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Hughes 269C/300C
Schweizer 269D/330/333
PH-RYF Hughes 269C / 300C c/n 105-0444 - RYFAS HELICOPTERS - heliport Emmen in Holland - 26 October 2015 helicopters in Emmen

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 Schweizer 269C is H269.

On 13 May 1980, the 1975-built Hughes 269C s/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: 26-02-2018
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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