Viking Air is close to achieving European and Canadian certification of its new Twin Otter 400, having made a first flight with the revamped, 21-century version of the classic twin turboprop design in February. U.S. certification is due to follow by the end of this year.
De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter
For the first time since 1988, a new-manufacture production Twin Otter took to the Canadian skies as Viking Air flight tested the first conforming series-400 aircraft at its final assembly facility in Calgary in February. The Victoria, B.C.-based manufacturer acquired the type certificates for the former de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk through DHC-7 Dash 7 from Bombardier in 2006.
Victoria, British Columbia-based Viking Air’s MRO division has been granted EASA Part 145 approval. The company holds similar certification from Transport Canada and the FAA. Viking offers aircraft maintenance, repair, modifications, inspection services, airframe overhaul, avionics and custom or standard interiors.
Viking Air (Stand Q93) has added a new 84,000-sq-ft facility at its Victoria, British Columbia location to support expanding operations for the Series 400 Twin Otter production and ongoing de Havilland legacy aircraft operators’ customer support. The new building was officially opened in December and will serve as Viking’s corporate headquarters and main manufacturing facility.
Viking Air expected Transport Canada and EASA certification for its new version of the venerable de Havilland Canada Twin Otter by the end of last month. Final certification work was under way last October, including final checkout configurations for functionality as a standard landplane and with tundra tires, skis, floats and amphibious floats.
Viking Aircraft’s modern upgrade of the Twin Otter has entered the final phase of testing and is slated for certification shortly. The program did suffer minor delays in the certification schedule and first deliveries have been moved from late this year to early next year. Initial certification will be by Transport Canada and the EASA.
GPS Location Downlink Completes Testing
Canada’s Viking Air has sold 10 of its Twin Otter Series 400 turboprops to Global Aerospace Logistics of Abu Dhabi. The agreement, which represents the largest order to date, calls for delivery of six landplane-configured DHC-6 Series 400s and four Guardian Twin Otter floatplanes, slated for use throughout the United Arab Emirates in both government and commercial applications.
de Havilland Canada DHC-6-100, Sullivan, Mo., July 29, 2006–Shortly after takeoff from Sullivan Regional Airport, with flames coming from the right engine, the Twin Otter crashed, killing six of the eight occupants and seriously injuring the other two. The skydiving flight was operated by Adventure Aviation of Dover, Del.
The Air Moorea DHC-6-300 Twin Otter turboprop that crashed near Moorea Island on Aug. 9, 2007, took off with an almost failed pitch-control cable, due to recent exposure to jet blast, according to French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) chief Paul-Louis Arslanian. Other causes include the omission of cable inspections and the use of stainless-steel cables, which are more prone to wear.