Viking Announces Military Twin Otter

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While the civilian aviation market is depressed at the moment, military representatives from all over the world are at Le Bourget kicking the tires of hardware they might be able to use. Companies whose market is traditionally civilian are obliging by reworking their passenger and cargo planes. As we reported 18 months ago, Viking Air of Sidney, British Columbia, has resumed production of the Twin Otter and it announced a military variant, called the Guardian 400, in Paris. "By offering a customized version of the Series 400 Twin Otter tailored for military and government operations, namely the Guardian 400, Viking is able to provide its customers with a modern and economical solution for their infrastructure requirements," Viking President Dave Curtis said.

The Twin Otter has legendary STOL and harsh weather capabilities and the military version plays on those strengths to offer itself as a surveillance, security and search and rescue aircraft. Equipped with a cabin mounted auxiliary tank, the aircraft can loiter for hours and the optional galley and lavatory makes that bearable for the crew. On the business end, the Guardian can carry an electro-optical and infrared imaging turret that displays either on the Honeywell Primus panel display or a separate monitor in the back. A host of other electronic goodies can be added, depending on the mission and four hard points on the wings give room for "additional stores."

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Get up close and personal with the new Otter in this video from NBAA 2008 (5:39)