British Columbia, Canada-based Viking Air (Chalet CD11) is expanding its line of the popular Series 400 Twin Otter with a dedicated seaplane version, which the company says is the first ever to be offered in the 15- to 19-passenger category. Named the 400S, the seaplane derivative is offered (for now) with non-amphibious “straight” floats only. It will carry a list price less than $6 million, with first deliveries set for the first quarter of 2017.
A Viking Twin Otter (on wheels) is here at the Singapore Airshow static display, and the company is hoping for more orders from Asian customers. Malaysia Airlines subsidiary MASwings, for example, is operating Twin Otters, as well as Indonesia's Airfast. The twin turboprop has long been offered in numerous versions for conventional commercial passenger service as well as mountain flying (including with skis), cargo, parachuting, special mission operations and on Wipline aluminum amphibious floats.
The 400S seaplane version will feature new-generation composite straight floats (manufacturer still to be determined); the Honeywell “Super-Lite” integrated digital avionics suite adapted for VFR (visual flight rules) operations; a standard 17-passenger seating configuration; and Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 engines incorporating platinum-coated CT propeller blades.
Available upgrades include IFR (instrument flight rules) avionics; 19-passenger configuration; and a 15-seat/cargo combi configuration. Amphibious versions of the composite floats are planned for the future. Viking said that the 400S is adapted for quick turn-around cycles and can achieve a break-even load factor of around eight passengers under typical operating conditions.
Viking is introducing corrosion-resistant packages on the 400S for the airframe, power-plant and fuel system, along with additional draining, sealing and prevalent use of corrosion-resistant material throughout the aircraft. These extra measures are taken to allow the Viking 400S to operate in extreme marine environments while reducing maintenance costs and downtime.
Viking obtained the de Havilland Canada Twin Otter type certificate and restarted production in 2010. Powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 engines, the $7 million aircraft can seat up to 19 passengers and features Honeywell Primus Apex avionics. Viking also supports the De Havilland legacy fleet.