Clears Aircraft For Delivery To The U.S. Army Golden Knights
Viking Air Limited of Victoria, BC, Canada has received FAA Type Certification for the DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otter, adding to the list of nine countries already recognizing the type since program launch in 2007. Under an amendment of the Type Certificate Data Sheet A9EA, the Series 400 Twin Otter has been added to the approved list of 100, 200, and 300 Series of DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft.
The receipt of the US type certification will pave the way for the delivery of three aircraft ordered by the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, the first of which is en route to Viking Factory Endorsed Service Centre IKHANA Group of Murrieta, California for incorporation of customized military modifications, including in-air operable main cabin door and parachute compatible wall mounted utility seats.
The Russian Interstate Aviation Committee Aviation Register (IACAR) has also recently issued Type Certification for the Series 400 Twin Otter, just weeks before the scheduled delivery of the first of two aircraft ordered by the Russian launch customer and Viking representative, Vityaz Avia Corporation of Moscow.
Robert Mauracher, Viking vice president Business Development and general manager Maintenance Repair Organization, commented “we are extremely pleased to be delivering the first Twin Otter in history to our friends in Russia. These aircraft will also be our first deliveries to incorporate optional Wheel/Ski and Intermediate Floatation Landing gear, as well as special extreme cold weather operational kits”.
Viking has a new Series 400 Twin Otter on static display at the Farnborough Airshow, en route for delivery to launch customer Zimex Aviation of Switzerland. The second Series 400 to be added to Zimex’s fleet of Twin Otters will be displayed at the show on wheel gear with standard nineteen passenger interior.
The Series 400 Twin Otter incorporates over 800 changes developed to modernize and improve upon the value and safety of the original production model, of which the most significant change is the integration of the Honeywell Primus Apex avionics suite. The updated flight deck features two primary flight displays (PFDs) and two multifunction displays (MFDs) with high resolution LCD screens, providing wider viewing ability and cross cockpit scanning. The Primus Apex’s flexible architecture supports the aircraft’s unsurpassed capability with a comprehensive software package, allowing each customer the ability to select the configuration suited for their specialized operating environment.
Other changes include upgraded Pratt & Whitney PT6A-34 engines, use of composite materials, light weight interior, simplified electrical and LED lighting systems, also value added options such as de-ice and air-conditioning. Like its predecessor, the Series 400 Twin Otter will continue to operate from remote and unimproved airfields due to its robust design, equalized maintenance program, and dependability of the Pratt & Whitney engines, renowned for their reliability in varied operating environments.
Available on standard land gear, optional straight or amphibious floats, skis, wheel skis, or intermediate flotation (Tundra) gear, with multiple interior configurations, the Series 400 Twin Otter is a versatile aircraft that can be utilized for operations such as sub-arctic research, parachute training, regional commuters, and private use. A military version of the Series 400, the Guardian 400, has been developed for special mission and government operations. The Guardian 400’s low acquisition and operating costs and flexible architecture allows operators to customize sensors and interior layouts to meet their specific mission profiles. The medium range maritime patrol and critical infrastructure platform can be outfitted with an electro-optical and infrared imaging turret, 360 degree digital colour radar system, extended range internal fuel tank, crew observation stations, and air operable cargo door.
(Images provided by Viking Air. Bottom left military variant)