LONDON – A new five stamp set was released this month by Canada Post, paying tribute to one of the most iconic aircraft in Canada’s aviation history – the De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver.
The DHC-2 Beaver is one of five achievements featured in Canada Post’s new “Canadians in Flight” series. Canada Post explained its selection of the iconic DHC-2 Beaver this way:
The Beaver is considered the best bush plane ever built and was named one of Canada’s top 10 engineering achievements of the 20th century.
The all-metal plane’s short takeoff and landing capability – along with its ability to be fitted with wheels, floats or skis – made the Beaver ideal for accessing and connecting remote areas of the country.
“We are honoured that Canada Post has chosen the DHC-2 Beaver to be part of this new series celebrating achievements in Canadian aviation,” said De Havilland Canada CEO, Brian Chafe.
“This is a special day for our company and for the people whose lives have been improved by this amazing aircraft over the past seven and a half decades, with many more to come.”
About the DHC-2 Beaver
De Havilland Canada began designing the DHC-2 Beaver in 1946; company engineers surveyed bush pilots from remote communities of Northern Canada and several countries on what mattered most to them in a new aircraft.
Pilots requested a rugged and reliable all-metal aircraft capable of carrying a half-tonne payload with good takeoff, landing and climb performance; as well, an aircraft that could operate year-round on wheels, floats or skis from isolated outposts, and exposed to climatic conditions ranging from the blazing sun to sub-zero cold, ice, and snow.
The first DHC-2 Beaver flew from the runway at Toronto’s Downsview Airport on August 16, 1947, 75 years ago this summer. De Havilland Canada produced a total of 1,692 DHC-2 Beavers over the aircraft’s 20-year production period.
The DHC-2T MK III Turbo Beaver – a turbo-prop variant – was first flown on December 30, 1963. 60 of these aircraft were produced between 1963 and 1968.
Photo: DHC-2 Beaver Mk 1 on Lake Temagami. Photo Credit: Alain Rioux via Wikimedia Commons
In 1983, De Havilland Canada awarded Viking Air Limited the contract to build spare parts for the DHC-2 Beaver and DHC-2 MK III Turbo Beaver; as well, many of the engineering drawings and production tooling for these parts were transferred to the Sidney, British Columbia company.
In 1987, the Canadian Engineering Centennial Board named the DHC-2 Beaver one of the top ten Canadian engineering achievements of the 20th century.
In 2006, Viking acquired the Type Certificates for seven De Havilland Canada aircraft, including the DHC-2 Beaver.
Today, over 750 of these iconic aircraft remain operational worldwide.