Buy a New Twin Otter - and Jump Out of It

When it comes to resurrecting a classic, it is hard to beat Viking Air and the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter. The US Army's Golden Knights parachute team has just taken delivery of the first of three new Twin Otter Series 400s (below) ordered from Victoria, BC-based Viking.

Photo: US Army

My colleague and AWIN analyst Nigel Prevett says Viking has delivered 23* DHC-6-400s since it restarted production in 2010, but more impressively has 64 more on backlog. That success is probably a big part of the reason why other rugged and reliable 18/19-seaters are coming back from the dead.

RUAG Aviation is producing the revamped Do 228NG (with airframe from HAL in India), although Nigel counts only three delivered since 2010 and eight on backlog. In Australia, Indian-owned GippsAero is working on relaunching the GAF Nomad as the GA18 for delivery beginning in 2014. 

There is a reason these old - sorry, tried and true - designs are still around - it is hard to get a new aircraft off the ground in the 19-seat market. In 2011, Indonesian Aerospace announced plans to develop the N-219, a derivative of the NC212 it produces for Airbus Military, but there is no news of progress. And France's Sky Aircraft went under last year having failed to raise funding for its SK-105 Skylander.

Meanwhile, back to those Golden Knights Twin Otters, designated UV-18Cs. The Army says the lower cost to maintain the new aircraft is the main justification for replacing the team's older UV-18A Twin Otters - an argument Viking will want other DHC-6 owners to heed. The Golden Knights aircraft are modified with "hammock-style" seating for 16 parachutists by Ikhana Aircraft Services in California.

* NOTE - Deliveries updated

Please or Register to post comments.

What's Things With Wings?

Aviation Week's civil aviation blog

From The Archives

Aviation Week is approaching its 100th anniversary in 2016. In a series of blogs, our editors highlight editorial content from the magazine's long and rich history.


Oct 8, 2015

The Case Of The Missing F-117 Parts (2001) 24

How AW&ST found out what had happened to the remains of a shot-down F-117....More
Sep 18, 2015

The U.S.-Russian Moon Landing That Never Happened (1963) 9

U.S. President John F. Kennedy is well known for the 1961 speech to Congress in which he made the Apollo program a national goal....More
Blog Archive
Penton Corporate

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×