deHavilland Single Otter

The de Havilland Single Otter was created after the acclaimed success of the legendary deHavilland Canada Beaver. The predecessor became known as the King Beaver. The demand for the single otter came from the Ontario Provincial Air Service. The organization saw the need for an aircraft with increased capacity and similar performance and reliability. Canadian Pratt and Whitney agreed to produce a geared version of their Wasp engine to meet this new demand and the King Beaver was born! On the 12th of December, 1951, George Neal first flew the prototype at Toronto's Downsview airport.

The aircraft was designed for short strips of around 300 meters, and could carry a payload of some 1500 kg for 300 kilometers, or 1000 kg for nearly 1500 kilometers. There was accommodation for nine passengers and a crew of two. The passenger seats could be folded against the wall when cargo was being transported.

Many pilots found the well-designed Otters more maneuverable than the considerably smaller Beaver, and it earned itself the nickname 'Kiddiecar". The first customers for the Otter were the Ontario Provincial Air Service (OPAS), The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Canadian civil operators and a Norwegian operator specializing in linking remote northern towns to Oslo. By 1953, the U.S. Army got wind of the Otters performance and ultimately ended up purchasing a third of the total Otters production, which numbered around 450. The plane flew well under diverse conditions, serving with the United Nations Emergency Force in the Middle East and with the U.S. Navy and Belgian and British teams in the Antarctic.
The Otter in the service of the OPAS was instrumental in developing the concept of the water bomber as we know it today. At first, twin tanks that could each contain some 364 liters of water were mounted above each float, to be filled automatically during touch and go alighting on lakes, and released by rotating the tanks over forest fires. Later a tank nearly three times larger was centrally mounted between the floats, and filled and dumped the same way.

A popular turbine conversion is available for the Single Otter. The Turbine Single Otter is one of the most versatile and dependable bush airplanes operating in the north today. This aircraft is easily converted from full-passenger to all-cargo configuration quickly, or a combination of both may be used. It is multi-purpose, utilizing floats, wheels or wheel/skis depending on the season, and is equipped with a Barron STOL kit, high gross weight kit, and extended fuel capability.

deHavilland Single Otter and Turbine Single Otter

  • TYPE: Bush Flying Transport, Wheels/floats/skis
  • MANUFACTURED: 1954 – 1967, approximately 1657 produced
  • COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada, de Havilland Canada
  • ENGINE: Pratt & Whitney S1H1-G Wasp, 600 hp, radial engine
    • Available conversion to the Pratt and Whitney PT6A-135 turbine rated at 750 shaft-horsepower.
    • Wing span: 58 ft (17.7 m)
    • Length: 41 ft (12.5 m)
    • Height: 13 ft (4 m)
    • Empty: 5,287 lb (2,398 kg)
    • Max. takeoff: 8,000 lb (3,628 kg)
    • Cruising speed: 138 mph (222 km/h)
    • Maximum Speed: 160 mph (258 km/h)
    • Max. rate of climb: 1,000 ft (305 m)/min
    • Service Cieling: 17,900 ft (5,460 m)
    • Range: 960 mi (1,545 km) (Turbine Otter: 4 hours / 540 miles)
    • Seating 9 passengers, 1 pilot
    • Maximum Cargo Payload 2000 pounds (Turbine Otter: 2500 pounds)
    • External Loads Canoes & Boats
    • Baggage Area 70 cubic feet
    • Cabin Area 286 cubic feet
    • Cargo Door Size 45" x 46.25"


Visit either the Kenmore Air Sealplanes or Arctic Excursions / Big River Air pages to learn more about our new DVD's featuring the deHavilland Single Otter.





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