At Longhorn Helicopters, we love our whirlybirds, and love teaching people all about them. Our flight school will prep any budding pilot with excellent in-air helicopter training and certification courses.

One of the helicopters we have in our fleet (and train people to fly) is the Schweizer 300.

It’s known by a number of names (thanks to changes in ownership and manufacturing over the years), including the Sikorsky S-300, the Hughes 300 and the Schweizer 300.

This helicopter’s basic design is tried and true and has been in production in some form for almost 50 years. A light utility helicopter, the S-300 features a single, three-bladed main rotor and is mostly used as a low-cost, lightweight, three-seat helicopter for training and agriculture.

According to Aerospace Technology, the S-300 can carry one pilot, two passengers and 950 pounds of payload. Empty, the helicopter weighs 1,100 pounds, and with payload, its maximum takeoff weight is 2,050 pounds. Its cruise speed is around 99 miles per hour, but can rev up to a maximum speed of 109 miles per hour. The S-300 can climb at a rate of 750 feet per minute and has a travel range of 204 miles.

More than 3,000 units of the S-300 have been manufactured over the decades, and a number of countries have deployed the aircraft in official capacities, including the militaries/police forces of Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Greece, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey… and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

At Fort Worth-based Longhorn Helicopters, we’re especially excited about the recent development of newly formed local company Schweizer RSG purchasing the product line from Sikorsky (which is owned by Lockheed Martin). More interested in its two main S-76 and S-92 aircraft, Sikorsky’s sale of the smaller-scale Schweizer line was a strategic restructuring move, and a good one for our Fort Worth neighbors.

According to Flying Magazine, Schweizer RSG plans to restart production of the Schweizer 300 by the end of the year.

Flying‘s Stephen Pope writes:

“The model will be produced under license by AVIC in China to support that country’s growing demand for trainers. The sale also gives hope for improved parts availability to the owners of the estimated 2,900 Schweizer S-300 series helicopters flying around the world.

Sikorsky purchased the type, originally known as the Hughes 300, through its acquisition of Schweizer Aircraft Corp., and soon rebranded it the Sikorsky S-300. The light trainers future appeared bright for a while, but Sikorsky closed the original Schweizer factory in Elmira, New York, in 2010, throwing the fate of the model into question.

The president of Schweizer RSG is David Horton, who served as the president and general manager of Schweizer Aircraft from 2008 to 2010. The company plans to provide a further update on the S-300’s future at the upcoming Heli-Expo show in Las Vegas February 27-March 1.

The future looks bright for the Schweizer 300, and to learn how to get this classic, tried-and-true whirlybird in the air, get in touch with Longhorn Helicopters’ flight school today!