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The Viking Twin Otter Series 400 prototype on its first flight

Viking Twin Otter Series 400 prototype takes off

Only days after initial power on, the new DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 Technology Demonstrator records her first flight, in front of a proud and dedicated employee group. The prototype Series 400 took off at Victoria International Airport in the middle of a clear and sunny afternoon, amid cheers and clapping from employees and onlookers.

"The aircraft performed beautifully," remarked Steve Stackhouse, Viking's manager of flight Operations and pilot-in-command. Michael Moore, engineering test pilot and co-captain added "the first flight went smoothly and the aircraft handled exactly as expected."

Powered by two new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 engines, outfitted on Wipline 13000 amphibious floats, and modernized with Honeywell Primus Apex avionics suite, the Technical Demonstrator took off from less than 1000 feet of runway, proving the type's famed STOL performance.

"This is a special moment for all at Viking" commented David Curtis, president & CEO, "and physically represents the many months of hard work by Viking employees since the announcement of Series 400 aircraft program late last year." He added, "while Viking has been in the aviation industry for many years, manufacturing new aircraft is a different avenue for the company and could not have been possible without the commitment and support of our stakeholders and Westerkirk Capital."

Viking employees and their families were given the opportunity to preview the aircraft prior to the first flight at a roll out event late last week, where she was officially dubbed "Viktoria" in honor of her home town and in keeping with tradition of Turbo Beaver predecessor "Olivia", of Immortal Beaver fame.

The best selling 19 passenger aircraft of all time, with more than 600 heritage Twin Otters still in active service and an increasing demand, the Series 400 will continue to maintain its popularity and provide worldwide operators with "Versatility that Works".

Viking launched the Series 400 aircraft program in 2007 with customer deliveries commencing summer 2009. Viking provides OEM support for the worldwide fleet of de Havilland heritage aircraft (DHC-1 through DHC-7), and is part of Westerkirk Capital Inc., a Canadian private investment firm with substantial holdings in the hospitality, aviation and real estate sectors.

Press release issued by Viking Air Ltd. on October 3, 2008


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