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D-HACA

Schweizer/Hughes 269C/300C
D-HBOL D-HHEX
D-HRIC D-HSPU
HA-MST N139JS
OO-MDP PH-DIB
PH-HBH PH-RYF

Grumman G.164A Ag Cat

D-FACU D-FADA
PH-APR PH-DAP
D-HACA Hughes 269C/300C c/n 72-0149 - Clever / Heli-Noord - Groningen Airport Eelde in Holland - 7 July 1977 more agricultural planes

The first of two prototypes of the two-seat Hughes Model 269 helicopter flew first in October 1956, only 13 months after commencement of design work. The basic design sparked US Army interest to order five Model 269 helicopters, designated YHO-2-HU, for evaluation. As a result Hughes won a US Army contract for a light helicopter primary trainer and 792 were built as the TH55A Osage. Deliveries of the commercial Model 269A, designated Hughes 200, started in 1961. The three-seat Model 269B, designated Hughes 300, flew first in 1964. In 1969 the 300 was followed by the improved Model 269C, designated Hughes 300C. Since 1983, Schweizer has built the 269C/300C, initially under licence for Hughes. Schweizer Aircraft Corp. acquired all rights to the helicopter in 1986. In 2005, Schweizer Aircraft Corp. became a wholly owned Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. subsidiary, rebranding its popular light training helicopter as the Sikorsky S-300. In 2009, Sikorsky Aircraft announced the creation of Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a business unit made up of the manufacturer’s commercial products, including the S-76, S-92 and H-92 platforms, as well as the Schweizer helicopter line. As part of the rebranding the commercial products, the Schweizer helicopters were market as the Sikorsky S-300C, S-300CBi, S-333 and S-434. For a while, it appeared that the acquisition would revitalize the series. Instead, the S-300 more or less dropped off the map, particularly after Sikorsky shuttered the original Schweizer manufacturing plant in Elmira, N.Y. in 2010. Sikorsky tried to reduce the costs by moving toward a standardized S-300 model with a redesigned instrument panel and as a result Sikorsky discontinued the 300CBi variant of the helicopter. In 2013, production of the S-300C was resumed on a S-300C production line at Sikorsky’s facilities in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, also home to the company’s S-92 and S-76 production lines. By the end of 2014, this line was closed and final assembly was outsourced to Summit Aviation. Selling the S-300 production lines outright is considered, along with the possibility of restructuring the programmes within Sikorsky. On 6 November 2015, Lockheed Martin completed its $9 billion acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft, replacing United Technologies as the American helicopter maker’s parent company. It remains to be seen what the effects of this merge are on a possible restart of the S-300 production. Over 3700 helicopters of the 269/300/TH55 are built, of which 2800 by Hughes before production was transferred to Schweizer. The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Hughes 269C is H269.

On 16 August 1972, Hughes 300C c/n 72-0149 was registered G-BABI in the UK with Gen-Avia, Guildford. On 29 November 1972, the G-BABI was registered with Heli Travel, Beaconsfield. On 1 February 1974, Hughes 269C G-BABI was registered with London Nursing Homes, London. On 9 April 1974, the Hughes was registered with Milord Car Services, London. On 6 April 1976, registration G-BABI was cancelled as exported to Germany. The same month, the 1972-built Hughes 300C was registered D-HACA in Germany with Clever. In 1978, registration D-HACA was cancelled as exported to Italy and registered I-LUKJ. The Hughes 300C is withdrawn from use since, and registration I-LUKJ is cancelled. Hughes 300C D-HACA was seen at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands on 7 July 1977. Owned by Clever it was operated by Heli-Noord B.V., Erica-Haren, in that time.

page last updated: 11-11-2015
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands
 

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