Hiller Helicopter Lessons

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An airworthy Hiller helicopter is rare enough but to fly in one with movie star credentials is pretty much as unique as you can get! This classic helicopter is the very same that featured in the James Bond film ‘Goldfinger’ and has a role in the 2015 remake of ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E’. Now fully restored in all her 1960s glory this Hiller UH12 chopper is ready and waiting to whisk you into the skies above Leeds! This Hiller UH12 factory number 2070 has a wonderful history. Built in 1960 and first registered in the UK as G-ASAZ her first taste of the limelight was in 1962 when she featured in ‘The V.I.P.s’ a film starring Liz Taylor and Richard Burton set in a very foggy T2 of London’s Heathrow Airport. Liz plays glamorous actress Frances Andros who is trying to leave her rich husband Paul played by Burton to elope with her lover Marc – but fog grounds all the planes and helicopters It’s a just as a dramatic but rather more tongue-in-cheek role our Hiller hero played in ‘Goldfinger’ in 1964. A certain helicopter-flying Ms Galore was charged with transporting an atomic bomb to Fort Knox for baddie Goldfinger in what becomes the final showdown of the film. Luckily on these flights you won’t be carrying any such dangerous goods and you won’t come face to face with Oddjob and deadly bowler hat either! Sadly after these high-profile film roles the Hiller’s 15 minutes of fame was up and she became a workhorse of the skies until found languishing in her non-flying state in 1999. But like all great stars her comeback was to come when she was spotted by current owner Robert Hields. A four year labour of love to restore G-ASAZ back to her former brilliant white glory and she’s back flying and looking as glamorous as she as during her ‘V.I.P.s’ and ‘Goldfinger’ days. And the comeback queen made a triumphant return to the small screen in episodes of ‘The Royal’ and ‘Heartbeat’ before finding fame on the big screen again in the 2015 Guy Ritchie version of that classic ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E’. We think this is an absolutely fabulous helicopter to fly in and one that holds a very special place in cinema and aviation history. She’s a tricky chopper to master with twin rotor blades and twin paddles making her difficult to fly. And the cockpit set up is really quite unusual with the pilot sitting up front in the middle and room for three passengers behind including a set of dual controls back there too! Whilst there’ll be no glam Bond girls or foggy runways flying in this wonderful Hiller helicopter will certainly be evocative of the fledging days of air travel in the 1960s and is an unusual and unique experience that could have come straight out of Hollywood or rather Pinewood Studios!

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