Leonardo’s Yeovil site is the Home of British Helicopters, having established world-class manufacturing capability over the past century, since the Westland Aircraft Works was established in 1915. During this time, more than 3,300 helicopters have been delivered. The site was built in order to build aircraft to support the First World War effort. The first aircraft built at the Works was a Short 184 seaplane, which left on 1 January 1916, by horse and cart. The fourth ever aircraft built at Westland took part in the Battle of Jutland, piloted by Frederick Rutland from Weymouth, or ‘Rutland of Jutland’ as he became known.
Today, Leonardo Helicopters is based in Yeovil, with nearly 2,800 employees producing helicopters on site such as the Super Lynx 300, AW159 Wildcat and AW101 Merlin.