Classic Aircraft Trivia

Monthly Archives: February 2013

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The De Havilland DHC-3 Single Otter which I flew on while visiting Victoria in September 2012.

The Beaver Bites the Floatplane Tree

Hello, aircraft fans!

In this edition of the Plane Crash, you’ll find out about the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, DHC-3 Single Otter, and the DHC-6 Twin Otter.  Also, we’ll take a look at one of Canada’s 50 best managed companies: Harbour Air.

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A beautiful view of the island from the Single Otter.

Well, yes, it wasn’t much of a Super Bowl.  The best part was when the Superdome had a power failure.  And it took THAT to make it any type of game.  It almost looks like the referees were taking a nap until they thought that San Francisco needed to be penalized.  They were only awake for a call against Baltimore that shouldn’t have been called: When David Akers missed the field goal to end the half- even though he ran into the defender, they still gave it to San Francisco with 00:03 left to play in the 2nd quarter.  Well, at least he made it the second time, not that it mattered.  Because on the opening kick of the second half, they let the Ravens’ kick returner bring it back for six.  At least the 49’ers made it 31-34.  Bummer!  Of course this is a very early prediction, but I smell a Denver vs. Seattle Super Bowl XLVIII.

Rugged and reliable, the Beaver dominated the float plane market.  Let’s take a look at some of the specifications.  The Beaver has a crew of one, along with one Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-14B/-16B Wasp Junior radial piston engine rated at 336kW(450hp), and the high-wing configuration.  The performance is a maximum speed of 262km/h(163M.P.H.) with a cruise speed of 180km/h(110M.P.H.), a range of 794 miles, and a service ceiling of 3,000m(9,842.52 feet).  The dimensions are as follows: a wingspan of 14.63m(48 feet), a length of 9.22m(30ft 3in), and a height of 2.74m(9ft.).  It has 6 passenger seats.  Twenty-five are used by Harbour Air, which operates out of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and flies to Whistler seasonally, as well as Nanaimo, Vancouver (B.C.), Richmond (B.C.), Maple Bay, Sechelt, Comox, and two of the Gulf Islands.  They share Victoria’s Harbour along with Westcoast Air (part of Harbour Air), Kenmore Air, which flies between Victoria and Seattle, and a few other companies.

The DHC-3 has similar characteristics to that of the DHC-2, except for a few modifications.  The engine is different, now being a Turbine, the cruise speed is 210km/h(130M.P.H.), and the passenger seats number 14, resulting in a longer, more streamlined aircraft.  And yes, I have flown on one before.  There are 18 in Harbour Air’s fleet.

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Me at the gate before flight.

Lastly, we shall look at the De Havilland DHC-6 Turbine Twin Otter.  It has a crew of three, and two 429kW(575hp) Pratt & Whitney R-1860 Hornet radial piston engines.  The cruise speed is 320km/h(226 M.P.H.), a range of 1609km(1,000miles), and a service ceiling of 7,620m(25,000ft.)  Only four are in Harbour Air’s fleet; actually Westcoast Air’s fleet, but along with 18 passenger seats, this aircraft provides exactly what Harbour Air needs for some of the longer flights, such as the Comox, Vancouver, Richmond, and Sechelt flights.  If I knew more about it, I could also tell you if the Turbine Twin Otter also did some of the Whistler flights.  Indeed, the Twin Otter is a vital addition to Harbour Air.

To find out more about Harbour Air, just go to: or  And no, if you are wondering by now, Harbour Air did not pay me to write this blog post.  Also, don’t forget that this is my blog post and not a Harbour Air advertisement.  For recommendations about films or other things about Harbour Air, please leave a comment.  I will get back to you as soon as I am back in my website.

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Well, not related to this blog post, Oak Bay was one of the highlights of the trip.

Have a great day!