World's Largest Twin Otter Seaplane Operator Adds Twin Otter Series 400
Maldivian Air Taxi, the most recent customer of the new Series 400 Twin Otter, is adding two new aircraft to their fleet of 24 heritage aircraft. MAT is the largest Twin Otter seaplane operator in the world, with over a decade of experience operating this type in the challenging Indian Ocean environment.
"The Series 400 is the right aircraft, at the right time; our passengers and our employees know and trust the aircraft and we are pleased to be adding this new and improved Twin Otter to our fleet", said Lars Erik Nielsen, MAT's President and Chairman of the Board.
"We value MAT's experience and on-going validation of the Twin Otter, and are excited they have added the new Series 400 to their fleet," commented David Curtis, Viking president & CEO.
Necessary for MAT's operation of the new straight float equipped aircraft, and as part of the certification process for the Honeywell Primus Apex integrated avionics suite, the Viking Twin Otter Series 400 prototype commenced on-water testing late last week.
"The system performed flawlessly through 18 pages of test cards carried out today," advised Steve Stackhouse, Viking's manager of flight operations. He added, "The purpose of the test was to evaluate whether the Air Data Attitude and Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) would initialize accurately and within design criteria in unstable conditions. The system responded perfectly on every occasion, becoming stable in under 40 seconds."
In addition to the upgraded avionics, the Series 400 incorporates over two hundred modifications and improvements to the original rugged design. Viking is modernizing the type with a focus on reducing empty weight, maintenance costs while increasing reliability and is committed to making value added changes to this proven platform.
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.