De Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo
Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  TRANSPORTVirtual Aircraft Museum / Canada / De Havilland Canada  

De Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo

Developed from the DHC-4 Caribou, being an enlarged fuselage version of that aircraft, the de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo was known originally as the Caribou II. Four were ordered for evaluation by the US Army, their development cost shared by the US Army, together with the Canadian government and de Havilland Canada; the first of these transports made its maiden flight on 9 April 1964. The DHC-5 had been developed to meet the requirements of the US Army for a transport that would be able to carry loads such as the Pershing missile, a 105-mm howitzer or 3/4-ton truck.

No further orders resulted from US Army evaluation of the DHC-5 (designated originally YAC-2 by the US Army, and later C-8A), but the Canadian Armed Forces acquired 15 of the DHC-5A which it designated CC-115: six were converted subsequently for deployment in a maritime patrol role. Following delivery of 24 to the Brazilian air force and 16 to the Peruvian air force, the production line was closed down. In 1974 the company realised there was a continuing demand for the Buffalo and production of an improved DHC-5D Buffalo was initiated. This had more powerful engines which permitted operation at higher gross weights, and offered improved all-round performance. Production of the Buffalo ended in 1982, but the last of 122 aircraft built was not delivered until April 1985. DHC-5Ds were bought by the armed forces of Abu Dhabi (5), Cameroun (3), Chile (1), Ecuador (3), Egypt (10), Kenya (8), Mauritania (1), Mexico (3), Sudan (4), Tanzania (6), Togo (2), Zaire (3) and Zambia (7). With some interest being shown by civil operators, DH Canada developed the DHC-5E Transporter, certificated in Canada in 1981. Generally similar to the military Buffalo, it could seat 44 passengers in a standard layout but with quick-change passenger/cargo and VIP/executive interior. Two were acquired by Ethiopian Airlines.


DHC-5B: designation of proposed version with General Electric CT64-P4C engines, not built.

DHC-5C: designation of proposed version with Rolls-Royce Dart RDa.12 engines, not built.

NASA/DITC XC-8A: designation of C-8A following conversion for use as an augmentor wing research aircraft; extensively modified, it has clipped wings, fixed landing gear, two Rolls-Royce Spey engines with vectored nozzles complementing the augmentor wings.

XC-8A ACLS: redesignation of C-8A following conversion for use as an Air-Cushion Landing System research aircraft; instead of conventional landing gear it has an inflatable but perforated rubber air cushion which permits operation from and to almost any type of surface, including ice, rough airfields, soft soils, snow, swamps and water.

NASA/Boeing QSRA: redesignation of C-8A following conversion for use as a Quiet Short-haul Research Aircraft; this aircraft has a new wing incorporating upper-surface blowing and boundary-layer control; engines are four Avco Lycoming F102 turbofans.

De Havilland Canada DHC-5 BuffaloA three-view drawing (1000 x 492)

 ENGINE2 x General Electric CT64-820-4 turboprop, 2336kW
    Take-off weight22317 kg49201 lb
    Empty weight11412 kg25159 lb
    Wingspan29.26 m96 ft 0 in
    Length24.08 m79 ft 0 in
    Height8.76 m29 ft 9 in
    Wing area87.79 m2944.96 sq ft
    Cruise speed420 km/h261 mph
    Ceiling7620 m25000 ft
    Range w/max.fuel3280 km2038 miles
    Range w/max.payload416 km258 miles

Comments1-20 21-40
Barry Hubbard,, 06.06.2013

Dug out my AFM and the ceiling is not 25000' BUT 31500'. We used to go to 32000 for test purposes.I got the "bends" once and hypoxic once so I know we've been there.Did a world tour in 1976 as well covering mainly Africa and the Middle East on that occasion and the Farnborough Air Show in 1976 as well. A great a/c to fly !!

Barry Hubbard,, 06.06.2013

The original 4 DHC 5 Buffalos were known as the CV-7A and then C-8A when they went USAF..they became CC-115's in the RCAF and C-115's for Brazil and Peru...Buffalo s/n 60 reg'n C-GBUF set 6 time to climb records in Feb 1976- 3000M, 6000M and 9000M in class C1h group 2 turboprops and C1 group 2 turboprops previously held by a P-3C Orion. A little trivia to the history..

wuryono,, 05.04.2013

I would like to know the fuel consumption per flight hour and the TOD of DHC-5 Buffalo with GE turbo engine.would appreciate if I can have an acces where I can buy the performance section of this aircraft.

Peter Maisiba,, 04.12.2012

Quiz: How can I solve a problem of the landing gear doors flapping when the aircraft is in flight and the gears are up and locked?If possible please post me the schematic diagnostic diagram.

Gordon,, 03.03.2012

I should say I flew in the back seat of a buf for many hours as a civilian PEP volenteer during visual searches in Northern BC. I will never forget one day returning to the Prince George airport from our seach grid, the crew decided a close look at the banks of the Fraser River would be in order. They got down low over the water and threw that big beast through every twist and turn that river makes. We were banked over so hard on one turn my partner was looking straight down at the river bank and all I could see was the tops of trees growing above the cliff.
Flying over a straight bit I felt myself sitting very heavy for a second, followed by what felt like a little 0g. We had pop'd up over a power transmission line and dropped right back down to watch the banks.
If I ever have my own plane, it will be painted Orange with a red stripe.

Gordon Seiter,, 03.03.2012

Jean-Paul,, 08.02.2010
@G I Wonder,
the only 4 engine turbo-prop the canadian army has is the DASH-7, a close relative of the Buffalo and the DASH-8.

G I wonder,, 04.02.2010
I thought the Buffalo was a 4 engine (turbo prop) I say this because I saw one at Cold lake 1977. So what did I see then?

The Canadian Forces does have some Hurks.
"Canada’s fleet of CC-130s (E and H models) range in age from 11 to 43 years and are some of the oldest and highest flight time C-130s in the world — 60% are more than 30 years old. The current fleet has accumulated over a million flying hours, with almost all E-models each having more than 40,000 flight hours. Four of Canada’s more recently acquired H-model Hercs are assessed to have the same Estimated Life Expectancy as the E-models: 2010." Taken from cc130J web site.

Koin,, 19.02.2012

Does anyone know where i can get the fireproof .Buffalo upholstry for the transport type aircraft?

paidui, 21.06.2011

flew her first post rebuild test flight serviceable, with the exception of one of the nacelle doors blowing off inflight due to a faulty hinge and latch.

, wholesale, 21.06.2011

De Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo

Aviator44,, 05.05.2011

Superb aircraf. It was my favorite between several others I have flown in my 30 years in Air Force (Brazilian Air Force). I flew 3.000h without any significative accident. Now I'm retired and the Buffalo too, replaced by Casa C-295.

Jim Stewart,, 03.05.2011

The picture above is a Caribou. When our crew was shot down in Syria in August, 1974, the first reports were that a Caribou had been shot down and that is how we knew it was actually a Buffalo.

Jim Stewart,, 03.05.2011

A great aircraft. I flew it with 424 Squadron, Trenton and 116 ATU, Cairo/Ismailia, Egypt. This was before they put an autopilot in it. The Buffalo hauled a load and was able to land and takeoff from anywhere. We sued to go out of Trenton and do pilot training on a grass strip with one hell of a slope, just north of the base. Flew it into cane fields in Jamaica and gravel strips in the Arctic, all of which were less than 1200 feet. Keith Levia and I took one into Resolution Island one day to carry up listening antenna. Keith approach the runway lip from below and when he stopped on the runway, the ground asked him to move forward as they could not get the forklift between the ramp at the back and the edge of the cliff. I was also on the first flight into the Golan Heights in 1974 and when we landed and opened the ramp and unloaded the Israeli's eyes were bugged out with envy at the load and the aircraft performance. Stable and once it was airborne hardly anything broke. Before airborne thought the sophisticated systems could be troublesome.

khaled,, 22.02.2011

it is hard worker aircraft and mor safty

Peter j Teminski,, 18.02.2011

I too am impressed with this work horse and I hope our military will see the light and let Viking Air rebuild the six Buffalos. From what I have read, this is good value for Canada.

A Van Elswyk,, 25.01.2011

A group of volunteers at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum rebuilt the Buffalo 115461 from scrap parts off decommissioned planes. It is a tribute to the Buffalo 9 - the peacekeepers shot down in 1974 in Syria

Terry Spurgeon,, 26.04.2010

When the Canadian Forces acquired 15 DHC-5A they were initially used in Mobile Command as a tactical STOL transport. There were none converted to maritime patrol aircraft, rather they were adapted for Search and Rescue operations with bubble spotters windows and some additional navigation gear like LORAN. I flew in both Mobile Command - Tactical air transport in support of the Army, and Air transport Command, both SAR and Transport.
Former Buffalo pilot 429 Sqn and 442 Sqn.

Jean-Paul,, 08.02.2010

@G I Wonder,
the only 4 engine turbo-prop the canadian army has is the DASH-7, a close relative of the Buffalo and the DASH-8.

G I wonder,, 04.02.2010

I thought the Buffalo was a 4 engine (turbo prop) I say this because I saw one at Cold lake 1977. So what did I see then?

Owen Smith,, 12.01.2010

I love the Buffalo (I'm a Buffalo buff :P) and would like to create a model of it for the FlightGear flight simulator. 3-view drawings are nice but can anyone get their hands on more detailed drawings with fuselage and wing x-sections?

R Hull,, 07.12.2009

A good design aircraft that Canadians can be proud of and the that Viking aircraft of Victoria has been trying to get the Canadian government to commit to buying again at approximately 1/2 the cost of replacing with the proposed C-27 spartan. but the Canadian government seems bound and determined to never let Canada have an aerospace industry again after it killed the avro arrow

1-20 21-40

Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

Virtual Aircraft Museum

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 -