Helio Courier
USA - 1953


The Courier lineage traces back to a much modified experimental development of the two seat Piper Vagabond known as the KoppenBolinger Helioplane. This Helioplane featured numerous aerodynamic modifications to enhance low speed handling capabilities and STOL performance, and many of its features were subsequently incorporated into the all new and much larger Courier.

The Courier was initially known as the Helioplane Four and first appeared in 1952. In its first form it was powered by a 197kW (264 hp) Lycoming GO435 and seated four. First flight occurred during 1953 and deliveries of the initial production model, the H391B, got underway in 1954. Subsequent development led to a number of derivatives, beginning with the H392 Strato Courier of 1957. Intended for high altitude photographic work, the H-392 was powered by a 255 kW (340 hp) supercharged GSO435.

The H395, featuring a 220 kW (295 hp) GO485 and seating for five or six, was the first major production version and it appeared in 1957. The H395A was similar but its engine could operate on 80 octane fuel, making it suitable for operations in remote areas. Next came the H250 (with a 185 kW/250 hp O540) and H295 Super Courier (220 kW/295 hp GO480) from 1965, and the tricycle undercarriage HT295 from 1974. The H250 remained in production until 1972, the H295 until 1976.

A development of the H295 with an eight cylinder 300 kW (400 hp) Lycoming IO720, the Courier 800, and the 260 kW (350 hp) TIO540 powered Courier 700 were put into production by the newly established Helio Aircraft Company from 1983, but production was limited and ceased in the late 1980s.

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Helio Aircraft Production and Proposed Models

Model

Name

# Built

Notes

H-391

Courier

1

Original basic Courier powered by one 260 HP Lycoming GO-435-C2 powerplant.  Prototype N242B (S/N 001)

H-391B

Courier

102

Production version of the H-391 with 260 HP Lycoming GO-435-C2B

H-392

Strato Courier

 

H-391B for high-altitude photograhy with 340 HP Lycoming GO-480-C1D6

H-395

Super Courier

138

H-391B with 295 HP Lycoming GO-480-G1D6.  U.S. Air Force designation U-10A, U-10B

H-395A

Courier

7

Lower powered H-395 with 290 HP Lycoming GO-435-C2B6

H-250

Courier II

41

Model H-295 with lenghtened fuselage and 250 PH Lycoming O-540-A1A5

H-291

 

1

Single prototype Courier, N9757 
(S/N 1238)

H-295

Super Courier

173

Powerplant 295 HP GO-480-G1D6, U.S. Air Force designation U-10D

HT-295

Super Courier

19

H-295 fitted with tricycle landing gear

H-500  (2)

Helio Twin

2

Six-seat light twin powered by two 250 HP Lycoming O-540-A2B engines mounted on the high wing.  Prototype N92860 (S/N 001).  Military designation U-5.

HST-550

Stallion

2

10-seat high wing monoplane powered by a UACL PT6-6A turboprop.  Prototype N550AA (S/N 001)

HST-550A 

Stallion

18

Production version of the HST-550 with UACL PT6A-27.  Prototype N9550A (S/N 550A-001) converted from second HST-550 (N10038).  Military desination AU-24A.

H-580

Twin Courier

 

Proposed H-500 with retractable nosewheel and two 290 HP Lycoming IO-540-G1A5.

H-634 

Twin Stallion

 

Proposed Stallion with two 317 SHP Allison 250 turboprops mounted on a beam in the nose ahead of the cockpit.  None built.

H-700

Courier

18 combined with production of H-800 series

H-295 with new undercarraige, wing carry-through structure, upturned wingtips and 350 HP Lycoming TIO-540-J2B turbocharged piston engine in new cowling.

H-800

Courier 

18 combined with production of H-700 series

H-700 with 400 HP Lycoming IO-720-A1B Prototype N4002M (S/N H-1), First flight: March 3, 1983

H-1201T

Twin Stallion

 

Proposed version of Stallion with two turboprops mounted on under-slung wing nacelles, retractable landing gear, wingtip fuel tanks and wing cargo pods

H-21A 

Rat'ler

1

Low-wing single-seat ag plane with H-291 wing and tail, new fuselage with 400 US Gallon chemical hopper and 400 HP Lycoming IO-720-A1B powerplant.  Prototype N4405S (S/N A-1)

 


Courier Specification

Crew: 1, passengers: 5, engine: 1 x Lyc. O-540-A1A5, 185 kW, wingspan: 11.9 m, length: 9.6 m, height: 2.7 m, wing area: 21.5 m2, start mass: 2,000 kg, empty mass: 860 kg, max speed: 260 km/h, cruise speed: 245 km/h, ceiling: 4600 m, range w/ max. fuel: 2000 km


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