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  • de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Utility Transport Aircraft

    Over 1,600 examples of the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver were produced over a two-decade span.

     Updated: 6/16/2017; Authored By Dan Alex; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    Introduced in 1948, the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 "Beaver" went on to achieve global popularity with over 35 operators using the type and production reaching an impressive post-World War 2 total of 1,657 units. Manufacture of the aircraft spanned from 1947 until 1967 and the successful DHC-2 also went on to form the basis for the similar DHC-3 "Otter" series detailed elsewhere on this site. While production of the DHC-2 has since closed, the aircraft line is still in active service throughout the world today (2016) with no sign of its end coming soon.

    The DHC-2 was developed along the lines of a utility-minded platform with inherent Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) capabilities. This meant a lightweight overall design with good power stemming from a single engine and a shoulder-mounted wing structure to maximize lift and agility. First flight of a prototype was on August 16th, 1947 with service introduction arriving in 1948.

    Origins of the DHC-2 lay in the years immediately following the close of World War 2 (1945). The world aircraft market saw a dramatic shift away from military platforms to civilian-market types and de Havilland - makers of the famous wartime twin-engined DH.98 "Mosquito" series - followed suit. Research centered on delivering a new aircraft to "bush" pilots - one of rugged, sound and reliable design. Due to the variable environments that the new aircraft could operate across, a floatplane and wheeled undercarriage was developed to suit customer needs. Large side doors, placed along both fuselage sides, was another of the notable requirements bush pilots made. The engine of choice became the Pratt & Whitney Canada "Wasp Junior" radial of 450 horsepower - these left over from the Canadian war effort. Design work began in 1946.

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    de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1948
    Type: Utility Transport Aircraft
    National Origin: Canada
    Manufacturer(s): de Havilland Canada - Canada
    Production Total: 1,657

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 30.25 feet (9.22 meters)
    Width: 48.00 feet (14.63 meters)
    Height: 8.99 feet (2.74 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 3,000 lb (1,361 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 5,099 lb (2,313 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior radial piston engine developing 450 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 158 mph (255 kph; 138 knots)
    Maximum Range: 455 miles (732 km)
    Service Ceiling: 15,046 feet (4,586 meters; 2.85 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 1,020 feet-per-minute (311 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload


    Global Operators / Customers

    Argentina; Austria; Burma; Cambodia; Chile; Colombia; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Finland; France; Ghana; Greece; Haiti; Indonesia; Iran; Kenya; Laos; Netherlands; New Zealand; Oman; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; South Vietnam; South Yemen; Thailand; Turkey; Uganda; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay; Yugoslavia; Zambia

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    DHC-2 "Beaver" - Base Series Name

    Beaver Mk I - Initial utility model

    Beaver AL Mk I - British Army designation of the Mk I

    Beaver C-127 - U.S. Army designation until 1962

    Beaver YL-20 - U.S. Army designation of evaluation models.

    L-20A Beaver (U-6A) - U.S. Army model; 968 units completed.

    L-20B Beaver (U-6B) - U.S. Army model with slight changes from A-model forms; six total units.

    Beaver Mk II - One-off form with Alvis Leonides radial piston engine fitted.

    Wipaire "Boss Turbo-Beaver" - Post-military L-20 models

    Turbo-Beaver Mk III - Fitted with PW PT6A-6/-20 turboprop engines.

    Airtech Canada DHC-2 (PZL-3S) - Post-military model with Ivchenko PZL-3S radial engine of 600 horsepower.

    Volpar "Model 4000" - Model of 1972; AiResearch turboprop engine driving three-bladed propeller; all-new tail unit.

    Viking DHC-2T "Turbo Beaver" - Fitted with PWC PT6A-34 turboprop engine of 680 horsepower.