The Helio Courier is a light C/STOL utility aircraft designed in 1949. Around 500 of these aircraft were manufactured in Pittsburg, Kansas from 1954 until 1974 by the Helio Aircraft Company. During the early 1980s, new owners (Helio Aircraft Ltd. ) made an attempt to build new aircraft with direct-drive Lycoming engines, to replace troublesome and expensive geared engines. In a further effort to reduce weight, a new composite landing gear was featured.
The Helio H-550 Stallion was an STOL utility aircraft developed in the United States in the 1960s. Initially conceived as a turboprop-powered variant of the Helio Courier, it eventually emerged as a completely new design of the same general configuration. It was a much larger aircraft than the Courier, and Helio soon discovered that it was too expensive for the market. The USAF however, emerged as a buyer for the design, purchasing the aircraft for the Credible Chase programme as the AU-24A.
The Helio Rat'ler was an agricultural spraying aircraft to be produced by Helio Aircraft. Only a single prototype was produced (registered N4405S), featuring the wings and tail of a Helio Courier on a new, low-wing fuselage, and a Lycoming IO-720 eight cylinder engine producing 400 horsepower.