Viking Air Hands Over First New Twin Otter 400

 - July 20, 2010, 10:58 AM

Canada’s Viking Air today at the Farnborough airshow handed over its first new Twin Otter 400 to launch customer Zimex Aviation. The Swiss operator plans to send the turboprop twin to North Africa to work in support of contracts for the oil and gas industry. The updated version of the classic workhorse made its first flight in February and completed the Canadian and European certification process last month. U.S. certification is expected by the end of this year. This first production version of the Series 400, which is appearing in the flight displays at Farnborough this week, was given S/N 845, thus continuing the type’s original de Havilland run, which ended 22 years ago. Viking holds orders for 50 aircraft worth some $200 million and said it is working on possible deals with about 40 prospective clients. While Viking has preserved many features of the original de Havilland Canada DHC-6’s famously rugged airframe–it acquired the DHC-6 type certificate from Bombardier in 2006–the new aircraft’s engineers have made more than 400 changes from the legacy version. “We’ve added things only where either obsolescence was an issue or we could add value through technology,” said Robert Mauracher, Viking v-p of business development.