de Havilland Canada , Fox Moths
Fox Moths were produced in Canada after the Second World War mainly to keep the plant in production, but also to satisfy the increasing need for new bush aircraft. All the Canadian modifications made to the Tiger Moth were also applied to the Fox Moth. De Havilland designed a special stretcher for the Fox Moth, in order that it could operate as an air ambulance. Of the 53 produced, 39 remained in Canada, most of which were operated in float/ski configuration and gave years of satisfactory service.
The Fox Moth, though efficient, was a bit of an anachronism. For example, a modern, moulded plexiglas sliding cockpit hood was attached to what was essentially a 1932 aircraft. Communication between the passenger cabin in the fuselage and the cockpit to the rear was through a hole in the instrument panel.
de Havilland Canada, DHC-1 Chipmunk
The first true postwar aviation project was the DHC-1 Chipmunk, designed as a primary trainer, a replacement for the venerable de Havilland Tiger Moth. The Chipmunk was an all-metal, low wing, tandem two-place, single-engine airplane with a conventional tail wheel landing gear. It had fabric-covered control surfaces and a clear plastic canopy covering the pilot and passenger/student positions. The production versions of the airplane were powered by a 145 hp in-line de Havilland Gipsy Major "8" engine.
The Chipmunk prototype first flew on 22 May 1946 in Toronto and had a total production run of 158 Chipmunks for RCAF use while de Havilland (UK) produced 740 airplanes for training at various RAF and University Air Squadrons during the late 1940s and into the 1950s. The DHC-1 Chipmunk was still being used as a training aircraft by the UK's Army Air Corps up until 1995.
de Havilland Canada, DHC-2 Beaver
Returning to designing purpose-built aircraft for Canada's north, the DHC-2 Beaver was developed in 1947. After a survey of Canada's bush pilots, including Punch Dickins, the need for a rugged, highly versatile aerial truck which could take off and land almost anywhere, carry a large half-ton load and be very reliable, formed the basis of a new specification. The first of the STOL family that de Havilland would produce, the Beaver would carve a niche into the bush plane market.
In the civilian sector, the Beaver soon excelled on wheels, skis and floats, and in 1951, the Beaver would be selected by the US Air Force and Army as a new liaison aircraft. In the nine years that followed, 968 L-20As were delivered to the armed forces, most going to the Army. They served in both the Korean War and Vietnam Wars, hauling freight and personnel around the battlefields, mapping enemy troop positions, leading search/rescue missions, and relaying radio traffic, among other missions. In 1962, the L-20 was re-designated the U-6A, and many remaining examples remained in service well into the 1970s. Beavers were also purchased and used by the military services of numerous other nations, including Britain, Chile and Colombia.
With almost 1,700 built in a production run lasting two decades, civilian-owned Beavers continue plying their trade in over 50 countries all around the world. A turbine-conversion, the Turbo Beaver (DHC-2T) first flew in December 1963. This version featured a Pratt & Whitney PT6A6 turboprop, which offered lower empty and higher takeoff weights, and even better STOL performance. The Turbo Beaver's cabin was also longer, allowing maximum accommodation for 11, including the pilot. Externally, the Turbo Beaver had a much longer and reprofiled nose, and squared off vertical tail. DHC also offered conversion kits enabling piston-powered Beavers to be upgraded to Turbo standard. Other conversions have been performed by a number of companies including Kenmore Aviation and Viking Air.
de Havilland Canada, DHC-3 Otter
Another in de Havilland Canada's successful line of rugged and useful STOL utility transports, the Otter was conceived to be capable of performing the same roles as the earlier and highly successful Beaver, but was bigger, the veritable "one-ton truck." Using the same overall configuration of the earlier and highly successful DHC2 Beaver, the Otter is much larger overall. The Otter began life as the King Beaver, but compared to the Beaver is longer, has greater span wings and is much heavier. Seating in the main cabin is for 10 or 11, whereas the Beaver could seat six. Power is supplied by a 450 kW (600 hp) Pratt & Whitney R1340 Wasp radial. Like the Beaver, the Otter can be fitted with skis and floats. The amphibious floatplane Otter features a unique four unit retractable undercarriage, with the wheels retracting into the floats.
Design work at de Havilland Canada began on the DHC3 Otter in January 1951, the company's design efforts culminating in the type's first flight on 12 December 1951. Canadian certification was awarded in November 1952. After de Havilland Canada demonstrated the Otter to the US Army, subsequently that service went on to become the largest DHC3 operator (as the U1). Other military users included Australia, Canada and India. Small numbers of Otters were converted to turbine power by Cox Air Services of Alberta, Canada. Changes included a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop, a lower empty weight of 1692 kg (3705 lb) and a higher maximum speed of 267 km/h (144 kt). It was called the Cox Turbo Single Otter. A number of other after market PT6 conversions have also been offered. The Otter found a significant niche as a bush aircraft and today it remains highly sought after.
de Havilland Canada, Grumman S2F Tracker, license-built
de Havilland Canada began to build its own designs uniquely suited to the harsh Canadian operating environment. The company also continued production of several British de Havilland aircraft and later produced a license-built version of the American-designed Grumman S2F Tracker.
In 1954, the Royal Canadian Navy decided to replace its fleet of obsolescent TBM Avenger anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft with domestically produced license-built versions of the new Grumman S2F Tracker. The contract for the CS2F was worth $100 million Canadian, at the time, the largest post-Second World War Canadian defense contract. Subassemblies of the aircraft would be produced by various Canadian companies and shipped to de Havilland Canada facilities, where de Havilland would build the forward fuselage and crew compartment, assemble the aircraft, oversee installation of the ASW electronics and prepare the aircraft for delivery.
The first Canadian-built Tracker flew on 31 May 1956. A total of 99 Trackers were produced for RCN service starting in the same year. A few of these aircraft would serve with the Canadian military until the 1990s.
In 1962 the Avro Canada aircraft production facility was transferred to de Havilland Canada by their then-merged parent company, UK-based Hawker Siddeley.
de Havilland Canada, DHC-4 Caribou
de Havilland Canada's fourth design was a big step up in size compared with its earlier products, and was the first powered by two engines, but the DHC-4 Caribou was similar in that it is a rugged STOL utility. The Caribou was primarily a military tactical transport that in commercial service found itself a small niche in cargo hauling.
de Havilland Canada designed the DHC-4 in response to a US Army requirement for a tactical airlifter to supply the battlefront with troops and supplies and evacuate casualties on the return journey. With assistance from Canada's Department of Defence Production, DHC built a prototype demonstrator that flew for the first time on 30 July 1958.
Impressed with the DHC4's STOL capabilities and potential, the US Army ordered five for evaluation as YAC-1s and went on to become the largest Caribou operator, taking delivery of 159. The AC-1 designation was changed in 1962 to CV-2, and then C-7 when the US Army's CV-2s were transferred to the US Air Force in 1967. US and Australian Caribou saw extensive service during the Vietnam War. In addition some US Caribou were captured by North Vietnamese forces and remained in service with that country through to the late 1970s. Other notable military operators included Canada, Malaysia, India and Spain.
The majority of Caribou production was for military operators, but the type's ruggedness and excellent STOL capabilities also appealed to a select group of commercial users. US certification was awarded on 23 December 1960. Ansett MAL, which operated a single example in the New Guinea highlands, and AMOCO Ecuador were early customers, as was Air America (a CIA front in South East Asia during the Vietnam War era for covert operations). Other Caribou entered commercial service after being retired from their military users. Today only a handful are in civil use.
de Havilland Canada, DHC-5 Buffalo
Known originally as the Caribou II, the DHC-5 Buffalo tactical transport was basically an enlarged DHC-4 with turboprop engines employing a high-set wing, upswept aft fuselage with loading ramp and T-tail. The DHC-5 had been developed to meet the requirements of the US Army for a transport that would be able to carry loads such as the Pershing missile, a 105 mm howitzer or 3/4-ton truck. Development costs were shared by the US Army, Canadian government and de Havilland Canada; the first of these transports made its maiden flight on 9 April 1964.
Hopes for large orders were dashed when the US Army abandoned fixed-wing aircraft. 122 were built in two production runs, including a handful of Buffalo aircraft for the US Army and four C-8 transports for the USAF. When no further orders resulted from the US Army evaluation of the DHC-5 (designated originally YAC-2 by the US Army, and later C-8A), the Canadian Armed Forces acquired 15 of the DHC-5A (designated CC-115): six were converted subsequently for deployment in a maritime patrol role.Following delivery of 24 to the Brazilian Air Force and 16 to the Peruvian Air Force, the production line was closed down. In 1974, the company realised there was a continuing demand for the Buffalo and production of an improved Buffalo (DHC-5D) was initiated. This version had more powerful engines which permitted operation at higher gross weights, and offered improved all-round performance. In the early 1980s, de Havilland Canada attempted to modify the Buffalo for civilian use. The aircraft was to be branded as the "Transporter." After loss of the demonstration aircraft (SN 103 C-GCTC) at the 1984 Farnborough Airshow, the project was abandoned. Production of the Buffalo ended in 1982, but the last of 122 aircraft built was not delivered until April 1985.
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de Havilland Canada, Fox Moths de Havilland Canada, DHC-1 Chipmunk