Posted on: 16 February 2016 by Mark Howells
Viking Air is to introduce the “world’s first dedicated seaplane in the 15 to 19-passenger category”, the Viking Twin Otter 400S, developed to optimise the platform for commercial seaplane operations.
The company says the 400S is “specifically designed as an economical seaplane for commercial operation on short to medium flight segments, and will be offered at a list price under $6.0 million”. Moreover, the 400S can achieve a breakeven load factor of around 8 passengers under typical operating conditions.
To enhance the aircraft’s quick-turn capability, an avionics-dedicated battery allows cockpit screens to remain live during short loading intervals while the modified double swing-out aft passenger doors and internal access to the rear baggage compartment further increases loading efficiency.
The Viking 400S seaplane features the Honeywell “Super-Lite” integrated digital avionics suite adapted for VFR operations, and comes equipped with a 17-seat configuration, new generation composite floats, and Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27 engines incorporating platinum coated CT blades. An avionics upgrade for IFR operation, 19-passenger seating, or combination 15-passenger/cargo configuration are all available options for the 400S.
With the Viking 400S, particular attention has been paid to the challenge which corrosion causes for water-based operations. Corrosion resistant packages for the airframe, powerplant, and fuel system have all been incorporated as standard equipment in the 400S, along with additional draining, sealing and prevalent use of corrosion-resistant materials throughout the aircraft. The additional corrosion protection and selected modifications will allow the Viking 400S to operate in the harshest marine environments with greatly reduced maintenance costs and downtime.
Viking expects customer deliveries for the 400S to begin in the first quarter of 2017.