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Schweizer 333

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Schweizer 333

Schweizer 330/ S-333
Schweizer 333 at the Góraszka Air Picnic 2009
Role Light utility and trainer helicopter
Manufacturer Schweizer Aircraft Corporation
Sikorsky Aircraft
First flight June 14, 1988
Introduction 1992
Status In production
Developed from Schweizer 300
Developed into MQ-8 Fire Scout
Sikorsky S-434

The Schweizer 330 and 333 are turbine-powered developments of the Schweizer 300 light piston-powered helicopter. As of 2007, only the Schweizer 333 remains in production.[1] In February 2009, the 333 was rebranded as the Sikorsky S-333.[2]


Schweizer 330

In 1987, Schweizer announced development of the Schweizer 330 using the dynamic components, rotors, controls and systems of the 300C; however, it was redesigned with an all-new fuselage.[3] The first 330, converted from a 300C and powered by an Allison 250-C10A, flew on June 14, 1988. The FAA certified the aircraft in September 1992.

The improved 330SP was introduced in May 1997 and featured an improved rotor and raised skids, which could be retrofitted to previous 330 models. An Allison (later Rolls-Royce) 250-C20W turboshaft was derated to 165 kW (220 hp), giving the 330SP excellent hot and high performance, maintaining power output to 18,000 feet.

Schweizer 333

Shortly after the release of the 330, Schweizer began work on upgrading the dynamic components of the Schweizer 330SP. Over two years later, Schweizer released a new variant, the Schweizer 333. Featuring the newly developed dynamic systems components and new-technology rotor blades with a cambered airfoil and a larger diameter, the upgraded helicopter benefited with a greater max gross weight, more useful load, more speed and more hover performance; nearly a 30% increase in performance over the 330SP. Schweizer created a kit to upgrade Model 330 and 330SP aircraft.[4]

In February 2008, an improved version of the series, the Schweizer S-434 was released.[5][6]


The 330 used the 300C's dynamic components, a Rolls Royce 250 turboshaft engine, and a new four-seat cockpit/cabin and body and new instrumentation.

Operational history

Schweizer was purchased on August 26, 2004, by Sikorsky Aircraft. The Schweizer 300/333 models fill a gap in the Sikorsky helicopter line, which is known for its medium and heavy utility and cargo helicopters. Sikorsky has since taken advantage of Schweizer's rapid prototyping technology, originally used during development of the 333 dynamic components and the RQ-8 prototype, to develop the X-2 Technology Demonstrator.[7]


Using the 300C dynamic components, Schweizer mounted a Rolls Royce 250-C10A engine to the airframe and developed a new four-seat cockpit/cabin and body.
improved rotor and raised skids, Rolls Royce 250-C20W engine.
Featuring new dynamic system components, new rotor blades, and high skids as standard equipment, the 333 has a 30% greater useful load than the 330SP.
RQ-8/MQ-8 Fire Scout 
The MQ-8B Fire Scout is an unmanned derivative of the Schweizer 330SP/333 helicopter, with a new fuselage, new fuel system, and UAV electronics and sensors. It also utilizes a new four-bladed rotor system based on that of the Schweizer 333. The Fire Scout is currently in development for the United States Navy's VTUAV program with cooperation from Northrop Grumman. The original RQ-8A was based on the 330SP.
Schweizer S-434 
Based on improvements developed for the MQ-8B, this is a new version of the 333. Four-bladed main rotor.[8]


 Dominican Republic

Specifications (333)

Data from International Directory of Civil Aircraft[3] and Technical specifications[11]

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1-2 pilots
  • Capacity: 1-3 passengers
  • Payload: 1250 lb (567 kg)
  • Length: (overall) 31 ft 2 in (9.5 m)
  • Rotor diameter: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 0 in (3.35 m)
  • Empty weight: 1210 lb (549 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2460 lb (1116 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 2550 lb (1156 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce 250-C20W turboshaft, 235 shp (175 kW); full rating: 420 shp (315 kW)


See also

Aviation portal

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


External links

  • Schweizer 333 page on
  • FAA Type Certificate 4H12
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