Hughes, Mcdonnell Douglas, Schweizer, Sikorsky...
… and now Schweizer again. Sikorsky has sold production rights, Type Certificate and spares stocks for the Sikorsky (previously Schweizer) S-300 light helicopter to Fort Worth, Texas-based Rotorcraft Services Group (RSG). It has formed a new company, Schweizer RSG, whose President, David Horton, was President and General Manager of Schweizer Aircraft from 2008-2010. He says that production will restart by the end of this year. Schweizer RSG planned to hold a meeting at Heli-expo in Las Vegas at the end of February, where Horton said the company will share further information about its plans and gather feedback from existing customers.
As the – then – Hughes 269, the helicopter made its first flight in October 1956, was certified by the FAA in March 1959 and entered production in the following year. In 1986, Schweizer bought all rights to the helicopter from Mcdonnell Douglas, which had purchased Hughes Helicopters in 1984, then developed and improved it through successive versions to the Model 300C. Twenty years later Sikorsky acquired the FAA Type Certificate, and in 2009 rebranded the helicopter as the Sikorsky S-300C, but a year later closed the original Schweizer manufacturing plant in Elmira, New York. Some 2,900 S-269s/300s are believed to be in operation worldwide.
The 300C helicopter – Schweizer once again