De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver


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De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver

Design of the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver light transport was started in Toronto during late 1946. The concept behind this first of de Havilland Canada's line of effective STOL transports was influenced by the specific requirements of the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. The resulting aircraft also suited the exacting requirements of 'bush' pilots in North America and elsewhere for an effective, rugged and reliable STOL utility transport.

The prototype was flown for the first time on 16 August 1947, and the type was certificated in Canada during March 1948. 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, no fewer than 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. 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 as de Havilland Canada concentrated on the development of more ambitious projects and products.

At the height of its career, the Beaver was to be found in some 50 countries, where it won universal acclaim for performance, ground stability conferred by wide-track tailwheel landing gear, and versatility. Basic accommodation was provided for a pilot and seven passengers, the latter replaceable by up to 680kg of freight. Great flexibility was bestowed on the Beaver by its ability to operate on wheel, ski, float or amphibious float landing gears.

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.

De Havilland Canada DHC-2 BeaverA three-view drawing (592 x 877)

 MODELDHC-2 Beaver I
 ENGINE1 x Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior radial piston engine, 336kW
  Take-off weight2313 kg5099 lb
  Empty weight1293 kg2851 lb
  Wingspan14.63 m48 ft 0 in
  Length9.22 m30 ft 3 in
  Height2.74 m9 ft 0 in
  Wing area23.23 m2250.05 sq ft
  Max. speed262 km/h163 mph
  Cruise speed230 km/h143 mph
  Ceiling5485 m18000 ft
  Range1180 km733 miles

De Havilland Canada DHC-2 BeaverA three-view drawing (844 x 1028)

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60
John Coleman, e-mail, 22.01.2010 19:40

I was in the last Army Instrument Class that trained in the Beaver, then for a year with the MIBARS in Vietnam, then in could even fly this baby into a mountain and if you hit with the nose up about 15 degrees you were going to walk away to fly another day. Scotty MacDonald..are you out there?


Barrie Davies, e-mail, 16.01.2010 03:00

I flew a British Army Beaver for 6 years, 3 of them in Borneo on active service during the mid 60's. It was a pleasure to fly, reliable, easy to use for military purposes and as Chuck said above it could land on a dime and was very very forgiving, especially for over-loads out of short strips. I'm sure I'm still here today because it was a Beaver I had strapped to my behind and not any another single engined aircraft. I have suffered from "Beaver Fever" ever since ! Thank you DHC.


Bob Leslie, e-mail, 08.01.2010 04:40

I flew many hours in the L-20 Beaver in Alaska 1950-52 flying out of Ladd Field. Flew on skis from Uniat positioning fuel drums and supplies for oil exploration
north of the Brooks range. Great Airplane


Dick Beck, e-mail, 01.01.2010 18:15

I was stationed in Iceland in the early 60's. We used the Beaver to get around the island. It does everything at about the same speed. You could bounce it into some pretty remote spots with great confidence. And, like the family station wagon, you can always get something else in it!


Tony Chapa, e-mail, 09.12.2009 03:03

I learned to fly instruments in a U.S. Army L-20 in 1961 and flew it in Vietnam for a year in 1963-1964. Great airplane. I loved it and wish I had an opportunity to fly one again.


Mike Green, 22.07.2009 08:05

Canada's greatest contribution to the world of aviation, the Beaver wouldn't go away even after the advent of the "Turbo-Beaver" I think of all the nicknames stuck on this little airplane, my favorite is "The flying pick-up truck"


John Redmond, e-mail, 03.06.2009 20:30

Looking for a DHC2 deHavilland, hi wing monoplane, balsa wood model airplane to assemble-can you help--Thanks, John


Chuck, e-mail, 17.05.2009 06:09

I flew Beavers in Vietnam in 1972, flying into Cambodia on radio relay missions. It took us forever (it seemed) to climb to 15,000 feet to orbit at a predetermined location. The mission took about 20 minutes but I could feel the effects of hypoxia setting in. It took no time to get below 10,000 feet. With full flaps, it could land on a dime. It was a very forgiving aircraft and a joy to fly an aircraft with a round engine.


Jock Williams, e-mail, 16.04.2009 08:52

The Beaver is a true classic in Canada and a living legend worldwide. It is not a speed-demon -in fact if I remember correctly it cruised at about 87 knots in the amphib float configuration -but it would get you into and more important out of lakes that nothing else would!

I only flew it "for fun" -never in demanding roles -but it personified the name "bushplane" -and like the DC3 wich is in a sense its larger older brother -there will probably never be a real "replacement"

Fortunately another company (Viking Aircraft of Victoria Canada?) has bought the rights to begin reproducing this classic -so it will re-emerge like the legendary Phoenix -as will the Twin Otter!

How clever that someone decided to stick with a superior design! What an innovative thought!

Jock Williams Yogi 13


Uwe Wagner, e-mail, 12.12.2008 17:26


I'm looking for technical construction plans of DHC-2 Beaver for model building purpose. Even shapes and outlines would help. Do you have such informations?

Kind regards


T Lohse, e-mail, 29.05.2008 19:23

Lake Union and Lake Washington, (WA State) has three DHC-2 airlines flying pressently. Northwest Seaplanes (KRNT) and Soundflight (KRNT) operations are out of the south end of Lake Washington. Kenmore Air, operates from the North end of Lake Washington and has a dock near downtown Seattle at lake Union.

These are great places to get up close wan watch the operations or spend a little cash a go for a ride. Radial and Turbines, plus Turbine Otter and other floatplanes (180, 206. 208, Cub, etc.)


ron, e-mail, 16.03.2008 11:10

want some pictures of the alvis leonides powered aircraft, believed to be on display in a museum somewhere in eastern canada, after a long succesfull career.


Larry Turpin, e-mail, 10.02.2008 02:44

As a retiring aircraft mechanic in commercial aviation (airlines) I am very much interested in restoring the Dh-2 aircraft to it's original condition. I have a vast background in radial engines but as a retiree I am very limited on financial backing. If you will send me some pictures and the requirements to ship said airplane back to Kansas I would very much appreciate it.
Thank you in advance.
Larry Turpin


Mike Rose, e-mail, 09.10.2007 20:05

There are one or two DH Beavers available for restoration, located in S America, believed to be in flying condition. I have aircraft-trained contacts with genuine expertise in exporting from this normally-inaccessible location, and in careful dismantling into a shipping container, so if you're interested contact me. Very many other aircraft items, especially engines, available for (very reasonable) sale. A bientot, Mike


frederic, e-mail, 23.08.2007 14:41


Je suis en train de construire en maquette un DEHAVILLAND BEAVER DHC-2 version hydravion. Souhaitant compléter mes informations, je recherche toute documentation (plans, photos, notes techniques) relatives à cet appareil. Pouvez-vous m'aidez. Merci du bon soin que vous apporterez à ma requête. Cordialement.


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