19-Jul-2021 Source: HeliHub.com
Schweizer RSG, the current owner of the S300 production line, has announced that their first S300 has been issued a Certificate of Airworthiness, and will soon be delivered to a customer in the African country of Senegal.
The 300 production line dates back to when Hughes started it in the 1960s on the US West Coast in California, and had huge success with the military TH-55 variant in particular. In 1984, McDonnell Douglas purchased Hughes Helicopters, primarily for the Apache, and two years later sold the 300 production line to Schweizer, which had made a name for itself with gliders and agricultural aircraft. This led to the 300 production line moving to the East Coast, as Schweizer was headquartered in Elmira, NY. Schweizer enjoyed a number of successful years selling the 300C, developing a training-school focused S300CBi and an entry level turbine, the 330 and its later derivates including the 333.
In 2004, Schweizer was bought by Sikorsky, who quickly took on the production facility at Elmira for Black Hawks, and rebranded the piston-engined helicopter as the Sikorsky S300C, and its turbine big brother as the Sikorsky S333. However, those names never stuck as everyone worldwide refers to the piston-engined helicopter as the Hughes or Schweizer 300, while the 333 has always been known as the Schweizer 333 as it was developed after Hughes sold out.
Sikorsky produced very few 300s during its tenure, and in 2018 the Schweizer helicopter product lines were sold on again, and is now named Schweizer RSG and based in Texas. The following year the FAA issued a Production Authority notice to the new owners, and it is only now – partly thanks to the pandemic – that the first 300C has rolled off the Schweizer RSG line in Texas. Serial number S1973 is the landmark aircraft.