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Schweizer/Hughes 269C/300C
Schweizer 269D/330/333
N234JH Hughes 269B / 300B c/n 64-0111 - Lelystad airport in Holland - 4 September 2004 more at Lelystad Airport

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. 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 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 269B is H269.

In 1964, the Hughes 269B c/n 64-0111 was registered CF-RQA in Canada. When in 1974, the International Registration Prefix 'CF-xxx' for aircraft registered in Canada was changed to 'C-xxxx', the CF-RQA was re-registered C-FRQA. On 29 October 1985, registration C-FRQA was cancelled as exported to the USA. On 31 December 1985, the Hughes 269B was registered N234JH in the USA. On 13 June 2006, Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc Trustee, Cornwall, UK, was registered as owner of the N234JH. Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc. is an aircraft registration company in the UK, specialised in providing Individual Trust Agreements to non-US citizens to enable them to legally register their aircraft on the American "N" register. Hughes 269B N234JH was owned by Mr. J. Venema and operated by Bogaerds Cord B.V. out of Lelystad Airport in the Netherlands. On 15 May 2008, registration N234JH was cancelled as exported to Germany. The 1964-built Hughes 269B c/n 64-0111 was never registered in Germany.

page last updated: 17-12-2015
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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