An Ode to the Beaver, the Greatest Bush Plane Ever Built

The seem of a Beaver flying away right after you’ve been dropped in the bush has been known as the loneliest seem in the earth. “There’s no seem like it,” suggests pilot Ian Shipmaker. “It implies, ‘Now I’m seriously by yourself.’ ” But it can also be a single of the most liberating, in particular if you’re embarking on a single of these distant outings.



From the cockpit of the Beaver operated by Tweedsmuir Air Services out of Nimpo Lake, British Columbia, Shipmaker has presented that anxious thrill to a great number of adventurers. Started in 1953 by bush pilot Bob Stewart, Stewart’s Lodge and adjunct Tweedsmuir Air operate what owner Duncan Stewart (Bob’s son) believes may perhaps be the oldest Beaver in common services and the a single with the most flight hours. Developed in 1949, and with much more than forty one,000 hours of services, its serial amount is fifty five, this means it was the fifty fifth at any time created.

Involving 1947 and ’67, de Havilland Canada developed one,692 Beavers, known as “the plane that opened the North.” There are competing claims to any “oldest Beaver” assertion. On everlasting screen at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, restored Beaver CF-OBS (serial amount 2) is “the oldest generation Beaver in flying problem.” But at Stewart’s Lodge, some 250 miles north of Vancouver, you can nonetheless charter a Beaver for fishing, hunting or mountaineering excursions, or a scenic flight about wilderness so rugged it stood in for the Himalayas in the movie Seven Years in Tibet.

Beavers gained cult standing for getting created around the desires of pilots, not engineers or promoting satisfies. Immediately after Earth War II, de Havilland solicited bush flyers’ suggestions for its new plane. The end result was features exceptional to the Beaver, such as oversize controls producing it simpler to fly while sporting mittens cargo doorways massive sufficient to accommodate dogsleds and fifty five-gallon oil drums skill to land on wheels, floats or skis and improved limited takeoff and landing (STOL) electric power. Pairing a Pratt & Whitney 450-horsepower engine with an amazing 48-foot wingspan, de Havilland produced a highly effective beast that isn’t speedy or nimble but can get in and out of distant lakes and primitive landing strips in nearly any weather conditions.

Simply cannot make it to Nimpo Lake? Operators like Bent Prop Flying Support in Idaho and Alaska, and Crystal Creek Lodge in Alaska, also fly Beavers.

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