Aviationweb déjà vu                       Luchtvaart déjà vu helicopters photo gallery

Schweizer/Hughes 269C/300C
D-HACA D-HBOL
D-HHEX D-HRIC
D-HSPU HA-MST
OO-MDP PH-DIB
PH-HBH PH-OKE
Schweizer 269D/330/333
PH-HHA PH-HHB
PH-HHF SP-SSH
PH-RYF Hughes 269C / 300C c/n 105-0444 - Heli-Holland - heliport Emmen in Holland - 27 June 2005 more helicopters in Emmen

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.

Over the years a number of Hughes 269B, 269C and Schweizer 300 were operated by Heli-Holland. On 14 April 1975, Hughes 269B PH-HOP was the first helicopter registered by Heli-Holland in the Dutch register. The first 269C was the PH-JOH, registered with Heli-Holland BV on 29 May 1976.

On 13 May 1980, the 1975-built Hughes 269C c/n 105-0444 (ex. D-HKEP, OY-HCE) was registered PH-RYF in the Netherlands with Ryfas Heli Service BV, Hilversum. On 30 June 1980, the Hughes 269C PH-RYF crashed near 's Gravendeel and registration PH-RYF was cancelled on 28 August 1980. After being rebuilt by Heli-Holland, registration PH-HAH was requested for the Hughes, but the authorities refused registration PH-HAH for this helicopter. On 28 November 1983, the aircraft was restored to the register as PH-RYF with Heli-Holland BV. On 16 October 1989, Hughes 269C PH-RYF was registered with Dibova VoF in Beuningen. On 27 November 1992, after Dibova received Schweizer 300C PH-DIB, the PH-RYF was returned to Heli-Holland and registered with Heli Holland Holding BV, Emmer-Compascuum. On 9 April 2015, the Hughes 269C PH-RYF was registered with Ryfas Heli Service BV, Hilversum, where it replaced the Hughes 269C PH-OKE that was damaged beyond repair in a crash at Hilversum airfield on 13 March 2014.

page last updated: 20-11-2015
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands
 

aeroplanes history / photo index    helicopters photo gallery   Eurocopter EC120 productionlist   Micro Light Aeroplanes    European Airfields online