HORSEHEADS, NY -- Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a Sikorsky company, today marked the 25th anniversary of the first delivery of the aircraft now known as the S-300C helicopter. The first 300C helicopter manufactured by Schweizer was delivered to the Baltimore Police Department on June 24, 1984. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
Schweizer Aircraft Corp., since renamed Sikorsky Global Helicopters, acquired the licensing rights to the 300C program from Hughes Aircraft Co. in 1983 and began production of the first Schweizer-manufactured 300C helicopters the following year.
Within eight months of signing the agreement and shipping Hughes' entire manufacturing inventory in 32 tractor-trailers from California to the Schweizer facility in New York, the first helicopter was assembled, test flown, and delivered. Eleven helicopters were delivered in 1984, and within three years production quadrupled. Schweizer purchased the entire 300C helicopter program in 1986.
"The S-300C helicopter is a valuable part of Sikorsky's product line," said David Oglesbee, Director, Sikorsky Global Helicopters, Light Helicopter Division. "Achieving 25 years of S-300C aircraft deliveries is a huge accomplishment and a testament to the reliability and ruggedness of this airframe and to Sikorsky's commitment to the product."
The 300C helicopter was the world's standard training helicopter when it was first introduced and was used by the U.S. Army, international militaries, and commercial helicopter operators. By the time Schweizer acquired the program, the worldwide 300C fleet stood at 2,700 helicopters.
The S-300C helicopter proved to be a useful platform for developing other model variations. The 300CB helicopter was introduced in 1995 for the commercial flight training market and was replaced by the 300CBi model in 2002.
The S-300C helicopter operates throughout the world in many demanding roles including military patrol, power line/pipeline patrol, commercial and military flight training, ranching, external load operations, animal surveys, aerial photography, and personal transportation.
Sikorsky Global Helicopters, a Sikorsky company, comprises current Sikorsky platforms S-76, S-92, and H-92 helicopters; light helicopter platforms, the S-300C, S-300 CBi, S-333, and S-434 helicopters; and all operations of Keystone Helicopter Corp. and Associated Aircraft Group (AAG).