12/31/2009. Mindful of the growing demand for bush aircraft, DHC used its experience to create the DHC-2 Beaver, which is still unsurpassed in this role. The Beaver was a high wing all-metal STOL aircraft with a fixed tail wheel undercarriage (or floats or skis) fitted with a 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 Wasp air-cooled radial engine. It could accommodate a pilot and seven passengers, but was mainly used to haul freight which was loaded through large doors on either side of the cabin.
The first Beaver (CF-FHB-X c/n 1) flew from Downsview on August 16, 1947 and DHC received a huge order for 970 examples (designated L-20 or U-6A) from the US Army and USAF. In total, 1,692 of the DHC-2 were built (c/n 1 to 1692). Of these, 60 were completed as DHC-2 Mk.III Turbo Beavers with a 578 shp Pratt & Whitney PT6A-6 turboprop, a lengthened fuselage to accommodate up to 11 seats and enlarged squared-off vertical tail surfaces. The prototype Turbo Beaver (CF-PSM-X c/n 1525) first flew on December 30, 1963 and the last production aircraft was completed in May, 1968.
Produced for the US Army as an L-20A under s/n 58-2042, the pictured aircraft was delivered on July 29, 1959, and was redesignated U-6A in 1962. Struck off charge it came on the US civil registry as N87775, and in 1980 it came on the Canadian registry as C-GMKP, and was successively operated by Cameron Bay Air Services, Harbour Air and Pacific Wings Airlines. On August 29, 2006 it was registered to its present owner West Coast Air.