Harbour Air’s Electric Beaver has Flown!

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Angusnofangus

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Victoria, Canada
If the rarity of the 985 engine itself is the problem, then they could have just put the existing turbine conversion on the Beaver and been done with it.
The turbine conversion on a Beaver will set you back somewhere in the neighbourhood of $1,000,000. The new PT-6 being the largest part of that. It does add two seats and larger payload, but burns more fuel, takes longer to get off the water, and just doesn't sound right. There is nothing quite like the Pratt and Whitney 9 Cylinder Symphony.
 

Riggerrob

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Sep 9, 2014
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Lots of them have been converted. Harbour doesn't have any yet.
Yes, Beavers are about the only radial engines still working on the West Coast of Canada.
There are at least 4 turbine Beaver conversions available: DHC, Viking, Volpar and Wipline.

Sadly, DHC introduced their Turbo-Beaver at the same time that the US Army sold off their Korean-War surplus, piston Beavers. Ergo, DHC only sold 60 original DHC-2T. Turbo-Beavers. Initially, DHC offered to rebuild piston-engined Beavers to the new Turbo-Beaver configuration including the extra row of seats forward of the wing and enlarged swept fin. Viking has re-built a number of Beavers to DHC Turbo-Beaver specs with original P&WC PT6A-20, 27, 28 or 34 engines.
Wipline started by building floats for a variety of bush planes. Then they branched out to overhaul bushplanes and eventually converted Beavers to has converted a bunch of Beavers to turbines, but they retain the short nose of the originals and add an extra-large vertical fin. The prototype Electric Beaver is based upon a Wipline conversion.
Volpar has also converted a few Beavers with P&WC engines and a sole example with a Garret engine. The Garret Air Research TPE331-2U-203
engined conversion was the ugliest with its long, slender, Pinnochio nose. N754 worked for a few years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service before retiring to a museum. It was last seen hanging from the ceiling of a passenger terminal.
 

Angusnofangus

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Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
502
Location
Victoria, Canada
Yes, Beavers are about the only radial engines still working on the West Coast of Canada.
There are at least 4 turbine Beaver conversions available: DHC, Viking, Volpar and Wipline.

Sadly, DHC introduced their Turbo-Beaver at the same time that the US Army sold off their Korean-War surplus, piston Beavers. Ergo, DHC only sold 60 original DHC-2T. Turbo-Beavers. Initially, DHC offered to rebuild piston-engined Beavers to the new Turbo-Beaver configuration including the extra row of seats forward of the wing and enlarged swept fin. Viking has re-built a number of Beavers to DHC Turbo-Beaver specs with original P&WC PT6A-20, 27, 28 or 34 engines.
Wipline started by building floats for a variety of bush planes. Then they branched out to overhaul bushplanes and eventually converted Beavers to has converted a bunch of Beavers to turbines, but they retain the short nose of the originals and add an extra-large vertical fin. The prototype Electric Beaver is based upon a Wipline conversion.
Volpar has also converted a few Beavers with P&WC engines and a sole example with a Garret engine. The Garret Air Research TPE331-2U-203
engined conversion was the ugliest with its long, slender, Pinnochio nose. N754 worked for a few years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service before retiring to a museum. It was last seen hanging from the ceiling of a passenger terminal.
I worked on that Garret engined Beaver while at Viking a few years back, and it was truly ugly. Evidently it performed really well, but was a nightmare to look at. Plus it was a god-awful orange.
 

Victor Bravo

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KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
The engine powering the A-Star helicopter, de-rated to 550 or 600 shaft HP, would probably make as much economic sense to the companies successfully operating Beavers as it makes economic sense to 90% of the law enforcement, TV news, and government helicopter operators that use the A-Star. The bean counters have figured out that the extra cost of the turbine engine purchase is well worth it. If this were not true, all the TV news people would be flying R-44 or Bell 47 helicopters. If the A-Star engine was not far far more efficient to operate than other turbines, all the news and police would still be flying the Bell 206.
 
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