Thu, Mar 15, 2012
The de Havilland Twin Otter is an airplane with a long history, and it gained a reputation as a workhorse of an airplane. But after it went out of production, Viking Air became one of the principal suppliers of spare parts and service to keep the airplanes flying.
Dave Curtis, President and CEO of Viking Air Limited, told ANN at NBAA in Las Vegas this year that he often heard operators ask why the airplane wasn't put back into production.
So, long story short, Viking Air bought the type certificate for the Twin Otter and the rest of the product line from Bombardier, which owned them at the time, and in 2007, the company began building brand new Twin Otters. Certification came in 2010.
Curtis says the company is delivering about one airplane per month with a health backlog. He says there were a lot of obsolete parts that had to be re-fabricated from the original airplane, but the biggest single change is the Honeywell glass flight deck in the new version.
The airplane is as comfortable on skis or floats as on wheels, and it is adaptable for a wide variety of missions. Curtis says at this time, there are no plans to bring back more of the old de Havilland line. He said they need to be sure we're doing the Twin Otter right "before we tackle anything else."
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