Sikorsky sells S-300 series product line to Schweizer RSG

Sikorsky has sold its light product line — including the popular light helicopter 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.

The S-300 aircraft is primarily used for pilot training. Mike Reyno Photo
The S-300 is a popular training aircraft. With the sale of the line to Schweizer RSG, it will soon be produced under license by AVIC in China to support that country’s growing demand for trainers. Mike Reyno Photo
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The sale brings hope of improved support for the estimated 2,900 S-300 series aircraft flying around the world, while allowing Sikorsky to focus on its two main product lines in the civilian market — the S-76 and S-92.

“For a number of years, we explored the right business path for production of the light helicopter product line while we fulfilled our order commitments and strengthened our supply chain,” said Dana Fiatarone, vice president for commercial systems and services at Sikorsky. “We feel we are now in the right position to transfer ownership of the S-300 and S-333 as well as the aftermarket support for both models.”

The transaction closed on Jan. 24, and was announced the following day to Sikorsky’s employees, customers, and suppliers. The manufacturer said the sale will have “no impact” on its commercial workforce or the facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, where the S-300 production line was based.

The sale is immediate, but Fiatarone said there will be some transition services as the line changes ownership.

The sale of Sikorsky's light product line will optimistically improve support for the S-300 series helicopters, estimated at 2,900 aircraft around the world. Mike Reyno Photo
The sale of Sikorsky’s light product line will optimistically improve support for the S-300 series helicopters, estimated at 2,900 aircraft around the world. Mike Reyno Photo

“We will be supporting Schweizer RSG as they take over the assets and the support of the business,” he said. “Importantly for our customers, we did make them aware of the sale and also did let them know we would fulfill our commitments under existing orders.

“So, whether that’s aircraft delivery orders or spares orders, Sikorsky is committed to fulfilling those commitments as RSG transitions into support and service of the aircraft, and for new aircraft and spares orders, they’ll work with Schweitzer RSG to make those happen.”

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Sikorsky had purchased the type — originally known as the Hughes 300 — through its acquisition of Schweizer Aircraft Corporation in 2004, and rebranded it the Sikorsky S-300.

While it initially appeared that the new ownership might revitalize the series, those hopes soon diminished, particularly after Sikorsky closed the original Schweizer manufacturing plant in Elmira, New York, in 2010.

The president of Schweizer RSG is David Horton, who served as the president and general manager of Schweizer Aircraft from 2008 to 2010. Horton told Vertical that the new company’s priority is, “first and foremost, to support the customers that already have the product,” with an immediate focus on strengthening the supply chain.

However, the company has already established a partnership with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), which will begin producing the S-300 under license with approval from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

“In China, I think [the S-300] is going to be a strong player,” Horton said, adding that once U.S. customers have renewed confidence in support for the aircraft, Schweizer RSG will work toward setting up an S-300 production line in Fort Worth. He added that the company will also be actively pursuing improvements and upgrades to the aircraft.

According to Horton, Schweizer RSG plans to hold a meeting for S-300 customers at HAI Heli-Expo 2018, Feb. 26 to March 1 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the company will share further information about its plans and gather feedback from existing customers.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Sikorsky sells S-300 series product line to Schweizer RSG

  1. This is the best news as its present owners did not care to support a wonderful safe and affordable aircraft. As a trainer the 269 is fantastic.

  2. Finally the owners of series 300 has now certain about the continued suply of parts for theirs neededs, per long time Sikorsky has desapointed us , a great helicopter without one factory.// from Brazil.

    1. Great point Danny, I was using my 269B for my rotor add on but ran in to the same problem with Air-Tech that other had. I hope the new owner can turn the air ship around and make it happen.

  3. I am surprised that the article and the comments were not far more critical of Sikorky in this. Let’s face it it they destroyed – trampled into the ground – a long standing and well respected company for a short-term gain [buying the factory site for other uses that were not sustained] and then were reticernt in what they were going to do with the product they found themselves owners of. They did not have the first idea what to do with it, it was way too small for their lofty ideas. Well hopefully it will slowly get better under new ownership. It will take a long time though.

    1. I have to agree. Did you like the line in that said ‘the sale will have no impact on its current work force’
      No shit!!

  4. Lets hope this fabulous little aircrafts makes a well earned come back as a trainer and there value starts to recover, and parts are on the shelf soon to stop people scrapping them, i love my 300c great aircraft & fun to fly

  5. All owners of 300s are needing per one site with forum of comments and offering parts in excess for to trade or sales enter the owners and commercial operators, will can be named ” Club 300s ” exist to muchs items lost per world and others operators seaching, if you like the idea my email for contact is [email protected], I think to be one great chanell of comunication of help for us. Thanks.

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