11-Sep-2011 Source: The Helicopter Museum
A very unusual donation has been made to The Helicopter Museum by UK housing developer, Barratts which in the past used helicopters as part of its television advertising to sell new homes nationwide.
The first UK house builder to use TV advertising, Barratt Homes commissioned the advertising in 1977, initially using a Bell JetRanger and then an Agusta A109A to promote their low-cost housing. The promotion featured actor Patrick Allen and made the company nationally famous by the early 1980s, as well as becoming the UK’s largest house builder.
Although the advertisements had stopped by the mid-1980s the iconic helicopter image remained and continued to feature in some of the company’s local housing promotions until recently. This included use of a helicopter sculpture used at some of the company’s development sites in the South West of England.
It is this sculpture, essentially a full-size skeletal JetRanger, which has been kindly donated to the museum following completion of a housing development in Paulton, Somerset. The museum, a registered charity now plans to erect the sculpture as part of a future redevelopment on the main road site frontage.