The Schweizer 300C series has trained a whole lot of new helicopter pilots over its long lifetime, and now the new company shepherding this classic rotorcraft model has a great way to take older airframes and give them a second life.
Schweizer has finished the first of its factory refreshed S300CBi helicopters. The new program will put certified pre-owned rotorcraft in the hands of customers for well below the price of a new model, according to the company.
The OEM Certified Helicopters Program replaces several key components, including the engine, blades, and interior, applies new paint, and introduces other low-time parts to the finished product.
“The former owners of the Schweizer brand did not maintain parts availability, leaving a number of aircraft to be cannibalized,” said Schweizer’s president and CEO David Horton. “We created our new OEM Certified Helicopters Program to help bring the fleet back to life and provide a more affordable way for customers to get into helicopter ownership or upgrade to a new helicopter.”
According to the company, the program is the only one of its kind in the light rotorcraft industry segment. To feed it, Schweizer now accepts used helicopters “regardless of their airworthiness” for an extensive inspection, repairs, and replacement of those components listed above.
“Customers can trade in their older Schweizers for either a discount equal to the value of the aircraft on a new helicopter or receive a percentage of their aircraft’s sale price when Schweizer sells it after it completes the program,” said the company in a release.
Once in the program, the S300CBi-series aircraft take one of two tracks: “refreshed” or “refurbished.”
Refreshed aircraft start with a low- time aircraft “requiring few repairs and/or part replacements.” The finished product includes “an intensive OEM inspection,” with with parts and components needing replacement or nearing life limitation replaced, and carry full 400-hour, 800-hour, annual, and 24-month inspections.
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The aircraft are also professionally detailed with any blemishes repaired.
Refurbished aircraft follow a similar model, but involve those S300CBis needing more work. “These aircraft receive new or overhauled engines, new blades, component replacements where needed to ensure overall low- time components, a completely new interior, and fresh paint,” said Schweizer. “Avionics are entirely customizable to a customer’s request. The aircraft also undergo full 400-hour, 800-hour, annual and 24-month inspections.”
Both come with a 1-year/1,000-hour warranty on parts replaced or repaired by Schweizer.