Canada’s Viking Air is here to report on the progress of its programme to revive production of the sturdy Twin Otter turboprop utility aircraft.

Designed and built originally by de Havilland Canada, the type came to the end of its production life in 1988. But last year Viking announced the launch of the modernised Twin Otter Series 400 and is now building a supplier network to support series production.

Improvements designed to cut weight and improve operational capability include the adoption of composite materials for selected structures and the use of modern avionics in the cockpit.

 Viking Air Twin Otter

Composite cockpit doors and fairings are being supplied by Flight Dynamics Corporation of St Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec, while the carbon-fibre airstair door, emergency exit doors and nose baggage compartment are coming from Delastek, also of Quebec. Field Aviation West of Calgary is supplying the main landing gear and Heroux Devtek of Longueuil, Quebec, the nose gear.

The flight deck features Honeywell’s Primus Apex integrated avionics suite, with its LCD displays and potential for upgrade to incorporate safety-enhancing capabilities such as synthetic vision.

Power will be provided by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34s, with the PT6A-35 hot-and-high upgrade as an option. Landing gear options, in addition to the standard wheels, comprise medium-flotation tyres, straight or amphibious floats, skis and wheel-skis.

Deliveries of the born-again Twin Otter are due to begin next year. Viking holds orders and options covering more than 40 aircraft from operators in Australia, French Polynesia, the Maldives, Malta, the Seychelles, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the US. The company expects to sell a total of 400 aircraft over the next decade.

Source: Flight International