The co-star of White River is the rugged, dependable, DeHavilland Beaver. The sound of the 9-cycle Pratt & Whitney radial engine is music to a pilot’s ear, a sound more intoxicating than a Harley or a muscle car V8.
About the DeHavilland Beaver
The DeHavilland Beaver is known as the workhorse of the bush. They’re everywhere in Canada and Alaska, not to mention Puget Sound. They’re popular in New Zealand and other exotic locales. It was the plane Harrison Ford flew in the movie, “Six Days and Seven Nights,” and got him hooked on flying. He currently owns one and googling “Harrison Ford Beaver” or similar wording will list a couple of videos with him and his airplane. There’s also one in the movie, “The Edge,” that plays a featured role.
Many Beavers are on floats and are used extensively for lake flying in wilderness areas where airports are not an option. Floats reduce the useful load and impact performance slightly, but then a Beaver isn’t about blazing speed. It’s about carrying stuff into and out of remote locations.
There are great videos on YouTube—just type DeHavilland Beaver to find take-off and landing videos, even instructional videos. If you like the sound of a Harley-Davidson, you’ll love the sound of a big radial engine rumbling to life.
The first Beaver was flown in 1947 and production continued through 1967, with 1657 built. Most are still flying today. Nice Beavers command $500,000 while serviceable machines can be found in the low $200,000 range. A few workhorses can be found under $200,000.
Replacing the radial with a turboprop improves performance and reliability—those radials take a lot of maintenance. Prices of Turbine Beavers push the price tag to $1.5 million and beyond.
Go to an airport or a seaplane base and when a Beaver fires up and takes off, pilots’ heads turn. They are an iconic airplane and are on the bucket list for most pilots.
DeHavilland DHC-2 Beaver Specs
Note that specs depend upon model and upgrades
Length: 30′ 3″
Height: 9′ (without floats)
Empty Weight: 2800 lbs (without floats)
Max Weight: 5100-5700 lbs
Engine: One 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R985 Wasp Junior, supercharged 9 cylinder radial
Cruise Speed: 95-110 knots
Max speed: 140 mph
Max. Range: 450-770 miles
SEATS Pilot plus 7 passengers
BHP at take-off FUEL CONSUMPTION Approx. 20 Imp. gallons per hour (24 US gallons)
Takeoff Speed 41-47 knots (47-54 miles per hour)
Landing Speed 52 knots (60 miles per hour)
Glide Speed 72 knots (83 miles per hour)
Service Ceiling 10, 000 ft
Rate of Climb 685 feet per minute
Stall Speed (flaps up) 40 knots (46 miles per hour)
Stall Speed (flaps down) 36 knots (41 miles per hour)