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Hughes 269C/300C
Schweizer 269D/330/333
D-HVIC Schweizer 269C / 300C c/n S1526 - S.P. Helicopter Service - Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg in Germany - 13 September 2019 Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg (EDWF)

The Schweizer 269C is a three-seat light utility helicopter powered by a single 190hp Lycoming HIO-360-D1A piston engine driving a three-bladed rotor. The basic of the Hughes 269C Model 300C goes back to the Hughes 269 helicopter. 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. On 24 January 2018, Sikorsky announced that it had sold its light product line, including the S-300, to Schweizer RSG, a new company affiliated with Rotorcraft Services Group in Fort Worth, Texas, bringing an end to years of uncertainty as to the type’s future with the manufacturing giant. Next to this, the company had already established a partnership with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), which will produce the S-300 under license with approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China. On 25 January 2018, Schweizer RSG LLC became the holder of the type certificate for the 269A; 269A-1; 269B; 269C; 269C-1 and 269D models. In July 2021, Schweizer received the Certificate of Airworthiness for first S300C helicopter produced on the production line in Forth Worth. Over 3700 helicopters of the 269/300/TH55 were built, of which 2800 by Hughes before production was transferred to Schweizer.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Schweizer 269C is H269.

In 1991, Schweizer 269C s/n S-1526 was registered D-HSPH in Germany with S.P. Helicopter Service, Dattenberg. On 7 March 2003, the helicopter was registered OO-HBM with a privat owner in Belgium. On 16 October 2014, registration OO-HBM was cancelled as exported to Germany and registration D-HVIC was reserved. On 4 June 2015, the 1991-built Schweizer 269C was registered D-HVIC with S.P. Helicopter Service, Dattenberg. Since, the Schweizer 269C D-HVIC is operated by S.P. Luftbild for aerial photography.
On 13 September 2019, Schweizer 269C D-HVIC was seen at the Flugplatz Leer-Papenburg (EDWF). Although the colors red-white-blue suggest that the helicopter has Dutch roots, that is not the case: in the 1990s a number of Schweizer helicopters were delivered in Germany in these colors.

page last updated: 16-09-2021
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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