AHMEC’s history dates to 1993 when “spurred by the Philadelphia chapter of the American Helicopter Society, a number of rotary wing aviation pioneers and industry leaders discussed how to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Helicopter Society and recognize the Delaware Valley as the cradle of rotary wing aviation in the United States,” explained Marc Sheffler, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Peter Wright, President of Keystone Helicopters and veteran of the famed Flying Tigers of World War II, was the driving force behind creating an all-helicopter museum. Two years of meetings followed to put all the logistics in place, locate a site and raise funds. On October 18, 1996, AHMEC’s doors opened to the public at what was formerly a manufacturing facility for MBB Helicopters adjacent Brandywine Airport where it continues to welcome visitors to this day.
Light supper and libations will be served at the 20th Anniversary Celebration by John Serock Catering. Major upgrades to the museum will be unveiled, including two new class/meeting rooms, an interactive exhibit in Pioneer Hall, comfortable Kids Helipad and fun Cobra Simulator. The versatile new state-of-the-art, 1250-square-foot theatre will be showcased with its flexible seating, drop-down multimedia screen, and computer capability with free WIFI access.
On view will be AHMEC’s latest acquisition: one of four rotors, hubs and trusses from the record-breaking human-powered helicopter, Atlas. The Atlas, designed and built by Canada’s AeroVelo, will be part of an upcoming interactive exhibit that will incorporate a stationary bicycle to reenact the dramatic flight that won the prestigious $250,000 American Helicopter Society Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Prize in 2013.
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