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WTNH National Helicopter Museum Interview with Gale Whittemore July 7, 2011

By: Gil Simmons

Stratford, Conn. (WTNH) – It may look small and unassuming from the outside but inside the National Helicopter Museum in Stratford is everything helicopter from floor to ceiling, 28 years in the making. “We’re probably Stratford’s best kept secret,” said Gale Whittemore, museum volunteer.

From Leonardo Da Vinci to Igor Sikorsky , who put the helo into production, from maple seeds to models, you can trace the evolution of this flying machine. “Most of our exhibits are self explanatory and everything is labeled,” Whittemore said.

Whittemore is one of the volunteers and secretary of the museum, and a pretty good tour guide too. “If we can give them the basic background, just get them interested, that’s what we’re here for; to educate,” she said. Especially young aviation enthusiasts. “It wasn’t too long ago when a ten-year-old came here and listened to my spiel. He came back the next day on his bicycle with a friend and the next thing I know he is standing at the cockpit giving my spiel to his friend.” Inside the museum is an actual helicopter cockpit. It always draws a crowd.

“Come to see us,” Whittemore said. “We may be small but we have a lot here.”