It has been 100 years since the first airfield was established in the country town of Yeovil. Since 1915, aircraft have been designed, manufactured and tested at Westland, including the Lysander, used to transport British agents to Europe during the Second World War. In 1948 the company focused solely on helicopters and its aircraft have been sent all over the world since then, used in lifesaving with Air Ambulance and Search and Rescue and deployed in warfare such as Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.
To celebrate the centenary of the UK's only major helicopter manufacturer, David Gibbings has collated an anthology of writings that retell Westland's history and its special relationship with Yeovil, which has rarely been quiet since the first aircraft took off from the airfield that now lies at its heart.
David Gibbings is a retired RAF navigator and flight test engineer for helicopters and aircraft. He worked on the rotodyne and with Westland, retiring as Chief Flight Test Engineer. Awarded the Kelly Johnson award for outstanding achievement in his field by the Society of Flight Test Engineers, he was the first recipient for the award outside the US. He is the author of Fairey Rotodyne, winner of the Peoples' Choice award in the Aviation section of the Hants Library's Special Collections Awards.