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de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver



Design of the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver light transport was started in Toronto during late 1946 as an aerial truck to operate in the Canadian bush. Powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior supercharged 9-cylinder 450hp radial engine, instead of the 295hp Gipsy Queen 50 around which it was originally designed, it first flew on 16 August 1947, and the type was certificated in Canada during March 1948.



The fuel consumption is around 95 litres an hour, nearly 21 Imperial gallons. It's duration is not great, belly tanks; 35, 35, and 25 gallons ‑ two in the wingtips, 11.5 gallon each ‑ totalling 118 gallons for around 4.75 hours flying.




The two-bladed Hamilton Standard constant speed propeller tends towards the noisy; often replaced in the US and Canada with a three-bladed Hartzell propeller with a smaller diameter.

Floats - Normal climb calls for 15 degrees of flap, 2200 RPM and 35"Hg with 90 mph indicated. Maximum cruise is 145 mph and Vne is 180 mph. MAUW glide speed over the sea is given as 92 mph with flaps up and stall with flaps down is a modest 45 mph. When the flaps are fully down, the ailerons also droop 15 degrees.

Large-scale production had already begun, and the Beaver I was soon in service, powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial. Of the 1,657 Beaver Is built, 980 went to the US forces (YL-20 service test, L-20A and L-20B production aircraft, redesignated U-6 in 1962) and 46 to the British Army. Delivered to the UK during 1960 for the Army, with superb STOL performance and load-carrying capability which included four bomb racks, each capable of carrying a 250-lb (113-kg) bomb but usually used in a liaison and reconnaissance role.


The newly independent Kenya built a small air force, assisted by British advisors. The first planes to be acquired were DHC Beavers and Caribou. Kenyan pilots were trained by the RAF in Britain.




There followed a single Beaver II with the Alvis Leonides radial and, in 1964, a few 10-passenger Turbo-Beaver III powered by the 431kW United Aircraft of Canada Ltd (later Pratt & Whitney Aircraft of Canada) PT6A-6 or -20 turboprop. Most of the Turbo-Beavers were used by civil operators. In New Zealand one Beaver had an AiResearch TPE331 turboprop engine installed. Production ended in the mid-1960s.


Compared with the earlier Beaver, the DHC-2 Mk. III has several modifications apart from replacement of its P & W piston-engine by a Canadian P & W turboprop. A 30in front fuselage extension brings the cockpit well forward of the wings and allows the installation of another pair of seats, bringing total capacity to nine, including crew.
Despite the cruise thirst of the 0.68 lb/eshp/h PT6A, fuel capacity of the Turbo-Beaver has been increased by the addition of a third fuselage tank, plus wing-tip auxiliaries. Under the centre section floor there.are now tanks containing 43, 56 and 20 Imp. gal from front to rear, plus 18 in each tip, totalling 155 Imp/gal in all.
Apart from a taller fin and a ventral strake, for better directional stability, the Turbo-Beaver is otherwise generally unchanged. It is also beefed up for its increased gross weight of 5370 lb and the longer nose enables two large doors to be provided for access to the crew compartment.
The standard Beaver throttle quadrant at top centre of the panel is retained, but the pitch vernier is moved below it. The power lever on the left has an idle gate and moves aft for reverse thrust. An unusual feature for a single-engined aircraft is a feathering facility, which is a characteristic of the PT6. After light-up, the starter is disengaged at 45-47 per cent gas generator rpm, and the Turbo-Beaver is taxied just in the Beta range, with about +6 degrees indicated on the blade angle gauge.
When the closed-circuit hydraulic hand pump is used to lower 30degrees of flap for take-off, the ailerons droop too. The Turbo-Beaver floats off the ground at about 45mph IAS, and climbed away at 65 mph, before being cleaned up for a 90 mph en route ascent.
At 1000 ft low-altitude cruise, the Turbo-Beaver speed is about 140 mph IAS, at 26 lb/ and 85 per cent propeller rpm. The Beaver will maintain its 135-140 mph cruising speed just below the yellow line of Vno, with only about two gallons per hour variation in fuel flow between sea level and about 12,000 ft on 290 hp from the 578 eshp PT6A, using about 32 Imp. gal/h.
Clean, continued aft pressure on the control wheel with power off simply results in a nose-high sink at a minimum flight speed of about 68 mph with full lateral control, and an accompanying rate of descent of about 1500 ft/min. Application of power simply cushions the descent, and the same effect accompanies extension of flap. Slight tail bullet can be felt with full flap but, with the wheel hard back again, the Beaver simply mushes down at about 45 mph IAS.
About 40 Turbo-Beavers had been sold by 1966, built as new aircraft, although DHC was also offering conversions of customers' piston-engined aircraft for around $60000. F.a.f. price of a new Turbo-Beaver was $108 575, and some used piston-engined versions are reported as much as $50 000, which is more than their original selling cost.



Basic accommodation was provided for a pilot and seven passengers, the latter replaceable by up to 680kg of freight. The Beaver was able to operate on wheel, ski, float or amphibious float landing gears.
An approved kit involves an all new and lengthened (by 4 ft 2 in) wing, including an NACA airfoil, a large slotted fowler flap and cuffs on the outboard leading edge, increases the gross weight by 270 lbs to 5370 lbs.

Airtech Canada of Peterborough, Ontario, has converted a number of Beavers to take the 447kW Polish PZL-3S seven-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine driving a PZL four-bladed propeller.

A total of 1692 were built.




DHC-2 Beaver I
Engine: 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN1 Wasp Junior radial, 336kW / 444 hp
Max take-off weight: 2313 kg / 5100 lb
Empty weight: 1293 kg / 2851 lb
Wingspan: 14.63 m / 48 ft 0 in
Length: 9.22 m / 30 ft 3 in
Height: 2.74 m / 9 ft 0 in
Wing area: 23.23 sq.m / 250.05 sq ft
Max. speed: 262 km/h / 163 mph
Cruise speed: 230 km/h / 143 mph
Service ceiling: 5485 m / 18000 ft
Range: 1180 km / 733 miles
Crew: 2+4


Engine: 550 shp Pratt & Whitney PT-6A turboprop
Span, 48 ft (14.63 m)
Length, 35.25 ft (10.74 m)
Height, 11 ft (3.35 m)
Wing area, 250 sq.ft (23,23 sq.m)
Equipped operational weight. 2990 lb (1355 kg)
Max. gross, 5370 lb (2435 kg)
Max. payload, 1925 lb (872 kg)
Max. cruise at 10 000 ft (3050 m), 142 kt (262 km/h)
Initial climb, 1185 ft/min (6 m/sec)
Service ceiling, 23,500 ft (7160 m)
STO distance to 50 ft (15 m), 1030 ft (314 m)
Short landing from 50 ft (15 m), 870 ft (265 m)
Range with max. payload, 120 nm (225 km)
Max. range. 560 in. miles (1037 km)


Engine: Pratt & Whitney R985-AN-1 or -AN-3 Wasp Junior, 450 hp
Wingspan: 48 ft
Length: 30 ft. 3 in.
Loaded weight: 5,100 lb.
Max. speed: 163 m.p.h.
Ceiling: 19,000 ft.
Typical range: 445 miles at 140 mph at 5,000 ft
Seats: 7.

Airtech Canada Beaver
Engine: PZL, 600 hp.





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