Schweizer 300 Helicopter

The Schweizer 300 originally was designed by Hughes Tool Company’s Aircraft Division (Hughes as in Howard Hughes) in the mid 1950’s. It did not enter production until 1960 and it is still in production to this day, by Schweizer. The Schweizer 300 is a wonderful little helicopter that is very easy to fly compared to a R22, though not as cheap to operate as a Robinson R22. They will yaw if disturbed in fllight, somewhat similar to the manner in which a short-bodied Beech Bonanza will wag its tail. It is of the few small piston helicopters to feature a three bladed rotor (along with Enstrom).

When the helicopter was made by Hughes, it was known as the Hughes 269 and, just to keep up with sometimes maddening name switcheroos, it was sold in good numbers to the U.S. Army as the TH-55. The Army used the TH-55 as a training helicopter. In civilian dress, this helicopter found use with law enforcement agencies, and as agricultural sprayers and trainers. In the bush, these helicopters are often used for pipeline patrol, wildlife surveys and the like. They offer favorable operational economics.

The Schweizer series (and predecessors) all used a version of the venerable HIO-360 Lycoming engine and like the smaller 0-320 used on the Robinson R22, the engine is practically indestructible. The Schweizer can seat three on its bench seat, but when used for training the center section of the bench is removed (to add an additional collective stick) and it becomes a two-seater. This next video features a beautiful aerial view of San Francisco and the Bay in California, USA, taken from a Schweizer 300 helicopter. If you've never been to San Francisco, you have got to see this.

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