DHC-2 Beaver | Accidentally Wes Anderson

DHC-2 Beaver

Toronto, British Columbia | C.1947

Photo Credit: James Abbott

Ready for takeoff in almost any situation, the DHC-2 Beaver is a versatile aircraft primarily operates as a bush plane. This single-engine high-wing propeller-driven short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft was developed and manufactured in 1947 by the De Havilland Company of Canada, and it has been used for a wide variety of utility roles, thus becoming one of the more iconic aircraft to have been produced in Canada.

Following the end of the Second World War, the De Havilland Company recognized that there would be a downturn in military orders in the post-war climate and focused their efforts on finding aircraft needs within the civilian sector. The company decided to create a multi-functional aircraft that could be used for cargo and passenger transportation. The company had a tradition of naming their aircrafts after animals and it was decided that the new bush plane would be named after the beaver, which was known for its hard-working nature.

The Beaver was the first single-engine utility aircraft to be turbine-powered, and its STOL capability made it ideal for navigating areas typically only accessible by canoe or foot. Since the aircraft often flies to remote locations and in cold climates, its oil reservoir filler is located in the cockpit and oil can be filled in flight.

Initial sales were slow, but a key event occurred when the US Army commenced its search for a new utility aircraft to replace their fleet of Cessnas. As a consequence of the outbreak of the Korean War, De Havilland received orders for hundreds of aircrafts. The US Army would ultimately order 970 Beavers, more than half of the overall production run for the aircraft.

Despite the fact that production ceased in 1967, large numbers of Beavers continue to be operational into the 21st century-many of them heavily modified to adapt to changes in technology and needs. The tooling and type certificate for the Beaver have been acquired by Viking Air who continue to produce replacement components and refurbish examples of the DHC-2 Beaver.

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