Introduced in 1948, the DHC-2 Beaver has continued to gain global popularity with over 35 operators

A little about De Havilland, this is an aircraft company founded in 1928 by the British de Havilland Aircraft Company to build Moth aircraft for the training of Canadian pilots, and after World War II , designs and manufactures indigenous products, mainly civilian aircraft. On 16 August 1947, the maiden flight of the aircraft, which had received the designation DHC-2 Beaver, took place. In April 1948, the first production aircraft was delivered to the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests.

Beaver emphasized the ability to Short Take-Off and Landing. It has a lightweight overall design with power delivered from a single powerful engine, and shoulder-mounted wing construction to maximize lift and agility. The DHC-2 is operated by a single pilot. The passenger compartment behind the cockpit can accommodate up to 6 people or the equivalent of 953 kg of cargo.

DHC-2 Beaver
DHC-2 Beaver

The Canadian iron bird has a length of 9.22m, a wingspan of 14.63m, a height of 2.74m, an empty weight of 1.36 tons and a maximum take-off weight of 2.3 tons. Powering the aircraft is a Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial engine, with 450 hp. The Beaver can reach a top speed of 255 km/h, a cruise speed of 230 km/h, a range of approximately 732 km, and a service ceiling of 5,500 m. One key quality is the short take off and landing (STOL) capability of the aircraft. It can climb, fully laden, at around 5.2 m/s.

The aircraft’s trailing flaps extend to 58 degree angle giving a huge amount of drag, combined with the aircraft’s ability to manoeuvre at slow speed, this gives huge versatility as to what one would consider a ‘suitable’ field. Further versatility is added in its ability to literally land almost anywhere. The aircraft was manufactured in such a way as to easily accommodate wheels, skis for landing on frozen plains, or skids for landing on water. Whilst there is slight variation in characteristics depending on configuration, the difference is negligible.

In addition to its use in civilian operations, the Beaver has been widely adopted by armed forces as a utility aircraft. The United States Army purchased several hundred aircraft; nine DHC-2s are still in service with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary for search and rescue. By 1967, over 1,600 Beavers had been constructed prior to the closure of the original assembly line.

The Beaver’s versatility and performance led to it being the preferred aircraft of bush pilots servicing remote locations in the Canadian north, and it is considered by aviation historians to be a Canadian icon. Despite the fact that production ceased in 1967, hundreds of Beavers are still flying—many of them heavily modified to adapt to changes in technology and needs.


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