A rewarding and involving week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, near Yeovil.
So far this week, we have shared the company of an our enquirer interested in Fivehead Friendly Society and received an intriguing donation, related to a Yeovil-based company, which we know quite a bit about – but which underlines the point how a local company can take on national significance.
The items in question relate to the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by hot air balloon. This was achieved by the Virgin Atlantic Flyer piloted by Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand. The route left Sugar Loaf Mountain, USA at 08.10am on 2nd July 1987 and landed at Limavady, Northern Ireland at 15.51 on 3rd July 1987; a time of 31 hours and 41 minutes and a distance of 3075 statute miles (4947 kilometres).
Where, might you ask, was Yeovil’s involvement in this fantastic flight and more specifically, NormalAir Garrett Ltd?
A letter from Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand explains:
“The testing facilities within your company are unique. To equate what we were able to do in your test chamber would have taken us months and months of test flying.”
The great thing about working in Museums is that one never knows what will be donated and we are always learning something new!
Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand after completing their successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean – the first by hot air balloon.
The letter from Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand thanking NormalAir Garrett Ltd for the use of the company’s test facilities.
More ‘down to earth’ – part of our display for the annual Wessex Truck Show!