Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

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SAR_YQQ
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Re: Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

Post by SAR_YQQ »

Hey DW - nice to talk to another -5 driver.

The A models that we drive have quite the different numbers than what I guess you have/had. MTOW for us is 45K - and we don't do that very often. I got in $hit on my upgrade ride departing Yellowknife on the shorter runway w/o checking out the accelerate/stop. When I did check it - we were close, but still legal.

We also do STOl departures for obstacle clearance in the vicinity of the airport (talking BC here, not Arctic).

The only time I have driven the old girl up North has been in July/august time frame on Ellesmere - so it wasn't cold but not too hot either.

We have two types of T/O - normal (7 degrees flap) and STOL (30 degrees). We can flapless, 7, 17, 30, 40 and STOL.

We always set T/O torque to whatever our engineer briefs - he refers to our outside temp and the AAE.
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Panama Jack
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Re: Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

Post by Panama Jack »

It will be interesting to see how Viking does business-wise in the long run. How many of it's new Twin Otters does it have firm orders for yet?

I wonder about the viability of resurrecting and old lady and dressing her in the latest fashions. My bets are that the Viking Buffalo would not be an economic success. I know of another company in the US that owns the Type Certificate for the Grumman Goose and is planning to manufacture these birds again too. Again, same basic design, but with turbine engines and if I remember correctly, steam-driven instruments. I ponder how much of a serious market there is for these types, other than from nostalgia buffs.

It will be interesting to watch as the Chinese sort out their quality issues and get into the aircraft manufacturing market. I predict that within 30 years if not earlier they will be giving the incumbants a serious run for the money.
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CLguy
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Re: Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

Post by CLguy »

Letter to the Editor from Viking Air of Victoria, B.C.

Canadian Forces DHC-5 Buffalo on ramp at Viking

Recent reports have suggested that the Canadian Government intends to spend 3 billion dollars for up to 17 new FWSAR aircraft to replace its aging CC-115 Buffalo fleet, which has long been utilized in search-and- rescue missions across the country. I am writing on behalf of Viking Air of Victoria BC, which holds the design and in-service support certificate for the CC-115, to remind the Canadian Government that there is an effective, economical, and Canadian solution for this replacement issue: a modernized CC-115 variant.

Viking is prepared to work with the DND to develop a staged approach to upgrading and modernizing the current fleet, as well as investigate the potential of introducing newly manufactured Buffalos on a phased-in basis as follows:


upgrade existing General Electric engines to Canadian PW150 turbines, a proven, reliable and fuel efficient engine manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Canada;
introduce a modern integrated avionics and technology enhancement package with Synthetic View, FLIR and NVG capabilities similar to that currently being installed in the new Viking Series 400 Twin Otters;
re-start production of a modernized Buffalo at our manufacturing facilities in Calgary and Victoria, similar to the revitalized DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 program underway at Viking, which leveraged the engineering, research and development on the original de Havilland airframe and marries it with the improvements offered by modern technology engines, systems and avionics to create a commercial and military modern day success story.

Viking has already received serious interest from several governmental agencies around the world and is cognizant of the growing demand for the launch of new production DHC-5 Buffalo aircraft. By upgrading and modernizing the fleet and incorporating new build Buffalo aircraft, manufactured and supported in Canada, the cost savings over introduction of a completely new type is huge.

The requirement to replace the present fleet is not based on a lack of ability for the Buffalo to do the job, but simply due to the aging of the aircraft. By breeding new life into the Program, the DND can continue to operate the best suited aircraft, safely, reliably, and with a huge reduction in acquisition and direct operating costs. The Buffalo is the best suited aircraft for its purpose, as noted on the Canadian National Defence website:

“The ‘Buff’ is able to fly in almost any weather, and into places other aircraft are incapable of reaching, making it ideal for the mountainous regions of British Columbia.”

By continuing with the tradition of the Buffalo, Canadian taxpayers will receive a proven low-risk product with huge economic benefits and cost savings, thus allowing the DND to either acquire more aircraft for search and rescue or reallocate the funds to other projects within DND. Not to mention the continuing benefits of keeping the program Canadian and further diversifying the Western Aerospace Industry.

We would welcome the chance to further discuss the merits of this proposal with you and we encourage you to speak to Defence Minister Peter MacKay regarding this issue.

Sincerely,

David Curtis
President & CEO
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kevinsky18
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Re: Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

Post by kevinsky18 »

Spend our money / tax dollars on Canadian planes, made in Canada and built by Canadians.

Plusses:

Keeps 3 billion in Canada.

Helps a good Canadian company stay afloat.

Helps company develop new and better products and become a leading competitor able to supply even better products in the future

Gives Canadians Jobs, training and higher skill sets/

Establishes a company that then generates a good product for export. Which in turn brings in cash from other countries which then translates into more jobs for Canadians.

Negatives:

We may have to work hard to get said product up and running. (oh no heaven forbid)

The Herc needs to be upgraded too. (Fine either order just the hercs or even better yet build a herc variant as well)

One company may not be able to supply all the aircraft we need. (anyone heard of Bombardier?)

The cost of building a new Herc variant would be too costly. (The technology and design are dirt simple. The cost comes from endless TC red tape. Solution TC needs a serious revamp)


Or Give another country our 3 billion dollars.

Plusses:

It’s easier, no headaches, let them worry about building the planes

maybe a bit faster (because you know after 30 yrs of flying these planes we can’t possibly wait an extra 6-12 months for a Canadian company to ramp up production .

Gives our unemployed workers more time to relax, lay on the beach, soak up the sun.

Make the other countries happy knowing they got a shmuck friend like Canada that will just give them money so they’ll be friends with us.

Prop up their economy

Put their people to work,

Build up their companies and skilled workers so they have an even more competitive advantage over our Canadian companies and can continue to out bid us in the future.

Negatives:

Difficulties in hiding all the kick backs from these foreign companies.

Trying to deflect any comparison between current government and the imbeciles that sold out the Avro Aero fighter.
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WJflyer
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Re: Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

Post by WJflyer »

As said before, the Buffalo is too slow, getting too cramped, not pressurized, and is too dated. I doubt that a new build Buffalo would be a major success (or even break even for Viking Air), so we would again end up with strategic orphans...

I would rate their proposal to be high risk, non-compliant, with a very likely chance of a major cost overrun or a delay. At least with the C-27J and C-295, the aircraft is in service and all that is needed is minor modifications. Their proposal, as mentioned earlier is also MORE expensive in the long run; we can't cover all of Canada with only 17 Buffalo's and 4-5 SAR bases. We would need at least double that, plus we would need to open at least another 6-7 bases to effectively cover all of Canada. I had said the same thing about EADS-CASA's proposal with their C-295; their aircraft is slower, but they openly suggested that we buy more airplanes and open more bases because their airplane is cheaper. It would cost more in terms of infrastructure, support, and personnel, all of which we do not have enough of, or enough funding. Viking is either essentially doing the same thing, but in undertones, or they are just ignorant because not only are we replacing the Buffalo's, we are replacing the C-130E/H's tasked to SAR.
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SAR_YQQ
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Re: Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

Post by SAR_YQQ »

In an email from Mr. Curtis - he told me that they would not be pressurizing their new variant of the Buffalo.

<EDIT - In all fairness to Mr. Curtis and Viking Air, I will refrain from comparing his company to Allenia. This is his direct quote and it should stand on its own merits>

"At the considerably reduced cost of new Buffalo's vs. C27J's you could place assets where they need to be rather than pay a huge premium in order to get there fast in a complicated pressurized aircraft. When actually performing SAR duties, low and slow is the preferred envelope and where the Buff thrives."


OR.......

We could replace our existing fleet of FWSAR within their current established MOBs and SRRs with an aircraft that meets all the required criteria. Out of the box thinking, I know.

For those who want the made-in-Canada solution for economical reasons - all deals require that the company invest dollar for dollar back into the Canadian economy. So $3BCAD spent on aircraft and maintenance is still $3BCAD into Canada's economy.
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Last edited by SAR_YQQ on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
optimus
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Re: Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

Post by optimus »

Probably a good idea to listen to the military on this one.
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godsrcrazy
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Re: Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

Post by godsrcrazy »

I must say there are some very valid points to this article. Maybe there should be some aircraft based in the north.


Hole in the sky

Chief coroner says North needs more air search and rescue capabilities

Northern News Services
Yellowknife (Feb 17/03) - The year 2001 was not a good one for Northern aviation -- at least when it comes to plane crashes.

With three fatal air accidents occurring that year, the NWT surpassed Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and all of the Atlantic provinces combined in the number of crashes where people died. There were twice as many fatal accidents in the much more populous provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

Eight people died in NWT crashes that year, just one less than in Ontario.

Some may call it an anomaly, but rarely does a year go by in the NWT without more heartache and grief as another plane -- usually a small commuter aircraft -- goes down.

Out of the number of accidents reported in Canada over the last 10 years, the NWT (including Nunavut, 1992 to 1999) ranks seventh among all provinces and territories.

Averaging about 138,000 flights a year, with an ever-increasing number of trips to and from mines, exploration camps and communities separated by a lack of roads and highways, NWT airspace is some of the busiest in the country.

"If they stationed a search-and-rescue team here in the North somewhere, I don't care if it be Yellowknife or Whitehorse, at least it would be here," says Clell Crook Sr. "I think it would make a big difference."

Crook is the father of Kole Crook, the well-known fiddle player who died when the Cessna 172 he was flying in crashed New Year's Eve 2001 en route to Tulita from Fort Good Hope.

All four people on board the plane, including the pilot, perished in the crash. Although it was believed Kole Crook was killed upon impact, the three others didn't.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada found that the pilot, Dana Wentzel, and the two other passengers, Ashley and Lindsay Andrew of Tulita, didn't die from their injuries but rather from hypothermia.

It took 40 hours for an air search-and-rescue team to reach the downed craft -- first, a Hercules sent from Winnipeg with parachute jumpers on board, followed by a Griffin helicopter out of Cold Lake, Alta.

No longer talking about rescue

Percy Kinney, chief coroner of the NWT, says the time it takes for search-and-rescue aircraft to reach the North from Winnipeg is troubling. Winnipeg is the main base for Canadian Forces Search and Rescue (SAR) serving the Prairies and the North.

Two issues likely to be raised at a public inquest expected this summer into the Tulita crash are the availability of search-and-rescue aircraft and the reliability of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) on board small airplanes.

"You're looking at a six- to eight-hour time lag in getting here," says Kinney. "If you're taking eight hours to get here to do search and rescue in the North during the winter time you're not doing search and rescue, you're doing search and recovery."

There are four Canadian Forces Twin Otters stationed in Yellowknife, but they mainly serve as secondary support for SAR. They are not equipped for rescuers to parachute from into a crash site.

"We should be looking at ways to beef that up, and that might be by using more local resources, and beefing up what DND (Department of Defence) resources we have locally so that they can become at least an early-on search and resource until such a time when those resources get here," says Kinney.

Can't see without an ELT

ELTs are also a problem, says Kinney. The standard ELT found on most small aircraft in the North operates at 121.5 megahertz, an international distress frequency.

After a plane crash that occurred near Fort Liard in Oct., 2001, search-and-rescue craft initially had difficulty locating the crash site, even though it was less than two kilometres from the community.

The Transportation Safety Board thought magnetic interference may have caused the problem. Kinney believes making the usage of the more stable 406 megahertz ELTs -- fitted to the plane's global positioning system -- mandatory may help.

"Part of the reason it took so long is you had RCMP in a civilian helicopter with a handheld locator to try and find them," says Kinney. "DND comes up here with their Hercs, and bang -- they got it in no time, because they have the gear, but the gear is eight hours away."

Major Grant MacDonald has flown over 100 missions in his time with SAR. He says there's no worse feeling than when a search turns out badly.

He recalls one time while on a search for a missing pilot in B.C. he was approached by the pilot's mother, who implored him to continue searching for him after nine fruitless days.

"It's kind of sad," says MacDonald. "She reminded me of my own mother. She said she hoped she could convince me to keep looking, and I had to very patiently and carefully explain to her why we wouldn't continue looking.

"That wasn't very pleasant, and doesn't make you feel like having your dinner afterwards, I can tell you that."
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optimus
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Re: Viking Proposes Resurrection Of DHC-5 Buffalo

Post by optimus »

Full page colour ad by viking in the G&M page A9 today pushing this.

G
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