The many lives of the venerable, hardworking Twin Otter would make a cat envious, and here at NBAA (Booth No. C7613) Ikhana Aircraft Services is featuring the twin-turboprop in its latest “re-life” as the Twin Otter X2.
De Havilland Canada Dash 7
Ikhana Aircraft Services delivered a DHC-6-200HG Twin Otter with Ikhana’s RWMI DHC-6-200HG increased gross weight STC to G-Sky Aviation. The DHC-6-200HG is an FAA- and Transport Canada-approved STC that allows the aircraft to operate at 12,500 pounds. “We expect that our RWMI DHC-6-200HG will be a key asset for G-Sky,” said Ikhana president and CEO John Zublin.
Five Bombardier Dash 8-100 regional turboprops at Norway’s Widerøe’s Flyveselskap had undergone 80,000-flight cycle (FC) inspections by last month as part of an extended-service program (ESP) approved by Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2009. Of the 299 Dash 8-100s built, some 100 constitute the near-term market for the life-extension modifications, according to the manufacturer. Bombardier expects a further 128 will reach the 80,000-cycle threshold during the coming nine years.
Viking Air (Chalet CD39) revealed here at the show yesterday that it had sold eight of its new $7 million Twin Otter Series 400 turboprops. Two will go to Papua New Guinea’s OK Tedi Development Corp., while the other six will go to Turkey’s Seabird Airlines as the floatplane variant. Viking launched the new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 production program in 2007 and now has an order backlog worth $350 million.
Engineering modification house Ikhana Aircraft Services (Booth No. C7116) expected to receive FAA supplemental type certification (STC) of its DH-6 Twin Otter fuselage life extension by the time the NBAA show began, adding to a range of other upgrades the company offers for the twin-engine turboprop.
Viking Air of Sidney, British Columbia, flew its DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 prototype for the first time on October 1 from Victoria International Airport.
Three popular unpressurized twin turboprops from the past have or will soon re-enter production.
British Columbia-based Viking Air Ltd. acquired the type certificate and production rights to the DHC-6 Twin Otter from Bombardier in 2006 and could start customer deliveries by next year. Viking already owns the type certificates for seven other deHavilland aircraft, including the DHC-3 Otter and the four-engine DHC-7 Dash 7.
Viking Twin Otter series 400 airplanes will be equipped with an integrated suite of Primus Apex avionics from Honeywell Aerospace. The Apex platform offers Viking’s customers an avionics package that integrates aircraft systems, safety sensors and navigation information, decreases pilot workload and improves safety through enhanced situational awareness.
Viking Air’s relaunch of the fabled Twin Otter is progressing on schedule, and the first modified airplane incorporating all the planned new features of the production airplane should fly in the fourth quarter. Delivery of the first newly manufactured and recertified Twin Otter to Swiss customer Zimex Aviation is planned for next year’s first quarter.