SINGAPORE: RFDS orders new-build Twin Otters

Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) is going back to its roots with an order for a pair of Viking Air Series 400 Twin Otter turboprops, plus two options, for the provision of rural medical services.

The RFDS began operations 90 years ago with a de Havilland DH60 Moth – one of the Twin Otter’s very early forefathers.

Scheduled for delivery in 2018, the Canada-built twin-turboprops will be configured with extended-range wing-tip fuel tanks, an airframe de-icing system and crew oxygen for high altitude operation.

Their specification also includes a four-blade propeller, a bespoke seat rail layout and ground-operable air conditioning.

To be operated from RFDS sites in Broken Hill and Dubbo, New South Wales, they will be used for medical support services throughout southeast Australia.

David Charlton, general manager of operations for the RFDS, says: “We are proud to add the Viking Twin Otter to our fleet.

“The acquisition supports our evolution and allows us to deliver more healthcare to those that need us most.”

In addition, the contract includes a comprehensive spares and support package. RFDS will also acquire a Level 6 Twin Otter simulator to be located in Dubbo as part of a pilot mentoring programme.

Viking has also announced a deal with Karachi-based United Energy Pakistan for a single Twin Otter to be delivered in the second quarter of 2018.

It will be the first of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34-powered Series 400 aircraft to enter operation in Pakistan and will be used for oil and gas support missions, operating from unpaved airstrips.

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