25.02.06, 09:17 #1
Published: Friday, February 24, 2006
Victoria may become a manufacturing base for aircraft with Island-based Viking Air Ltd. considering bringing the renowned de Havilland Twin Otter back into production.
A decision will likely be made by year's end, said Viking president David Curtis, describing his mood as "cautious optimism."
The DHC-6 Twin Otter came out tops in a market survey looking at the commercial appeal of that aircraft, the DHC-3 Single Otter and the DHC-2 Beaver, he said Thursday. "That airplane was the world's best-selling 19-seat commuter aircraft ever built," Curtis said.
The first flight of a de Havilland Twin Otter took place in 1965 and the Ontario government was the first customer. More than 800 were built by 1988 when the last one was made.
Next on Viking's agenda is an in-depth look at the possibility of relaunching production, Curtis said. While emotionally it is exciting to think of building the aircraft, "it has to be a business plan that can stand on its own."
If the effort goes ahead, manufacturing would be based in Victoria, he said.
"It is a really important opportunity for the aerospace industry on the West Coast," Curtis said.
Markets appear to exist on the Indian sub-continent, Indonesia, Europe, and Africa, and there has been some interest out of the U.S., he said. Twin Otters remain popular in areas with short runways because they suit situations without large infrastructure.
Curtis said he is told, "There is nothing on the market today that will do what these aircraft can do, so that is why they are so popular."
Viking Air was started and remains based in Victoria. It is owned by Toronto-based Westerkirk Capital Inc., which has holdings in real estate, aviation and the hospitality industry. This week, Viking marked another stage in its evolution when it took over certificates from Bombardier giving it ownership of the design of seven de Havilland heritage aircraft: the Chipmunk, the Beaver, the Otter, the Caribou, the Buffalo, the Twin Otter, and the Dash 7.
Last spring, Viking bought exclusive rights to manufacture and distribute parts for de Havilland's heritage planes.
These aircraft are part of Canada's aviation history and many remain in service. Buffalo are used by the Canadian Forces out of Comox for search and rescue. Logging companies, fishing lodges, local commercial airlines, and private owners are among those using the de Havilland planes. Wheels, floats and skis are installed on these aircraft to suit their different jobs.
Viking's latest transaction follows seven months of regulatory work with Transport Canada to show that the company is capable of supporting a world-wide fleet, Curtis said.
The company, which employs 150 people, has manufacturing facilities at Victoria International Airport. It also has a distribution centre in Calgary.
Eine Firma namens Viking Air Ltd. überlegt ob sie die Produktion des sich weltweit am erfolgreichsten verkauften 19 Sitzers wiederaufnehmen soll.
Man rechnet sich gute Chancen in Indien, Indonesien, Europa und Afrika aus
Twin Otters sind immer noch sehr begehrt in Gebieten wo es keine langen Startbahnen und wenig Infrastruktur gibt.
Vom Erstflug 1965 bis zur Einstellung der Produktion 1989 sind insgesamt 800 Maschinen gebaut worden.
25.02.06, 12:57 #2Bowser
Nen Markt ist sicher da, es gibt ja faktisch kein modernes Konkurenzprodukt was die Lücke füllt.
25.02.06, 12:59 #3n/a
Zitat von Bowser
Hier noch eine 3-Seiten-Ansicht der DHC-6:
Wiederbelebung der Twin Otter ?
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