Orders Sought To Resume Twin Otter Production

 - November 15, 2006, 9:01 AM

Viking Air, a British Columbia aircraft maintenance and modification facility, is seeking an undisclosed number of firm orders to launch a re-engined version of the de Havilland Canada Series 300 Twin Otter. Some 600 of the 19-passenger turboprop twins remain in operation out of the nearly 850 produced between 1965 and 1989. New 400 Series Twin Otters would be powered by higher output and more fuel-efficient P&WC PT6-34s in place of the original -27s. The aircraft’s empty operating weight would fall to 6,881 pounds through the use of composites in secondary structures, such as doors, radome/nose sections and fairings. Viking says the Series 400 Twin Otter would also incorporate some Part 23 amendments that have been issued since the aircraft received its original type certification. The new aircraft, with basic avionics, would sell for $3.2 million (in 2006 dollars). Electronic instrumentation would be optional. With “sufficient firm orders” (the number of which Viking declined to disclose), the company “predicts a 24-month production ramp-up.”