Increasing sales potential in the relatively untapped seaplane market has led Viking Air Limited of Victoria, British Columbia, to introduce the world’s first dedicated seaplane in the 15 to 19-passenger category, the Viking Twin Otter 400S Seaplane. Recognized as the world’s leading seaplane manufacturer, Viking has developed the new 400S variant of the Series 400 to optimize the Twin Otter platform for commercial seaplane operations.
The Viking 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 $6m. Adapted for quick turn-around between cycles, the 400S can achieve a break-even load factor of around 8 passengers under typical operating conditions.
To enhance the quick-turn capability of the Viking 400S, 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 17-passenger seating configuration, new generation composite floats, and Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27 engines incorporating platinum coated CT blades. 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 unique challenge corrosion causes for water-based operations. Corrosion resistant packages for the airframe, power plant, 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 Seaplane to operate in the harshest marine environments with greatly reduced maintenance costs and down time.
“The Twin Otter is already the world’s most successful commercial seaplane, and with the modifications we are making to streamline the flight deck and optimize the aircraft for seaplane operations, we see our market share expanding even further,” stated Evan McCorry, Viking’s vice-president of International Sales & Marketing. “Quite simply, no other twin turbo prop aircraft can do what the Twin Otter can do, especially on water.