that it required a little two-stroke petrol engine which was used to start it, which led to some jokes about it being the ALAT's first twin engine helicopter!

I believe it was nick named the 'siffler' (whistler) because of the noise the air made as it exited the blade tips. An interesting and innovative little helicopter, but with advancing technology the system was not efficient enough to continue.
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