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N181CS De Havilland Canada DHC-6-200 Twin Otter c/n 181 - ARKeX - Den Helder Airport in Holland - 17 September 2014 G-BXUF AB206B JetRanger II

The De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter is a twin-engined, high-wing utiility transport aircraft for up to nineteen passengers. The Twin Otter may be fitted with float or ski undercarriages. In 1964, De Havilland Canada Inc, Downsview, Ontario, started with the development of the DHC-6 as a twin-engined replacement for the DHC-3 Otter. Built on production tooling modified from that of the single-engined DHC-3 Otter, the Twin Otter followed substantially the structure of its predecessor, but had a 1,68 mtr fuselage extension, and a structturally modified wing with chemically-milled skins. Next to this, the rear fuselage, tail, and nose were redesigned and seating was increased to 18. The first three aircraft had 528 hp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-6 engines, but the fourth and subsequent aircraft standardised on the PT6A-20A. On 20 May 1965, the prototype of this STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) aircraft, DHC-6 Series 1 c/n 1 CF-DHC-X, flew first. Canadian type certification was received on 7 April 1966. The first six aircraft produced were designated Series 1, indicating that they were prototype aircraft. The initial production run consisted of Series 100 aircraft, serial number seven to 115 inclusive. In April 1968, Series 200 was introduced, starting with serial number 116. The Series 200 divers from the Series 100 by a lengthened nose; a larger baggage compartment (except for aircraft fitted with floats); a larger door to the rear baggage and an improved STOL performance.In May 1969, Series 300 was introduced, beginning with serial number 231. Both aircraft performance and payload were improved by fitting more powerful PT6A-27 engines. This was a 680 hp (510 kW) engine that was flat-rated to 620 hp (460 kW) for use in the Series 300 Twin Otter. The production by De Havilland Canada of the DHC-6 at Toronto /Downsview Airport ended in 1988 with a total of 844 DHC-6 aircraft built. After the DHC-6 Twin Otter production ended, the remaining tooling was purchased by Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia, who manufactures spare parts for all of the out-of-production De Havilland Canada aircraft.

On 6 December 1968, the De Havilland DHC-6-200 s/n 181 was registered 5X-UVN and flew first at the De Havilland Canada facilities at Downsview in Ontario, Canada, on 6 December 1968. On 21 December 19698 , the 5X-UVN was delivered to East African Airways, Entebbe, Kenya. On 15 August 1973, the DHC-6 was sold to Bannock Aerospace, Toronto, ON, and registered CF-GQK. On 13 December 1973, the CF-GQK was registered with 320 Syndicate, Toronto, ON, and on 30 january 1974, leased to Survair, Ottawa, Ontario. On18 June 1974, Survair'Twin Otter CF-GQK was damaged in an accident at Belcher Islands. The aircraft was repaired by Innotech Aviation and returned to service in November 1974. On 28 January 1977, the DHC-6-200 was registered C-FGQK with 33 Leasing Ltd. as owner and as before Survair as operator. TIn 1977, the C-FGQK was returned to the lessor 33 Leasing Ltd. and in October 1977 flown to Uganda. On 24 October 1977, registration C-FGQK was cancelled as sold to Uganda and the DHC-6 was registered 5X-UWV with Uganda Airlines.In August 1985, the DHC-6 Twin Otter was registered 5Y-BEK with Sunbird Aviation Ltd, Nairobi, Kenya. In 1987, Sunbird Aviation merged into Airkenya Aviation Ltd. and the 5Y-BEK was registered with Airkenya Aviation. By May 2002, DHC-6 5Y-BEK was withdrawn from use and stored at Nairobi-Wilson in Kenya. On 3 November 2004, the DHC-6-200 Twin Otter was registered N181CS in the USA with F & M Aviation, Wilmington, Delaware. On 29 November 2005, the N181CS was registered with Fayard Enterprises Inc., and on 22 December 2005 with Avtran LLC. On 19 December 2007, the Twin Otter N181CS was registered with Fayard Enterprises Inc., and the same day leased to Winair (Windward Islands Airways International N.V.), St.Maarten. In May 2009, DHC-6 N181CS returned to its lessor, Fayard Enterprises Inc., Franklington, NC. On 11 January 2011, the N181CS was transferred to Rampart Aviation, with Bank of Utah Trustee as registered owner of the aircraft. On 2 July 2014, ownership of the N181CS was registered with FHC Group LLC, with as before Rampart Aviation LLC as operator. In service with Rampart Aviation, Twin Otter N181CS was modified and equipped for geophysical survey operations. When seen at Den Helder Airport in the Netherlands, the special equiped Twin Otter N181CS was operated by Rampart, together with its technical partner ARKeX, Ltd. (ARKeX) on Full Tensor Gravity Gradiometry, Magnetic and LiDAR surveys.

page last updated: 27-11-2014
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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