World's fastest helicopter receives Engineering Heritage Award

G-Lynx at Yeovilton Air Day 2011 Image copyright (C) British Broadcasting Corporation
Image caption The G-Lynx broke the world speed record for helicopters by flying over a 15km course at 249.1mph/400.87kph - a record which has not been beaten

The world's fastest helicopter has received an Engineering Heritage Award, 28 years after breaking the record.

The modified Westland G-Lynx flew at 249mph (400kmph) over the Somerset Levels on 11 August 1986.

The G-Lynx, based at a Weston-super-Mare museum, is the 99th recipient of the award which has included Concorde.

John Wood, from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said it was a "remarkable example of British engineering and vision".

Originally built as a demonstrator craft by Westland Helicopters in Yeovil, the helicopter was heavily modified in 1985 in a bid to beat the record held by a Russian helicopter.

To allow the craft to fly at high speed, more powerful Rolls-Royce engines were added along with newly-designed blades.

"This award is in recognition of all the people involved in making the 1986 record possible," said Mr Wood.

"It is testament to the cutting-edge modifications made to the helicopter, that the world speed record still stands 28 years later."

Elfan Ap Rees, who founded the Helicopter Museum in Weston-super-Mare, said he was "delighted" the helicopter had been recognised.

It is the first time a helicopter has received the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' award, which has been presented to Concorde, the Mallard locomotive and the Jaguar E-Type in the past.

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