What is an amphibious aircraft?

An amphibious aircraft is one that can takeoff and land on both water and land. Viking’s Twin Otter aircraft have the option of being outfitted with amphibious floats that allow it to land on both land and water without having to switch out landing gear between flights. The amphibious floats each have a wheel attached at the front of the float, as well as a recessed wheel near the back of the float.

In addition, the Twin Otter has a number of other landing gear that allow it to takeoff and land on a variety of surfaces. Other landing gear include straight wheels (for hard runways), straight floats (for water), wheel skis (for hard surface plus ice and snow) and tundra tires (for soft field landing such as sand). The specific landing gear are either provided on initial aircraft delivery, or swapped on to an existing aircraft by trained personnel. This versatility allows the Twin Otter to take on missions other aircraft simply can’t. Viking provides more information on landing gear configurations in the Twin Otter options guide.

If your organization is considering an amphibious aircraft, please tell us your mission, and we’ll provide a customized analysis to assist you.