The Hughes 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. 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.
The 1973-built Hughes 269C s/n 930241 was operated first as G-BCHI, F-GALG and D-HNAH.
On 19 March 1981, the helicopter was registered PH-OKE in the Netherlands with Ryfas Heli Service BV, Hilversum.
However Mr. N.R.G. van der Meer became the registered owner on 15 June 1995, the PH-RYF is operated by
Ryfas Helicopters out of Hilversum airfield. On 3 July 2006, Hughes 269C PH-RYF was photographed at the Heli-Holland heliport
near Emmen in the Netherlands. On 13 March 2014, the helicopter was
damaged beyond repair in a crash at Hilversum airfield, injuring all three
occupants. Registration PH-OKE was cancelled the next day.