Sikorsky Aircraft offered some insight into the future of its S-300C training helicopter yesterday at Heli-Expo. The company also detailed its progress in fulfilling the last 19 orders for the S-300C following the 2012 closure of the former Schweizer production facility, with the last airframe expected to be completed within six months.
Calling the company’s integration of the S-300C line “enormously painful,” Sikorsky commercial programs director Dan Hunter was measured about Sikorsky’s plans for the legacy two-seat piston helicopter beyond that. “We’ll need to see what we have after the last S-300C leaves the production line,” he told AIN. “It stands to reason that we need to sell helicopters for more than it [costs] to build them, and quite frankly that isn’t the case right now with the 300.”
One possible solution might lie in marketing the Chinese-built Avicopter AC-310, which is largely a clone of the S-300C. While Hunter acknowledged Sikorsky’s role in assisting development of the AC-310, he emphasized that “where the 300 lands in relation to the AC-310, we don’t know yet.”