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Photographer's Note

The DeHavilland Beaver was first flown in 1947. Only 1,657 were built in Toronto, Canada. Today the Beaver is still prized by pilots for its reliability and versatility. The Beaver can be operated on wheels, skis or float landing gear.

The Legendary DHC-2 DeHavilland Beaver is portrayed during its maiden flight on floats on September 16, 1947 near Toronto Island, by wartime Mosquito pilot Russ Bannock. At the time, C.H. "Punch" Dickins was Director of Sales of DeHavilland Canada and R.D. "Dick" Hiscocks was Chief Aerodynamicist.

Conceived and designed to satisfy rugged Canadian operating conditions, the aircraft was an outstanding success, due to the dedication of the entire multi-talented DeHavilland Canada team. It has since proven to be one of the milestones of Canadian aviation achievements. The original aircraft is displayed in Canada's National Aviation Museum.

After moderate success with its first Canadian designed aircraft, DeHavilland Canada's Managing Director, Phil Garratt (The Chipmunk trainer) made the decision to "gamble" on a modern "utility" aircraft that could operate from short, rough airstrips, as well as on floats or skis. "Punch" Dickins and many experienced air service operators were asked to make design suggestions, and they did so with ideas ranging from an all metal airframe, battery removal hatch, doors on both sides for docking and several other ease of operation items. Phil Garratt made the vital decision to equip the new machine with the powerful P + W WASP Junior Radial. The design department did an outstanding job in bringing it all together with such success that the Beaver was recognized in 1987 as one of the 10 most outstanding engineering feats in Canada in this century. The first Beaver carried engineer Fred Buller's initials CF-FHB.

Initially, several provincial governments purchased the aircraft, then mining companies and charter operators soon followed suit. After a flight demonstration by Russ Bannock to the USAF in Alaska and later to the U.S. Army, however, a dramatic order of 978 aircraft followed, which represented over 50% of eventual total production and the largest ever international order for a Canadian civil aircraft. Designated the L-20, many of these machines are still in service, having been repurchased after army use by private companies.

Operators in over 60 countries have made the "Beaver" name synonymous with the Canadian reputation for hard working, rugged dependability. Over 400 Beavers still exist and work in Canada (several having been converted to turbine engines). Their capabilities are still hard to equal, thus ensuring their continued use well into the next century.

Story Courtesy of "Baxter Aviation"

All the best!
- Dan

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Additional Photos by Dan Walsh (danielswalsh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1469 W: 366 N: 2369] (13593)
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