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Viking begins water trials of revamped DHC-6 Twin Otter

Viking Air reports that it began on-water testing of its 19-seat Twin Otter Series 400 float-equipped technology demonstrator the week of 10 November as part of the certification of the $4.5 million twin-turboprop’s Honeywell Primus Apex integrated avionics suite.

“The system performed flawlessly through 18 pages of test cards,” said Steve Stackhouse, Viking’s manager of flight operations. The purpose of the test was to evaluate whether the air data attitude and heading reference system (ADAHRS) would initialize accurately and within design criteria in unstable conditions. “The system responded perfectly on every occasion, becoming stable in less than 40s,” he added.

In addition to the upgraded avionics, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34-powered Series 400 has more than 200 modifications over the original design, first produced by de Havilland in 1966.

Certification of the Series 400 is expected in the first quarter of 2009, with customer deliveries beginning in the third quarter. The Canadian company has 44 orders to date, the two most recent from Maldives-based operator Maldivian Air Taxi, the largest Twin Otter seaplane operator in the world with two dozen aircraft.

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