Hughes 269 / 300 / TH-55
The Hughes 269 program was conceived in 1955 as a private venture 180-hp Hughes 269 of the Hughes Tool Company in ultra-light helicopters first flown in October 1956 and emerged in production form during 1961 as the two-place 269A, the 200. The moderately low price range of $25,000 to $30,000 stimulated the concept of small helicopters for training, short- range transportation and patrol work. By 1963, production of the 269A had reached approximately one per day, and a three-seat version was developed. The earlier models had a smaller, high speed rotor but this did not prove very successful and in the late 1950s the 269B with an uprated Lycoming engine and a lower speed tail rotor was developed, as a three seater. Certificated as the 269B, this helicopter incorporated minor changes such as a fuel-injected version of the original 180-hp Lycoming engine used on the 269A and three and a half inches more main-rotor diameter for improved autorotation performance. The 269B was market-ed as the Hughes 300, but only the addition of the third seat squeezed between the two existing seats of the 269A was new. The fuel-injected 180-hp Lycoming and the slightly enlarged rotor blades actually were part of the refined 269A, which had the engineering designation of 269A-1 and was sold as the Hughes 200. The two-place Model 200 and its three-place companion, the Model 300, each had a gross takeoff weight of 1,670 pounds, an increase of 120 pounds over the original 269A.
Very early in the 269 program, five pre-production helicopters were sold to the U.S. Army for evaluation as a command and observation vehicle. The YHO-2HU, as these 269s were called, demonstrated that the small Hughes could satisfy the Army's increasing need for light helicopters and paved the way to several sizable orders for a military trainer version of the Hughes 200. Designated the TH-55A Osage, this aircraft actually had an empty weight nearly 100 pounds higher than that of its civilian counterpart and a gross weight of 1,600 pounds, down 70 from the Model 200. The high demand for helicopter pilots during the Viet Nam war led to the purchase of approximately 800 TH-55As.
About 1600 were subsequently built for the US Army and the US military have clocked up over four million hours in the 269.
The improved 269B, known as the Series 300, came along in 1963 and, after 461 were built, came the updated 269C model 300C in 1970. The 300C, certificated officially as the 269C in 1970, was the most pronounced change in the development of the 269 family. Like the 300, it is a three-place helicopter, and it possesses all the physical characteristics of the Hughes lineage. The powerplant, however, is the Lycoming HIO-360-D1A, which is normally rated at 225 hp but limited to 190 hp for this installation. The 300C can develop takeoff power, with no time limitations, at altitudes up to 4,250 feet under standard atmospheric conditions. Although only slightly larger than its older brothers, the 300C has increased dimensions where it counts - in the rotor blades. Its three-blade, fully articulated main rotor system cuts out a disc 26 feet 10 inches in diameter compared with 25 feet three and a half inches for the TH-55A or the Hughes 269A-1. The tail rotor also has been increased in size from three feet four inches to four feet three inches, and the tail boom has been lengthened by one foot two and a half inches. These changes provide greater anti-torque control power. The most noticeable change in the 300C's appearance, however, is the six inches of ad-ditional mast height it has compared with older models.
The additional power and increased rotor size give the 300C a useful internal load 39 percent greater than the 269B's and 79 percent greater than the TH-55A's. Gross weight for the 300C is 2,050 pounds in the normal category and 2,150 for external load operations; empty weight is listed at 1,046 pounds. Adding normal accessories, including nav/com equipment and a heater, usually increases that last figure by about 75 pounds.
Also licence built by BredNardi in Italy.
In 1987 the Schweizer Aircraft Corporation of New York exercised an option with McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Corporation to purchase the Model 300C programme. Sales of the 300C having tripled from 1983 to 1987, when Schweizer took over licence production of the type.
Some 2,800 Hughes 300s of all versions were built before the design was purchased by Schweizer Aircraft in November 1986. As well as supporting the TH-55A Osage used by the US Army and building new Model 300Cs, Schweizer sold 48 TH-300C trainers to the Thai Army and concluded an agreement for production in Jordan.
The 300C remained in production by Schweizer Aircraft of New York in 1988. In 1995 Schweizer developed the 300CB as a competitor to the R22, with the 180 hp engine, a change to right hand PIC and some minor airframe changes, with increased life. The 300CB is a 300C re-engineered for the training market. Up-graded components include the instrument panel and tailboom. The main rotor blades, head and elastomeric dampers all being 300C components. With operating rpm now at a much reduced 2,700, the result was an extension of the engine's TBO to 2,200 hours for a drop in power of only about 10 hp.
Schweizer 300CBi is powered by a 180-hp Lycoming HIO-360-GIA, fuel injected.
Breda Nardi Costruzioni Aeronautiche SpA was established on February 15,1971 by Nardi SA per Costruzioni Aeronautiche, and Breda, a member company of the EFIM state-owned financial group, each with a 50 percent holding. Initiated manufacture of helicopters under a license granted by Hughes Helicopters, and was building the Hughes 300C, 500C, 500D, and 500M under the respective designations of Breda Nardi NH-300C, NH-500C, NH-500D, and NH-500M-D (TOW).
Engines: Lycoming HIO-360-D1A, 190 hp.
Disc loading: 3.63 lb/sq.ft.
Pwr loading: 10.8 lb/hp.
Max TO wt: 2050 lb.
Empty wt: 1178 lb.
Equipped useful load: 810 lb.
Payload max fuel: 516 lb.
Range max fuel/ cruise: 201 nm/2.4 hr.
Range max fuel / range: 278 nm/ 4.2 hr.
Service ceiling: 10,000 ft.
Max cruise: 81 kt.
Max range cruise: 67 kt.
ROC: 750 fpm.
HIGE: 5900 ft.
HOGE: 2700 ft.
Max sling load: 850 lb.
Fuel cap: 180/294 lb.
Engine: 180 hp.
MAUW: 1670 lbs.
Engine Lycoming HIO-360-1D1A, derated to 190 hp.
TBO: 1,200 hrs.
Main rotor diameter: 26 ft. 10 in.
Length: 22 ft. 2 in.
Height 8ft 9in.
Disc loading 3.63 lbs./sq.ft.
Empty weight 1,046 lbs.
Useful load 1,004 lbs.
Payload with standard fuel 824 lbs.
Gross weight 2,050 lbs.
Power loading 10.8 lb/hp.
Fuel capacity (standard) 30 USG/180 lbs.
Fuel capacity (optional) 49 USG/294 lbs.
Rate of climb: 800 fpm.
Service ceiling 10,200ft.
Vne 91 knots.
Max Cruise 72 knots.
Economy cruise 64 knots.
Range (max cruise (45-min res, std tanks) 112 nm.
Range economy cruise, (45-min res, std tanks): 141 nm.
Duration a max cruise (no res, std tanks) 2.3 hrs.
HIGE 6,000 ft.
HOGE 2,700 ft.
Engine: Lycoming HIO-360-D1A, 190 hp (142 kW).
TBO: 1500 hrs.
Main rotor: 26.8 ft.
Length: 22.2 ft.
Height: 8.8 ft.
Max ramp weight: 2050 lbs.
Max takeoff weight: 2050 lbs.
Standard empty weight: 1148 lbs.
Max useful load: 902 lbs.
Max landing weight: 2050 lbs.
Max sling load: 900 lbs.
Disc loading: 3.6 lbs/sq.ft.
Power loading: 10.8 lbs/hp.
Max usable fuel: 294 lbs.
Max rate of climb: 800 fpm.
Service ceiling: 12,200 ft.
Hover in ground effect: 5900 ft.
Hover out of ground effect: 2700 ft.
Max speed: 87 kts.
Normal cruise @ 3000 ft: 87 kts.
Fuel flow @ normal cruise: 67 pph.
Endurance @ normal cruise: 4.3 hr.
Engine: 1 x Lycoming HO-360-C1A, 180 hp.
Instant pwr: 134 kW.
Rotor dia: 8.18 m.
MTOW: 534 kg.
Useful load: 210 kg.
Max speed: 94 kts.
Max cruise: 83 kts.
HIGE: 7700 ft.
HOGE: 5600 ft.
Engine: 1 x Lycoming HIO-360-G1A, 180 hp.
Empty wt: 1200 lb.
MAUW: 1750 lb.
Max usable fuel: 294 lbs.
Endurance: 3 hr.
TH 55 Osage
Engine: Lycoming HIO-360-B1A, 178 hp
Length: 21.883 ft / 6.67 m
Height: 8.235 ft / 2.51 m
Rotor diameter: 25.295 ft / 7.710 m
Max take off weight: 1598.6 lb / 725.0 kg
Weight empty: 1009.9 lb / 458.0 kg
Max. speed: 75 kts / 138 km/h
Cruising speed: 61 kts / 113 km/h
Service ceiling: 11893 ft / 3625 m
Range: 173 nm / 320 km
Range (max. weight): 173 nm / 320 km